Catholic League president Bill Donohue addresses the lawsuit brought by attorney Jeffrey Anderson against the Vatican:
Jeffrey Anderson has tried several times to sue the Vatican over alleged abuse cases that date back decades. He has never won. Nor will he win this time. That’s because his charges are bogus.
Anderson accuses Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the pope, of knowing about the conduct of a Wisconsin priest, Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who allegedly abused Anderson’s client in 1960. The lawsuit, filed last year, was procedurally defective and therefore went nowhere. Now the proper channels have been pursued, but the end result will be the same.
The fact is that the Vatican was never notified of Murphy’s behavior, which involved many boys extending back to the 1950s, until 1996. The Vatican could have ignored the case, maintaining that the statute of limitations had expired, but instead ordered a trial. The judge in the trial, Father Thomas Brundage, has already testified that Ratzinger’s name never came up during the proceedings. The trial was called off once it became clear that Murphy was near death; he died soon after.
Anderson knows he will lose again, but losing is no deterrent to his ambitions. His goal is to keep this issue alive. Obviously, his dream is to take down the pope.
The man who is being treated as a hero in this case is, in fact, no hero at all. It is being widely reported that the Vatican was notified about Murphy in 1996 by the former Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert Weakland. What is not being reported is that Weakland, who left the archdiocese in a homosexual and financial scandal, knew about Murphy’s behavior long before the mid-1990s. There is evidence, in the form of a letter written by the Coadjutor Bishop of Superior, Wisconsin, Raphael M. Fliss, to the Vicar for Personnel, Rev. Joseph A. Janicki, saying he had discussed Murphy’s record of abuse with Weakland. The letter was dated July 9, 1980. But Anderson will hear none of it—he’s out to get the pope.