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Friday, April 23, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - With reference to the lawsuit against the Holy See which lawyers in the United States have filed at a federal court in Milwaukee, in the name of a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, the Holy See Press Office reiterates a declaration released by Jeffrey Lena, the Holy See's attorney in the U.S.A., the complete text of which is given below:

"First and foremost, sympathy is due to the victims of the criminal acts committed by Fr. Lawrence Murphy. By sexually abusing children, Murphy violated both the law and the trust that his victims had placed in him.

"While legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them. Instead, the lawsuit represents an attempt to use tragic events as a platform for a broader attack - this one dependent on re-characterising the Catholic Church as a worldwide 'business enterprise'.

"The case against the Holy See and its officials is completely without merit. Most of the complaint rehashes old theories already rejected by U.S. courts. With regard to Murphy himself, the Holy See and its officials knew nothing of his crimes until decades after the abuse occurred, and had no role whatsoever in causing plaintiff's injuries.

"Given its lack of merit, the lawsuit - together with its de rigueur press conference and news releases - is simply the latest attempt by certain U.S. lawyers to use the judicial process as a tool of media relations.

"If necessary, we will respond more fully to this lawsuit in court and at the appropriate time".
OP/ VIS 20100423 (280)


  1. I find this very, very sad. To say sexual abuse is 'a violation of the law and trust' placed in someone [a priest of all people] is so shallow! What about a violation of the very dignity of the human person who is made in God's image! What about calling it a MORTAL SIN? What about living with the consequences of one's actions - i.e. prosecution, inability to continue to work in ministry, what about protection of vulnerable people? As a lay Catholic working for the Church, it is so frustrating to see that our SEMINARIES are creating priests who believe power is their right of ordination and that ministry is first about orthodoxy [where is that getting us? Even the strongest proponent, our current Pope, seems unable or unwilling to address this issue theologically and with compassion] rather than servanthood. Do we remember the Gospel and actions of Holy Thursday?

    It is time we as a Church MUST take responsibility in ACTION - not just words in dealing with this issue. Begin with making the offenders face the consequences - legally and morally. And take a deep look at our formation of new priests.

  2. Talking about the mafia culture in the Catholic Church:

    A senior cardinal defended the Roman Catholic Church's practice of frequently not reporting sexual abusive priests to the police, saying Thursday it would have been like testifying against a family member at trial.

    Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos also said in a radio interview that Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was involved in a 2001 decision to praise a French bishop for shielding a priest who was convicted of raping minors.

    "The law in nations with a well-developed judiciary does not force anyone to testify against a child, a father, against other people close to the suspect," Castrillon told RCN radio. "Why would they ask that of the church? That's the injustice. It's not about defending a pedophile, it's about defending the dignity and the human rights of a person, even the worst of criminals."

    Does defending the dignity and human rights of criminals involve keeping them hidden away from the law? Is that what Jesus Christ preached?

    Pure mafia culture. La COSA NOSTRA in action. And these were the men who were ruling the Catholic Church under the leadership of John Paul II the Great (?).

  3. Thank you for transmitting this important letter. It is vital to receive accurate information about these important issues.

    The moral outrage is understandable – even if itis largely based on misrepresentations of fact. There is also plenty of ignorance of the steps taken in the Church since 1990s and especially in the 2000s. Today the problem has very largely been resolved already, and Pope Benedict has been the key figure instituting the reforms.

    Also given the nature of the problem, the public at large is still not well aware of its historical development in both Church and society. That is why 30-50 years old cases receive so much attention. Of course these are awful and disgusting cases. But the moral outrage would be different if people knew the magnitude of similar cases in families, schools, clubs etc. The police and other public authorities have also been incredible irresponsible in the past.

    It is necessary to do more and to continue the reforms that the Pope has been doing ever since 2001 (as Cardinal back then). But we should not forget that John Paul II started the purification of the Church. It was, however, extremely difficult, because at that time he was incredible lonely as a faithful follower of Christ in the Church. I hate to say so, but many of your know what I mean.

    Today the situation is so much better that it is almost hard to believe it. Much of that is thanks to John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We have a very humble, faithful and holy Pope. No wonder the devil is so angry that he is using every possible trick and lie he can muster to attack the Pope and the Church.


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