Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is Pope Benedict XVI Going to Court in Kentucky?

     Welcome to the (Lay) People's Court, where a Catholic bishop has yet to stand criminal trial for covering up sexual abuse in the scandal that's been rocking the Catholic Church for decades.  That may change.

     William McMurry, a Kentucky lawyer, has filed a court motion seeking sworn testimony from Pope Ben in order to find out what the Vatican knew about the decades old cover-up of priest-pedophiles.

     The AFP reports:
     The motion, a copy of which was sent to AFP, says Benedict was aware of clergy sex abuse in the United States and that he "discouraged prosecution of accused clergy and encouraged secrecy to protect the reputation of the Church" in the 24 years that he led the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.  "That organization was responsible for screening these cases dealing with complaints by US bishops about their various abusive priests in various dioceses," McMurry told AFP.  The motion says documents released last week by the New York Times "unequivocally link Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, to child sexual abuse cases in the United States.
     Since the Times story broke, several other clergy sex abuse victims and their lawyers have come forward and claimed that, when he was head of the CDF, the pope was informed about predator priests who molested them, but did nothing to stop the abuse.
     The motion filed by McMurray follows on from a lawsuit filed in 2004 by three men who allege they were abused by priests in Kentucky starting as far back as 1928.  The Vatican tried to get that case dismissed, but a judge ruled in 2007 that it should go ahead and ordered "discovery" to begin -- when both sides request information and documents from the other side, using tools including questioning of witnesses, to try to "discover" pertinent facts.
     The abuse started as far back at 1928!  It's inexcusable that not a single bishop has been tried in U.S. courts for their collusion with and harboring of pedophiles.  Let's hope that Hypocrite Benedict has his day in court. 
Image Credit: The Age

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