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Sex Abuse Victims Continue to Build Case Against Vatican

Despite the dismissal of another civil lawsuit brought against the Vatican, another case is still proceeding. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of dozens of boys who say they were sexually assaulted for years by Father Lawrence C. Murphy. The boys were deaf and all students living at the St. Johns School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Father Murphy was their headmaster. Murphy is accused of molesting at least 200 boys at the school from 1950 to 1974.

One of the victims, Terry Kohut, recently spoke out about his abuse to CNN. The news organization interviewed Kohut as part of an in-depth look at the notorious case of abuse by a Catholic priest and the subsequent cover-up of the sex crimes by church officials.

Father Murphy died in 1998 without ever having to go on trial or be defrocked as a priest, despite church officials having knowledge of his crimes against children. In this article and an accompanying special on TV, CNN looked into what kind of case the grown boys could have against the Vatican. 

The question at the heart of the case is how much Pope Benedict XVI knew about the abuse and when. The boys allege that the Pope, first as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and later as the Pope, was in a position to prevent further abuse by Father Murphy, but did nothing or acted insufficiently to end it. In this way, the boys allege that Pope Benedict is liable for the damage caused by Father Murphy. 

It will be interesting to continue to keep up with this case to see whether U.S. courts will rule that a lawsuit can be brought against Pope Benedict.  


Deaf victim of sex abuse is suing pope, and going public with his story for first time (CNN)

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