Ireland been shaken by the revelation of the tens of thousands of children physically and sexually abused by Catholic priests, brothers, and nuns.
Archbishop Cousins of Milwaukee knew that the Rev. Lawrence Murphy, the head of St. John’s School for the Deaf, was an abuser. In 1993 victims came to Archbishop Cousins, but Cousins defended Murphy for all the good work he had done. But Cousins, to avoid bad publicity, had to transfer Murphy to a parish.
Archbishop Weakland’s main concern was to preserve Murphy’s reputation, and he went to Rome to discuss “at great length” with Vatican officials how to do this.
One victim wrote to Murphy, and sent copies to Weakland and Pope John Paul II. This is some of what the victim said. Murphy liked this victim because this deaf boy was especially vulnerable:
My mother had just told you the trauma I suffered over the past three years. She told you my oldest brother was electrocuted. She told you my father told me of his suicide plan, went through with it and let me find him staring dead at the basement ceiling with a rope laying beside him . She told you all of that and BEGGED you to take care of me . I was numb with grief and fear and looked to you for some kind of comfort and security. You were all I had. No one at home signed_ I could not communicate with them. I turned to you and what did you do? You molested me, that’s what. You took advantage of a lost little boy who had no one else- Because if you remember, as I do, you told me that my mother no longer loved me and only loved my brother who had died. You isolated me from the one person who possibly could have rescued me. I hate you for that.
Murphy was like Jesus to the boys:
Remember the big statue of Jesus hugging the children beside our old school? The statue showed him being very kind to them_ You fooled us by copying that pose, got us close and molested us. You should have never been a priest in the first place- I remember when my friend wanted to become Catholic so he asked me to be his Godfather. You baptized him . . . then molested him after confession.
Murphy molested 30, 100 200, all? of he boys. No one knows the individual hells the boys lived in.
I cannot keep our secret about your life as a terrible molester at our school for many years_ I must tell the truth to Archbishop Weakland about you and how you ruined mine and many other children’s faith in God and Jesus- You made us hate the Catholic church because we couldn’t t understand how you could be such a hypocrite of a priest who taught us about God while you were the secret molester.
Every time I see other priests I wonder, `Are they molesters, too?” They always remind me of you; a clever wolf, a mortal sinner, a heavy luster who walked among us every night in the Catholic dorm . We couldn’t even hear you coming. I would lay awake every night shaking in fear that this would be a night you would touch me. Can you imagine that? Can you? Jesus on the cross on the wall saw you coming every night to molest us. He must have been shocked and grieved every time- I hope he cried like we did, because we were innocent children, pure Christians, good altar boys, and cute lambs. I hope Jesus is very furious at you and will send you to hell very soon.
The boys had no one to turn to:
Do you remember another time I cannot stand to think about? A time that a poor deaf helpless boy went to St . Francis Police Station and told them that you molested him. You told the policeman that “The kid is mentally retarded.”.The policeman believed you and left . I want to know how you live with yourself. How do you look in the mirror knowing the number of lives you’ve destroyed? You are such an expert liar I guess you have convinced yourself that you have done nothing wrong .
Murphy shared the boys with other molesters:
One of my sickest memories is how you shared your secret molesting of boys with(—-) at St. Rita’s School for the Deaf . You two had nothing less than a Catholic pornography ring. You molested the children in your Catholic elementary dorm and sent them on to a Catholic high school dorm where he then took his turn molesting them.
Do you remember when (—–) caught you molesting me? I wished and prayed he would help me and I also wished he could report you to Archbishop Cousin. But guess what? He figured since you were molesting us then he was free to do it, too. And he did.
Some boys were damaged irreparably:
You and (—–) responsible for one boy who has been in a mental hospital since his twenties . He, too, was a good friend of mine.. He too has never enjoyed the life the Catholic church has provided for you. I curse you and (—-) both!
And another boy:
Do you know that he later committed suicide? You and (—) are responsible for his suicide. God must punish you and send you to hell to stay forever.
But Weakland in his new book explains his transfers of abusers:
“We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature,” Weakland says in the book, “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church,” due out in June. Weakland said he initially “accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would ‘grow out of it.’
I wonder how the bishops and popes could have such hearts of stone. I also wonder if they have ever read that God avenges the oppressed poor. If, in fact, members of the Catholic hierarchy believe in God. The evidence against it is mounting.
Pius XII should not be beatified until the Vatican archives are opened and his role in dealing with the Nazis is examined. From what I know, he made mistakes (who didn’t) but I think he will be exonerated from the accusations against him.
John Paul II should not be beatified until the Vatican archives concerning sexual abuse are open for examination. I have grave doubts that John Paul’s reputation would survive the revelation of how he dealt with abuse. If I were he, I would have feared the curses of the children whose souls were ravaged while I protected the reputations of their ravagers.