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"The system of the Catholic clergy, for which I have great respect and to which I have given many years of my life, selects, cultivates, protects, defends, and produces sexual abusers." - Richard Sipe
Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk and mental health counselor, lived in the catholic system for 18 years where he counseled his fellow priests.  Sipe did a 25 year study examining celibacy in the priesthood.

What he found was that at any one time, no more than 50% of priests practice celibacy.

"They know that celibacy is not practiced" they being Vatican authorities, Sipe said, "you may not be keeping your celibacy but as long as it's secret, it's okay."

Reverend Lawrence Murphy

Reverend Lawrence Murphy sexually abused over 200 deaf children at St. John's school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  
The narrative is framed by the first known case of a priest being publicly accused of molestation — Father Lawrence Murphy of Milwaukee's St. John's School for the Deaf. There, we learn through the signed testimonials of four former pupils — Terry Kouhut, Gary Smith, Pat Kuehn and Arthur Budzinski — the boyish and beloved priest systematically raped and abused more than 200 pupils during his unstoppable 24-year tenure.
Not only were these young men unable to speak out about the abuses Father Murphy perpetrated on them, but in many cases, their own families did not know how to sign which put Father Murphy as interpretor between mother/father and son, leaving them absolutely no opportunity to tell.

His own moral depravity wasn't enough, Reverent Murphy enlisted older boys in an organized system of abuse.  These older boys, who had been molested by Murphy, used threats to force little 7 year old boys to perform oral sex on him.  In the documentary it was said these older boys were prepping the younger boys for Father Murphy.

Murphy eventually left the school of the deaf, but served as parish priest in another church near his cabin where he lived.  This new church was never told of the accusations of pedophilia.  Father Murphy continued abusing little boys.

In 1974, the very first public outcry against the abuses within the church came from three young deaf men who had been abused by Father Murphy.

Although deaf and unable to speak, these young men found their voice by plastering this image of Father Murphy in their deseperate attempt to stop him from hurting other little kids.

One of the biggest crimes featured in the film is that of Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused over 200 deaf children in a Milwaukee school that he was in charge of. The victims, years later as adults, brought the first public protest against clerical abuse in the United States. It ended up becoming a lawsuit against the pontiff himself.

"This wasn't a conspiracy, this was worse than a conspiracy - the policy was to keep this absolutely secret" - Fr. Tom Doyle, Canon Lawyer

Father Tom Doyle, a Canon lawyer, became aware of the Murphy case and was asked to evaluate some of the information.  The Vatican knew there was prior reports about Murphy - but failed to act.  

Initially, Father Doyle attempted to work within the system, but was told "we don't turn our priests in, this is our problem, we take care of it."

Father Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer at the Vatican, co-authored a report to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1985 warning that if the Church did not act on the problem of sexual-predator priests it would end up costing over one billion dollars. For his efforts he was made a military chaplain and sent to an American Air Force base in Germany. The corporate culture of the Catholic Church is to protect itself from scandal at all cost. To the men who run the Church, this means hiding their dirty secrets at all cost. They hoped that by paying the money, everyone would just go away. That didn’t happen.

At one point during the documentary, Fr. Doyle is asked if he ever represented the church.  He replied "yes, I represent the church every time I step into the courtroom, because I represent the people and the people are the church."

Money is the root of all evil

Patrick J. Wall, Former Benedictine Monk, found out during his ordination that there were treatment centers around the world for priests who sodomized and  raped kids.  There were 55 child molesters in his monastery - more than 70 in the archdiocese.  He was shocked that this information wasn't known publicly and was even more shocked by the special assignment he was tasked with.

Patrick Wall became the "fixer" for the church.  He would travel to sites where priests were accused of childhood sexual abuse, given a budget of $250,000 to settle with the victims, (if you could get a confidentiality signed) and was to clean up the mess - remove the offending priest, put in a new priest and get everything back to normal.    

"I thought I was going there to uncover the crimes, heal the wounds, offer pastoral care.  I thought I was going to care for the afflicted, you know, what we are ordained for.  But the people sending me in obviously had ulterior motives."
In 1985, Patrick Wall had a budget of $7 million dollars for the year to cover up childhood sexual abuse.  He was never told to report abuse to authorities.

Many of the priests were sent to treatment centers, like the First Servants of the Paracletes.  However, when Fr. Wall found out it didn't stop, that offending priests were allowed to stay in ministry, he left the priesthood.

First Servants of the Paraclete Center was opened by Father Fitzgerald to treat pedophile priests.  He believed sexual predators who abuse children should be removed from the priesthood and forced to live a life of prayer and penance.

From the 1950s to the 1990s, the Servants of the Paracletes spent more than $80 million dollars treating more than 2000 pedophile priests.  

The order, the Servants of the Paraclete, closed the New Mexico facility where many Los Angeles priests were sent amid a flood of lawsuits in the mid-1990s. A lawyer for the order indicated in a 2011 civil court filing that all treatment records were destroyed.

In the recent release of files from the Los Angeles Arch Diocese, letters from the Servants of the Paraclete to then Cardinal Roger Mahony, stating:

"Once more, we ask you to PLEASE DESTROY THESE PAGES AND ANY OTHER MATERIAL YOU HAVE RECEIVED FROM US," the acting director of the order's treatment program wrote to Mahony in 1988 in a letter detailing therapists' reports about a prolific molester. "This is stated for your own and our legal protection."

Cover-up at the Highest Level

Prior to his election to Pope, Cardinal Razinger served as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) from November 1981 through April 2005.

In 2001, Ratzinger put out a teaching approved by then pope John Paull II stating every sex abuse case that involves a minor comes to Ratzinger's desk.

The year before the Globe story, then-German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was designated to oversee complaints against priests from all over the world. In that job, he ordered that every sex abuse case in the church be brought to his attention, which means that the man who is now the head of the Roman Catholic Church was once in a position to know more than any other single individual in the church about the extent of the issue of pedophilic priests.
The CDF has documents from 4th century councils in Spain, that talks about sex abuse and children.    

When will we stop protecting the pedophiles and start protecting the innocent children?

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

Next Showing - Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 8pm (EST) - HBO

This synopsis of the documentary is powerful - in one scene you actually see where the young men confront Father Murphy at his cabin where Fr. Murphy admits to abusing them.  This excerpts shows the young man shouting at Fr. Murphy telling him to go to jail - but Father Murphy quickly goes back in his house.

Thanks to SeaTurtle who pointed out there is another good write up here:  Nostra Maxima Culpa by Andrew Sullivan.

He says this better than I ever could:

The detail I cannot quite recover from is that he picked out for abuse those deaf boys who had parents who could not use sign language – so that even if the boys had the courage to say what had happened to them, their parents would not understand. It’s things like that that simply chill you, haunt you, force you to confront the pre-meditated, profound assault on human souls that the Catholic Church, from the Pope on down, enabled, perpetuated, and lied about for so long – and still hasn’t been held fully accountable for.

Originally posted to TreeClimbers on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:10 AM PST.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 0-)

    "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

    by Roxine on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:10:27 AM PST

  •  I cannot begin to even talk about what I saw (8+ / 0-)

    as I haven't fully processed everything.  Forgive me if this is a bit convoluted.  What I watched last night was troubling to say the least and after a sleepless night I have tried to put together some semblence of what was covered in the documentary - however I do not do it justice.

    I recommend to anyone who can to watch this documentary for it is far too important not to.

    My heart is heavy today - for all of those children who still suffer in silence.

    "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

    by Roxine on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:16:08 AM PST

    •  thanks for witnessing Roxine, and spreading the (9+ / 0-)


      Reminds me of what Eisenhower said when entering one of the death camps that was being liberated.  When he saw the corpses and cadaverous state of the inmates, he said that he would make sure that the world would not forget...

      While liberating concentration camps and witnessing sights that “beggar description,” General Eisenhower ensured the horrific scenes were captured for posterity in graphic photographs and film.

      General Patton forced the Germans to witness the horror as well:

      Patton Compels Civilians to See Prison Horrors

      Paris, April 19—(AP)—Lieut. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., has compelled a large part of the civil population of Weimar, including men, women and children, to visit the Buchenwald prison camp and see for themselves the horrors of the Nazi regime, liberated Frenchmen said today.

      Patton was horrified by the conditions he found, the French said, ordered all prisoners moved out and then had Military Police line up all the civilians they could find in Weimar and march them to the camp.

      The doors of the crematoriums were opened, exposing burned and semi-burned bodies of the victims. On being marched past these ovens some Germans tried not to look at the spectacle, but the repatriates said American officers, on Patton’s orders, compelled the Germans to turn their heads toward the scene.

      The French quoted the officers as saying to the Germans: “You must look at this. You are responsible for it.”

      This copyrighted article was published by the Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) on April 20, 1945:

      Hopefully this movie will also force people to look and see and understand the abuse and the horror of that abuse.

      Thanks for witnessing for us, Roxine.

      I will watch it as well.

      We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

      by SeaTurtle on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:46:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Andrew Sullivan's horrified reactions (10+ / 0-)

    to this movie are also worth reading.  As a catholic, he is doing some heavy soul searching.  I hope that this leads many catholics to do the same heavy soul searching.   You may want to link to it:

    Nostra Maxima Culpa

    For those who were not tortured with Latin in school, "Mea Maxima Culpa" = MY Great Fault, whereas, Sully's title "NOSTRA Maxima Culpa" = OUR Great Fault....

    I like the Nostra part coming from a catholic because at this point, the rcxch has so jumped the shark that I believe that anyone calling themselves a catholic and NOT speaking out about the abuse of the rcxch is an enabler.  Thank you Sully for not being an enabler.

    Thanks for this diary, Roxine.  This is tough stuff, but has to be brought to everyone's attention.

    We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

    by SeaTurtle on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:38:18 AM PST

  •  The Church has a lot to answer for. (5+ / 0-)

    I started to describe how all of this affects those of us who are just ordinary "people of God" but I don't have the words.  

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:31:18 AM PST

  •  Thank you for pulling this together, Roxine. (5+ / 0-)

    I have a story about the Servants of the Paraclete that relates to my personal journey through CSA.

    I hadn't thought of Servants of the Paraclete in years until their role in CSA in the Church was included in the Los Angeles Times.

    I won't be telling that story anytime soon, but I want to thank you for making it easier for me when that time comes.

    Love and light to you and remember to breathe.

  •  Is there any chance "Joe Rat" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, sockpuppet, Avilyn

    Ratzinger could be encouraged to visit the American South ???

    Give him a minute to think of Leo Frank in 1915 ?

    "Joe Rat" is scum of the earth.

    And Joe's system is still working in New Jersey and elsewhere. Pay-offs and no justice.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:45:24 AM PST

  •  I saw this documentary yesterday, and had a (4+ / 0-)

    very similar reaction.

    The mind boggles at this level of evil.  There is no other word for it; what the Church did and allowed to happen over and over and over again, is nothing short of evil.

    One of the things that caught my attention was when those in a position to change things were told of what was going on, too often their reaction was concern for the priests!!  That was telling.  For most of us, our concern would have been for the abused children.

    It is a powerful, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching documentary, and should be required viewing for any human soul.

    The Vatican needs to be stripped of its status as a "country" and those who allowed this obscenity to flourish must be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

    All of those who were abused need to speak up, if possible, so that this monstrousness can be put to an end.  If that means and end to the Roman Catholic Church as be it.

    That said, I must also speak out for all the priests and nuns who made such a positive difference in my own life and in the lives of so many others.

     Not every priest is a pedophile; not every nun is a co-conspirator.  I had wonderful, compassionate, caring teachers and their efforts on behalf of the children in their charge should not be dismissed, nor should they be deemed guilty by association.


    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:11:59 AM PST

    •  Thanks The Marti - The Catholic Church, much (4+ / 0-)

      like the Boy Scouts of America, Penn State, my family, et al., merely serve as the backdrop for the abuse.  And, of course, not everyone associated with the organization are guilty of conspiracy or cover up.  

      The problem is that when the cover-up and conspiracy starts at the very top, those that would do differently are often forced into silence and/or compliance with the church/organization/school's rules.

      In researching further, I came across this documentary from 2005 - called Sex Crimes and the Vatican.  Both Patrick Wall and Father Thomas Doyle are featured in this documentary as well.  Please note, this documentary is potentially triggering to survivors.

      "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley Please donate to TREE Climbers, our 501(c)(3).

      by Roxine on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:18:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My heart breaks for those who were made to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roxine, Avilyn, Cassandra Waites

        suffer through no fault of their own.

        If memory serves, I've seen the second documentary, too.

        And you are correct.  When the systemic abuse is aided and abetted from the top down, it is up to all of us to see that it is stopped.

        All we can do, and what we are required to do, is stand up and speak the truth.

        For the record, had I ever known of the abuse of a child by a priest or anyone else, you'd hear me screaming from the rooftops!

        One of the quotes from scripture is: Suffer the little children to come unto me.  
        Note, it does not say: Make the little children suffer.

        These diaries are difficult to write, and difficult to read.  My heartfelt thanks to all who do both, then choose to act, in spite of their own pain.

        Blessed be.

        We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

        by The Marti on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:28:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps declaring WAR against the Vatican City (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roxine, The Marti, Avilyn, SwedishJewfish

    and sending in US Special Forces to capture records about US pedophile priests would finally get the message across.

    Personally, I would like to know just what Pope John 23rd knew about any of this. I would like to believe he didn't know the extent of this, but how could any Pope not know.

  •  Wow, this sounds amazing (0+ / 0-)

    I'm almost afraid to watch it....I will though.

    The premise of confronting the abuser is similar to that of another really powerful but disturbing CSA documentary-"Just Melvin, Just Evil"

    There was another documentary I found online recently, dealing with CSA in the Catholic church but from a very  personal perspective...let me see if I can find the link.

    You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

    by SwedishJewfish on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:51:05 PM PST

  •  Thanks, everyone, for posting the video links. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't have the time to watch them now; bookmarked.

  •  watched this just now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thank you for introducing this.

    it's a powerful documentary that exposes a notorious worldwide child sexual abuse ring: the roman catholic church.

    survivors have to stop remaining silent and bind together.

    Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

    by aguadito on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:48:49 PM PST

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