Ted Jaracz - the Cardinal Ratzinger of Jehovah's Witnesses

by Dogpatch 81 Replies latest jw friends

  • BurnTheShips


    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    A Response to the New York Times [Fr. Raymond J. de Souza]

    The New York Times on March 25 accused Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, of intervening to prevent a priest, Fr. Lawrence Murphy, from facing penalties for cases of sexual abuse of minors.

    The story is false. It is unsupported by its own documentation. Indeed, it gives every indication of being part of a coordinated campaign against Pope Benedict, rather than responsible journalism.

    Before addressing the false substance of the story, the following circumstances are worthy of note:

    • The New York Times story had two sources. First, lawyers who currently have a civil suit pending against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. One of the lawyers, Jeffrey Anderson, also has cases in the United States Supreme Court pending against the Holy See. He has a direct financial interest in the matter being reported.

    • The second source was Archbishop Rembert Weakland, retired archbishop of Milwaukee. He is the most discredited and disgraced bishop in the United States, widely known for mishandling sexual-abuse cases during his tenure, and guilty of using $450,000 of archdiocesan funds to pay hush money to a former homosexual lover who was blackmailing him. Archbishop Weakland had responsibility for the Father Murphy case between 1977 and 1998, when Father Murphy died. He has long been embittered that his maladministration of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee earned him the disfavor of Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, long before it was revealed that he had used parishioners’ money to pay off his clandestine lover. He is prima facie not a reliable source.

    • Laurie Goodstein, the author of the New York Times story, has a recent history with Archbishop Weakland. Last year, upon the release of the disgraced archbishop’s autobiography, she wrote an unusually sympathetic story that buried all the most serious allegations against him (New York Times, May 14, 2009).

    • A demonstration took place in Rome on Friday, coinciding with the publication of the New York Times story. One might ask how American activists would happen to be in Rome distributing the very documents referred to that day in the New York Times. The appearance here is one of a coordinated campaign, rather than disinterested reporting.

    It’s possible that bad sources could still provide the truth. But compromised sources scream out for greater scrutiny. Instead of greater scrutiny of the original story, however, news editors the world over simply parroted the New York Times piece. Which leads us the more fundamental problem: The story is not true, according to its own documentation.

    The New York Times made available on its own website the supporting documentation for the story. In those documents, Cardinal Ratzinger himself does not take any of the decisions that allegedly frustrated the trial. Letters are addressed to him; responses come from his deputy. Even leaving that aside, though, the gravamen of the charge — that Cardinal Ratzinger’s office impeded some investigation — is proven utterly false.

    The documents show that the canonical trial or penal process against Father Murphy was never stopped by anyone. In fact, it was only abandoned days before Father Murphy died. Cardinal Ratzinger never took a decision in the case, according to the documents. His deputy, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, suggested, given that Father Murphy was in failing health and a canonical trial is a complicated matter, that more expeditious means be used to remove him from all ministry.

    To repeat: The charge that Cardinal Ratzinger did anything wrong is unsupported by the documentation on which the story was based. He does not appear in the record as taking any decision. His office, in the person of his deputy, Archbishop Bertone, agreed that there should be full canonical trial. When it became apparent that Father Murphy was in failing health, Archbishop Bertone suggested more expeditious means of removing him from any ministry.

    Furthermore, under canon law at the time, the principal responsibility for sexual-abuse cases lay with the local bishop. Archbishop Weakland had from 1977 onwards the responsibility of administering penalties to Father Murphy. He did nothing until 1996. It was at that point that Cardinal Ratzinger’s office became involved, and it subsequently did nothing to impede the local process.

    The New York Times flatly got the story wrong, according to its own evidence. Readers may want to speculate on why.

    Here is the relevant timeline, drawn from the documents the New York Times posted on its own website.

    15 May 1974

    Abuse by Fr. Lawrence Murphy is alleged by a former student at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. In fact, accusations against Father Murphy go back more than a decade.

    12 September 1974

    Father Murphy is granted an official “temporary sick leave” from St. John’s School for the Deaf. He leaves Milwaukee and moves to northern Wisconsin, in the Diocese of Superior, where he lives in a family home with his mother. He has no official assignment from this point until his death in 1998. He does not return to live in Milwaukee. No canonical penalties are pursued against him.

    9 July 1980

    Officials in the Diocese of Superior write to officials in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee about what ministry Father Murphy might undertake in Superior. Archbishop Rembert Weakland, archbishop of Milwaukee since 1977, has been consulted and says it would be unwise to have Father Murphy return to ministry with the deaf community. There is no indication that Archbishop Weakland foresees any other measures to be taken in the case.

    17 July 1996

    More than 20 years after the original abuse allegations, Archbishop Weakland writes to Cardinal Ratzinger, claiming that he has only just discovered that Father Murphy’s sexualabuse involved the sacrament of confession — a still more serious canonical crime. The allegations about the abuse of the sacrament of confession were in the original 1974 allegations. Weakland has been archbishop of Milwaukee by this point for 19 years.

    It should be noted that for sexual-abuse charges, Archbishop Weakland could have proceeded against Father Murphy at any time. The matter of solicitation in the sacrament of confession required notifying Rome, but that too could have been done as early as the 1970s.

    10 September 1996

    Father Murphy is notified that a canonical trial will proceed against him. Until 2001, the local bishop had authority to proceed in such trials. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is now beginning the trial. It is noteworthy that at this point, no reply has been received from Rome indicating that Archbishop Weakland knew he had that authority to proceed.

    24 March 1997

    Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Ratzinger’s deputy at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, advises a canonical trial against Father Murphy.

    14 May 1997

    Archbishop Weakland writes to Archbishop Bertone to say that the penal process against Father Murphy has been launched, and notes that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has advised him to proceed even though the statute of limitations has expired. In fact, there is no statute of limitations for solicitation in the sacrament of confession.

    Throughout the rest of 1997 the preparatory phases of penal process or canonical trial is underway. On 5 January 1998 the Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee says that an expedited trial should be concluded within a few months.

    12 January 1998

    Father Murphy, now less than eight months away from his death, appeals to Cardinal Ratzinger that, given his frail health, he be allowed to live out his days in peace.

    6 April 1998

    Archbishop Bertone, noting the frail health of Father Murphy and that there have been no new charges in almost 25 years, recommends using pastoral measures to ensure Father Murphy has no ministry, but without the full burden of a penal process. It is only a suggestion, as the local bishop retains control.

    13 May 1998

    The Bishop of Superior, where the process has been transferred to and where Father Murphy has lived since 1974, rejects the suggestion for pastoral measures. Formal pre-trial proceedings begin on 15 May 1998, continuing the process already begun with the notification that had been issued in September 1996.

    30 May 1998

    Archbishop Weakland, who is in Rome, meets with officials at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, including Archbishop Bertone but not including Cardinal Ratzinger, to discuss the case. The penal process is ongoing. No decision taken to stop it, but given the difficulties of a trial after 25 years, other options are explored that would more quickly remove Father Murphy from ministry.

    19 August 1998

    Archbishop Weakland writes that he has halted the canonical trial and penal process against Father Murphy and has immediately begun the process to remove him from ministry — a quicker option.

    21 August 1998

    Father Murphy dies. His family defies the orders of Archbishop Weakland for a discreet funeral.



  • alice.in.wonderland

    "Alice, you've been shown plenty of evidence. Avashai gave you his first hand account and even named names, yet as per usual you just ignored it. Even the WTS's official site admitted in November of 2007 that they had settled a lawsuit with "the victims" because they knew the evidence was such, that it would not go well for them at all if they tried fighting it anymore. Yet you still continue to spew your mindless drivel on here, ignoring anything that goes against your preconceived ideas that they never really covered anything up.

    Keep going Alice. You're an excellent example for any lurkers on here as to what the mindset of JW is. Even though you're hypocritically 'inactive'"

    Mary, Jehovah's Witnesses obviously take first place on your list of enemies. If I wasn't “hypocritically 'inactive" the situation would be worse. I don't have enemies (especially an organization I'm at enmity with). The one thing that is certain after crossing your vile path is I don't care to be in your shoes.

  • DaCheech

    alice, mary is right.

    I would rather be in mary's shoes than in the shoes of a hypocrite

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Select the correct answer:

    Who has consistently shown heartless disregard for fellow JWN posters since arriving at JWN?

    A. Mary

    B. Alice

    ps. By the way, this is a rhetorical question. I don't expect anyone to single out one or the other. We all know the answer for ourselves.

  • besty

    AIW - you made a few points which I will go over here:

    I made several comments in reference to media expositions and documentation acquired by the NY Times. Just because documents have been entered into court record (5000 pages about 16 cases) isn't indicative of an organization that covers-up abuse. What was the outcome and what do the documents contain?

    You claim to have the 5000 pages - have you read them?

    Just to be clear the abusing perpetrators were already in jail. Guilty. These 16 cases had the WTS as the Defendant, not the abusers - they were in jail already remember. After battling for 5 years to delay and circumvent their responsibility the WTS dramatically settled out of court 2 weeks before the trial date. Why did they not go to trial if they had nothing to hide? After fighting the case for 5 years why didn't they want their day in court? As part of their defence why did they attempt to claim they were not even active as a religion in California? Motion DENIED of course - the Judge saw that for the BS it was. The WTS was defending itself against allegations of maintaining practices and procedures that allowed abusers to go unreported, even when known to Brooklyn and in some cases be repeatedly reappointed to positions of oversight. The outcome was that the WTS fought this for 5 years - yes - they fought the victims of child abuse who were seeking justice for 5 years - and then settled with them out of the blue, 2 weeks before trial was set. Read the 5000 pages and you decide.

    Anyone with any experience in Jehovah's Organization and knows what goes on there can see through the allegations made.

    Do you know what an appeal to authority fallacy is?

    Those with an appetite for bringing reproach and scorn on the organization see whatever suits them.

    Do you know what an ad hominem fallacy is?

    If there was any problem that needed correcting, it would be resolved quickly.

    Do you know what an appeal to the consequences of belief fallacy is? Clue - wishful thinking.

    I for example would be a voice for descent <sic> in midst of any inappropriate behavior by an overseer.

    Do you know what a relativist fallacy is?

    Jehovah's Witnesses examined these disparaging accusations thoroughly when they were made by Mr. Bowen.

    Do you know what a poisoning the well fallacy is? Or perhaps a red herring/strawman combination?

    Sorry AIW - you are not credible thus far. We don't rely on reams of cut and paste here - nor do we fail to identify the fruity odor of fresh BS.

    Once again - rely less on cut and paste and try to avoid fallacious reasoning.

  • Hoping4Change

    I wish I had my copy of the court documents on hand, but perhaps it is time to start posting the relevant portions of those documents here (posting images of the documents, not transcribing them). Perhaps it is around those that a discussion could be had and AIW could chime in why or why not such documents indicate foul play on the part of the WTBTS.

  • besty

    for the princely sum of $3 you can get them electronic format:

    $3 for the download $15 for the CD


  • Mary
    AIW moaned: Mary, Jehovah's Witnesses obviously take first place on your list of enemies. If I wasn't “hypocritically 'inactive" the situation would be worse. I don't have enemies (especially an organization I'm at enmity with). The one thing that is certain after crossing your vile path is I don't care to be in your shoes.

    And once again, Alice in La-la-land, does not acknowledge any of the points I made. She knows full well that Avashai offered her first hand evidence of what happened to him. Even though it's been brought to her attention numerous times, she simply ignores it and just changes topics. Alice comes across as a very disturbed person. I will venture a guess that "Alice" has few (if any friends), is obviously shunned by her congregation and gets a warped thrill of self-importance along with the 'persecution factor' whenever her hypocritical comments are examined on here. I guess she must think that 'any attention is better than no attention at all'---sort of like a 5 year old.

  • sir82

    If anyone thinks this is "Alice's" first time on this board, or - shoot - has been on this board less than a dozen other times under different aliases, I've got some solid gold dental floss I'd like to sell you....

  • shamus100


    You're so hurtful.... perhaps its when you post in bold letters.... here. I'll try it and see what happens, love.

    Nope. I don't feel any more hurtful. Okay, perhaps Alice is a twit. At least you weren't foolish enough to give her your email addy, LOLOL!!!

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