The US Supreme Court may take legal action against the Pope over allegations that he conspired to conceal sex abuse charges brought against a Wisconsin priest.
A case lodged by an alleged sex abuse victim has brought certain documents to prosecutors’ attention that suggest the current Pope, who was then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and two other officials, conspired to keep the case secret because the accused was a major church fundraiser.
The documents emerged when the claimant, identified as “John Doe 16” of Illinois, sued the Pope and the Vatican for taking no action against a priest who faced accusations of molesting 200 deaf boys at a Wisconsin school.
“John Doe 16” claims that on March 5, 1995, he wrote a letter to then-Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano informing him that Rev. Lawrence Murphy molested him for years.
He says, in the letter, he asked for Murphy’s removal, but heard no response from the Vatican.
Till now, it was believed that the Vatican first learned of the allegations against Murphy from Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland in July 1996.
The alleged victim says he and his lawyer will seek to open the Catholic Church’s secret files, which contain internal investigations into clergy sex abuse.
The Murphy case is just one of the many child abuse scandals that have recently surfaced across the globe. Pope Benedict XVI has responded to the scandals by vowing action against pedophile priests.