Few of the recent stories have done more to raise a cloud of suspicion over Benedict than the claim by New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein that he declined to defrock a Catholic priest in Milwaukee who had abused more than 200 boys in an institution for the deaf.
Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy worked at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974. His case was handled by local Catholic authorities until 1996, when Rembert Weakland, who was the Archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977 to 2002, notified the Vatican. Murphy died in 1998, still a priest.
Just B16 is MercatorNet’s contribution to clearing the air about the sex abuse scandal enveloping Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church. Last year, in our “Our public intellectual A-list” we described Benedict as “the world's leading voice for human dignity founded upon the divine creation of man” – which he undoubtedly is. Human dignity sounds like a cliche, but it is viewed with suspicion and even disdain in many academic circles. The idea that human beings are rational and that we can know what is right and wrong is at risk today. Indeed, the modish thing is to describe morality as nothing more than social conventions or evolved responses to ancient threats.
We feel that ill-informed, unjust and vicious attacks on Benedict’s credibility will ultimately undermine the credibility of human dignity itself. MercatorNet is not a Catholic publication, although the editor and the deputy editor are both Catholics. We have always…
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