Cardinal Ratzinger did not reply to a letter which informed the Vatican about a priest who sexually abused 200 boys. The criminal was used as priest up to his death.
According to Church documents, an archbishop wrote in 1996 to a Vatican morals watchdog led by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, to complain about Fr Murphy.
A canonical trial was authorised by the future pope’s deputy, but was later halted, despite objections from a second archbishop.
Fr Murphy had written to Cardinal Ratzinger saying he was ill and wanted to live out his life in the «dignity of my priesthood».
The BBC’s Robert Pigott in Milwaukee says this case is particularly shocking, not only because the priest abused boys but because he was allowed to go on to another diocese where he had access to children all over again.
Our correspondent says that although there is no direct evidence against the then Cardinal Ratzinger, this is an uncomfortable confluence of events for the Vatican. This is a case of concealment, he says, and that is where the Pope will have a case to answer.
The Pope’s official spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said the Murphy case had only reached the Vatican in 1996 – two decades after the Milwaukee diocese in Wisconsin first learned of the allegations, and two years before the priest died.
The diocese had been asked to take action by “restricting Father Murphy’s public ministry and requiring that Father Murphy accept full responsibility for the gravity of his acts”, the Rev Lombardi said.
A strongly worded Vatican newspaper editorial said there was “no cover-up” over the case, which was reported in Thursday’s edition of the New York Times.
L’Osservatore Romano labelled the allegations «clearly an ignoble attempt to strike at Pope Benedict and his closest aides at any cost».
Meanwhile, one of the Pope’s top aides, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, told reporters there was «a conspiracy» against the Church, without specifying who was responsible.
As a former not believing but practicing Catholic, I was involved in a rescue mission to «save» a Catholic priest that was accused of molesting a minor girl.
The priest was finally rescued by the local Archbishop, who sent the priest into exile across the Atlantic, into Canada.
This problem is not only a political problem, that can be solved by the resignation of a Pope. This is a spiritual problem, and a human catastrophe few people are willing to talk about. This is a matter of life and death for one billion souls. Since the Catholics reject the truth about their worship of «Catholic Mary» as the pagan «Queen of Heaven», they can not receive the Holy Spirit. When their false teachers tells them to down to their idols, they are immediately deceived by religious spirits.
Almost every Catholic are ready to deny sexual abuse cases by their priests in a bid to save their «Holy Church» from shame. Doing this, they are scarifying the future of their own children, who might be the next victims of an abusive priest. Doing this they bring curses, shame and judgment down on their own heads.
The Roman Catholic Church is a global movement of religious and spiritually not healthy people. They can not be healed and saved, before they leave this wicked, corrupt, babylonian religious system.