Pope Benedict should be held accountable for doing nothing about a Wisconsin priest who was accused of sexually abusing as many as 200 boys at a Milwaukee school for the deaf, one of his victims has said.
Arthur Budzinski, a 61-year-old printer who is deaf, spoke through his daughter, Gigi, about how his "innocence was stolen from him" by the accused abuser, Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who died in 1998 at age 72.
"The pope knew about this. He was the one who handled the sex abuse cases. So, I think he should be accountable, because he did nothing," Gigi Budzinski said at a news conference.
A lawyer bringing a lawsuit on behalf of five alleged victims published internal church documents detailing the church's responses to the case, on his firm's website.
In 1996, Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland wrote a letter citing Murphy's abuses to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then the Vatican's top doctrinal official and now Pope Benedict. The archbishop did not receive a reply.
As the US church took steps to try Murphy in secret in 1998, as directed by the Vatican office, the priest appealed directly to Ratzinger. Murphy asked to be left alone, saying he was in ill health having suffered a stroke, and had repented acts committed years earlier, according to the documents.