Our Readers' Opinions
April 16, 2010
A brief response to Robert Rivas


Editor: To paint the problem of sexual abuses of small boys by Catholic priests as a problem of the world is the latest in a series of lame, inaccurate and insensitive attempts of the Catholic Church in damage control.{{more}}

Two hundred deaf boys were sexually abused by one Bishop, Fr Lawrence Murphy in Wisconsin, USA from the 1950s to 1974. Boys they were then, who couldn’t hear and were sent by parents to the St. John’s School of the Deaf, according to BBC News of March 25th 2010 (www.news.bbc.co.uk). It turned out that while they are actually deaf, the Catholic authorities turned a deaf ear to their pleas, since the reports of these abuses did not result in the prosecution or punishment of Mr. Murphy. Murphy sexually assaulted the boys during confessionals, in his car, in his office, in his mother’s house and in their dormitory beds. He lived the last years of his life in the ‘dignity of my priesthood’…his abuses were covered up by the Catholic Church at his own request and the children’s expense. Murphy is only one example of what Priests got away with.

As I read Robert Rivas’ response (In last week’s issue of the SEARCHLIGHT) to the recent wave of sexual abuse accusations against Catholic priests, I was outraged with his attempt to continue the culture of “damage control” with little or no consideration to the victims of this evil. The Catholic Church bred perverts like Murphy for centuries building what one Priest called a “garbage heap of denials and cover-ups”. Rivas must have known that it was the Roman Catholic Church that led in these denials and cover-ups, not the “world”. He must have remembered too, that the current Pope headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith while he was yet Cardinal, and that cases of child molestation came before him and his office on numerous occasion-cases which included that of Lawrence Murphy.

It is so much a Catholic problem being highlighted here, that Catholic Priest James Scahill of the US in a recent interview aired on CNN’s Situation Room on Tuesday April 13, said the Pope’s integrity should lead him to “step down”. Scahill was alarmed that his fellow priests did not speak out and he questioned why. And as if answering Robert Rivas’ claim that the church should not be judged by its past since it is different now, Scahill contented in that interview that the Catholic Church only made progress after, not before, the scandal was exposed by the media. Where is the sincerity in dealing with this scandal? If the media did not expose these abuses, would the Catholic Church have put things in place to prevent these sins from being committed by its priests?

And it raises another question, who or what was being protected all along? The children or the image of the Catholic Church? Rivas said the “victims”. But in the Murphy case, a trial had begun by the Catholic Church, but was stopped after Murphy wrote to then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) asking him to stop the proceedings. He (Murphy) said he wanted to live the remainder of his life in the “dignity of the priesthood”, according to the BBC. Who was being protected here? The 200 deaf sexually abused victims or the beastly perverted Priest who abused them? Did Ratzinger consider the dignity of these boys who were taken advantage of? If he did, the trial would’ve continued. Clearly they were not important.

So, Mr. Rivas, the exposures of your Church’s handling of child abuses accusations against priests has nothing to do with the world…it is your Catholic Church’s problem. Remember Mr. Murphy and the 200 deaf victims. God will deal with him in the judgment. Just “remove the garbage, confess to it” and don’t look for company in the other religions. Your house is inhabited by some demon possessed Priests whose interests have been vile and unclean (Rev. 18: 1-4). What would they have done to Jesus as a child? Read what Christ said in Matthew 18 about little children.

These child abuse allegations are your problem!

Shefflorn Ballantyne