Long ago, when the Catholic priest molestation cases started popping up quicker than kettle corn (mmm. kettle corn. the only pleasant reference in this article), I attempted to get over it quickly. It was disgusting to even think about. I thought the overwhelming negative press coverage would make the Vatican get their act together. According to this New York Times article however, the Vatican STILL hasn’t learned their lesson! This makes me LIVID.
Basically, some creeper who goes by the cheery name of Father Murphy molested hundreds of boys – including 200 DEAF kids. Deaf. Boys. It doesn’t make it worse than it already is – its pathetic and disturbing either way. But still… UGH. So obviously the kids know its wrong, the parents report the priest, and the Vatican AND the police department find out about this child molester. Great, you think. The Vatican should take care of this; and if they still continue being lax about the situation, the police department should at least be on top of their game. Right?
Wrong. So unbelievably, sadly wrong. The Vatican let Murphy off the hook after he said he had “repented” and was sick and just wanted to be left in peace for the rest of his years. I don’t know what the police department was thinking – they dropped the case. Collectively, no one did ANYTHING!
So Murphy continued being a priest and working with children for 24 more years before his death in 1998. WTF was the Vatican thinking? Of course! Now that he’s repented, we should probably send him to juvenile detention centers, churches, and schools where more children that he could potentially molest abound. And let him keep his priesthood – why not right? Because a child molester should definitely be entitled to live out the rest of his days in peace. (Let’s just move him over a few states…A little bit more! Wisconsin? Perfect.)
This clearly isn’t the only case where sexual molestation has been overlooked. According to the NYT article, “only 20 percent of the 3,000 accused priests whose cases went to the church’s doctrinal office between 2001 and 2010 were given full church trials, and only some of those were defrocked… but a majority — 60 percent — faced other “administrative and disciplinary provisions,” Monsignor Scicluna said, like being prohibited from celebrating Mass.”
Is it because Catholics believe that true punishment and judgment comes from God, that makes the Vatican less likely to take action on criminal cases where mere humans have to make a final judgement or ruling? I have no idea. I also think the Church should be required to tell the police departments about these cases and not just have internal courts decide – which clearly isn’t working as well.
Does anyone else think this is really screwed up?