Of course everyone is running to discuss this painful scarring of an injured church.
Most importantly, however, even a cursory look at available documents shows that Goodstein’s claim is false. The most extensive document from the Vatican concerning the Murphy case is a summary memo of a May 1998 meeting at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) between Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, the secretary of the CDF, and two Milwaukee Church officials, including Archbishop Rembert Weakland.
The memo about the Vatican meeting plainly acknowledges the Church’s concerns for the victims of Murphy’s crimes:
- “there have turned out to be many victims of the abuses by Fr. Murphy, all of them deaf”;
- “the deaf community is now experiencing great indignation because of this case”;
- “Fr. Murphy has no sense of remorse and does not seem to realize the gravity of what he has done” (bold type in original);
- “penal remedies” should be implemented, and they may include penalties “not excluding dismissal from the clerical state” (italics in original).
Make sure to read:Pope’s Final Words: I Am Not Abandoning The Church