Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (2012) Movie Script

This program contains scenes which
some viewers may find disturbing.
When I first entered St John's,
I loved it.
The campus of that school
was beautiful.
Such magnificent stonework.
It was like a castle.
I loved that school.
Our school had a magnificent statue
of Jesus Christ
with his hands lovingly placed
on the heads of two children.
I could see that Jesus
loved children.
And the children
loved Jesus too.
My name is Gary Smith.
I was four in 1954 and I really
liked being at school.
I liked being in the dorm.
The dorm was cooler than being
at home with my parents,
because I didn't have
any siblings.
When I first got to
the school, I loved it,
because there were
so many children
around the same age as me
who I could play with
and they were good people,
it was a good group of friends.
In 1953, I was four years old.
I remember when I got there,
I couldn't stop crying.
Then, I was looking up at a nun,
she was wearing
her black-and-white robes.
I was looking at the nun
and my parents left.
Every morning, we'd have mass.
The priest would use incense
and the smell
would fill the room.
I felt like we were in heaven.
I wanted to be a Catholic,
like everyone else.
And so, when I was ten,
Father Murphy baptized me.
Murphy would hug children.
All the kids just loved him,
they always flocked to him.
He would play with the kids
and the nuns would stand around
and just watching and smiling.
I wanted Murphy's attention,
like all the other kids, I needed him.
He was like
a second father to me.
He had this ability
like the Pied Piper -
to just get all rats to follow him
and do whatever he wanted.
Father Murphy knew how to sign
and he could communicate
with all the kids.
He was a hearing man who could sign
and sign very well.
I remember looking at him
and thinking,
"Wow, that's
really impressive."
Lawrence Murphy was raised
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
and entered the St Francis Seminary
in 1943.
After he was ordained
as a priest in 1950,
he moved next door on assignment
to St John's School For The Deaf.
He had a knack for public
speaking and fundraising
and, by 1963, he was promoted
to director of St John's.
After Father Murphy baptized me,
I felt proud,
I felt better.
I was excited and couldn't wait to have
my first communion when I was 12.
Later on, I got
into trouble at school.
I was mischievous and
the nuns would come and say,
"Go to Father's room."
And so, I did.
In the confessional booth,
there was a dividing wall.
But there was a little space
that you could see his face through.
So you could sign back and forth.
And he would bless you.
I filled out
the confession form.
The form listed stealing, lying,
sex and things like that.
I would mark things off
and turn it in.
Father Murphy looked at it and then
asked me really weird questions like,
"Have you been with other boys?"
I would say:
"I played with myself."
And he would ask
detailed questions,
like "How?" or
"What did you do?"
And then he said,
"OK. I want to see you
in my office this afternoon!"
So I said, "OK",
and left the booth,
and kneel to pray.
He asked me, "Have you been
playing with your penis?"
And I told him,
But he gave me one of his looks.
And it scared me. So I admitted
that, yeah, I play with myself.
He told me to pull down my pants
and to do it right there.
So I played with myself
for a little bit.
He watched me intently
until I was done.
Then, he told me
that God forgave me
and I felt like my sins
had been wiped away.
He could have been playing
with himself for all I know,
but I couldn't see.
I remember one afternoon
I went to Murphy's office
and he closed the door
and he told me to take off my pants.
And I said,
"Take off my pants?"
I was shocked. And I thought,
"Why would I have to do that?"
And I was looking at this man
in a black suit, the white-collar,
and I thought to myself, "He's a
priest and I'm supposed to obey him."
So I took my pants down
and he molested me.
I felt sick and confused.
"Why would a priest
do that to me?
"Is this supposed to be OK? Did I do
something wrong?" I didn't know.
After it happened,
I just left.
And I just kept it to myself.
Later on,
Father Murphy decided
that confessional would be
on the second floor, in the closet.
I confessed my sins.
I was forgiven and blessed,
and then I was touched.
I started sweating like crazy.. nervous.
I just feel myself shaking
Just kept thinking:
Enough! Enough!
When father murphy stopped,
I went to bed right away.
And I was just sick,
I was just sick.
And I lied in bed,
under the covers
and I felt absolutely disgusted.
I was a monk,
I was a very pious monk.
I folded my hands, kept my eyes
down, did my studies.
I lived in the system.
Richard Sipe spent 18 years
as a Benedictine monk.
He was also a therapist
counselling his fellow priests.
Sex in celibacy became central
to my research and understanding.
Sipe began what became
a 25-year study
examining celibacy
in the priesthood.
My intent was that this would help
in the training of priests.
I felt that I could
make a contribution
by being honest
about it.
The data showed
that at any one time,
no more than 50% of American Roman
Catholic priests were practicing celibacy.
There were certain levels
of experimentation,
relationships, involvement
and even criminal involvement
with children.
And the more I got into it,
the more and more discouraged I got.
They know that celibacy
is not practiced.
By "they", I mean
Vatican authorities,
I mean bishops,
I mean religious superiors.
And the higher you go,
the more they know.
You may not be keeping
your celibacy,
but as long as it's secret, it's OK.
Sipe found that clericalism,
setting a priest on a pedestal
above ordinary lay people,
helped to prop up the secret system.
Kids would come forward
to their parents and say,
"Well, Father did this to me."
"Oh, don't you say that!
You can't say that about a priest!"
Which then allowed priests
to express themselves sexually,
some from time to time
and some in horrendous ways.
Sipe recognised the syndrome that
police call Noble Cause Corruption -
a belief that good intentions
purify bad behaviour.
For a priest, belief in his own
goodness can transform,
like turning bread
into the body of Christ,
a perversion into a holy act.
A priest who had an affair
with this 12, 13-year-old girl
brought to one of their encounters
what he said was a consecrated host
and he touched it to
her vagina and he said,
"This is how God loves you."
And then,
he raped her.
It goes from just
this broad social acceptance
that the priest is perfect,
the Pope is perfect,
to this kind of perversion of power
that can be twisted in this way.
The system
of the Catholic clergy,
for which I have great respect
and to which I have given
many years of my life,
selects, cultivates, protects,
defends and produces
sexual abusers.
I went to bed one night
and, before I fell asleep,
I could see Murphy
creeping into our room,
like a ravenous wolf.
I could see him sit on a bed
in the dim light
of the illuminated exit sign.
And I saw that he was
molesting a boy.
I imagined Jesus crying
on the cross with a broken heart
wondering why Murphy
was doing this.
Why was Jesus just watching?
He would walk in like a cat.
Of course we couldn't hear him,
but someone would open their eyes
and see a dark shadow passing by
and they knew it was him.
I would see how he would go
and pick out certain boys.
He knew which boys wouldn't object
if he went to them.
The boys noticed that Father Murphy
would single out students
with hearing parents
who couldn't sign
so that the children
couldn't tell their parents
what was happening to them.
He favoured me. He wanted me.
He wanted me.
He liked seeing me ejaculate.
He got what he wanted and he would
leave, that was his thing.
He was..
I was afraid to tell my mother
because I didn't think
she would believe me.
She'd say, "A priest would never do
something like that to children."
I kept it a secret.
My mother had already been
through so much pain.
My brother
had been electrocuted,
my father
had hung himself.
My mother had been through so much
pain and I didn't want to hurt her.
It was hard for me
to communicate with my father
and so, my dad would speak and
Father Murphy would interpret.
My father never wrote back and forth
because I didn't know
how to write well,
so I depended on Father Murphy
and the nuns
to communicate with my father.
My parents were hearing,
so we used home signs,
not true American Sign Language.
We had some gestures for things like
eating and for how the scolded me,
but they wouldn't actually sign
they would wag their finger at me.
And there was no TTY,
and my parents were far away,
so how could we possibly
have communicated?
Murphy took advantage
of children in that situation.
My question is,
what about the sisters?
Where were the nuns who were supposed
to be watching the children?
The nuns should have been
able to hear,
but they turned their heads
and looked the other way.
Murphy wasn't the only one
that nuns should have heard
creeping through the dorms at night.
Murphy enlisted older boys
in an organized system of abuse.
One of these was Tom Tannehill,
a high-school student who
had been molested by Murphy.
As a dorm supervisor,
Tom had used threats of discipline
to force victim
to perform oral sex on him.
Pat Kuehn was only seven
when Tom first molested him.
He now believes that Tom
was breaking him in for Murphy.
I was very innocent, naive.
After the first time Tom played
with me, I got used to it.
I felt so excited that he chose me
out of all the others.
It made me
feel special.
Bambi was the first movie
that I watched with captioning.
Which was really exciting.
I was sitting towards the back
of the audience, on the boys' side,
Father Murphy walked up behind me and
pushed me in the back of the head.
So I looked up and I waived because
I thought he was just saying hi.
And then,
I went back to watching.
And he nudged me again,
so I acknowledged him.
I think about it now
and it was probably his penis
bumping up against me.
He was playing with me.
In 1963, Father Murphy
went away for a few weeks.
During his absence,
there was a visiting priest
from Chicago named Father Walsh.
I could see Father Walsh signing
and I was watching him
and I thought, "You know what? I'm
going to try my best to tell him."
I think it was in confession.
And so, I told Father Walsh
about Father Murphy molesting me.
He didn't say anything, but I could
see his facial expression change.
A week went by and I knew his last
day was going to be Friday
and Father Murphy
had come back.
Father Murphy comes walking
into my classroom
and called Father Walsh.
When I saw that, I knew this was it.
I got up from my chair
and I went and peeked around
the coroner from my classroom.
I could see Father Walsh and Father
Murphy getting into a huge fight
down the hallway.
I went back and sat at my desk
and I didn't say a word about it.
Murphy came back
and nothing was ever said.
The following year, I was hoping
Father Walsh would return,
but he didn't come back.
He didn't come back the second year,
he didn't come back the third year,
he just never came back.
During the summer months,
Murphy would take some of the boys
up to his cabin,
in northern Wisconsin.
Murphy would ask the boys
to choose
which one of them would sleep
in the bed with him.
They all pointed at me to have to
sleep in the same bed as Father Murphy
And Father Murphy
molested me again
But I never touched him,
I refused,
but he would touch me.
And everybody knew that,
and they just left me alone,
and didn't say anything.
Father Murphy asked who was
going to sleep with him.
And all of us pointed at this kid,
Joe, and said, "He is."
I didn't want to be picked.
Poor Joe, I feel bad
that we picked him.
Murphy encouraged many of the children
he abused to raise money for St John's.
As deft students they
were told to target bars
with sympathetic drinkers
who were more free with their money.
Terry raised so much money
he won a motorbyke.
When Murphy took Gary and
the other seniors on a road trip
to look at colleges
in Washington and New York,
he molested Gary
almost every night.
I was afraid if I said "No",
he would be mad.
I just didn't know what to do.
I got used to it and didn't care.
I just wanted to graduate
and get out of there and feel better.
You know, between the ages
of 26 and 31, I was baptized
in a very radical way
to know that this
wasn't an anomaly,
that this
was a pattern,
that there are treatment centers.
Before ordination,
I had no idea that we had treatment
centers around the world
for priests to go to
when they sexually molested,
raped and sodomized kids.
I didn't know that.
My parents didn't know that.
I didn't know that we had
55 molesters in my monastery.
I didn't know there were
more than 70 molesters
operating in the US dioceses.
That wasn't public knowledge.
Shortly after his ordination,
at St John's Abbey,
in Collegeville, Minnesota,
Patrick Wall was given
a special assignment -
traveling the country putting out
fires for the Church.
The sexually abusive priest
has to be completely removed,
his stuff was removed,
and then, there's another guy,
basically, another black-and-white
who's placed in there,
to make sure that
the normal things happen -
that people are baptized, people
are married, people are buried
and the normal life
of the parish can continue.
I thought I was going there
to uncover the crime,
to heal the wounds,
I thought it was pastoral care,
you know, comfort the afflicted,
what we're ordained for.
But the people sending me in
obviously had ulterior motives.
You know, they would give you
up to $250,000 to settle a case
if you could get
a confidentiality order.
And, in 1995, we had a budget
of $7 million
to handle the various problems
of childhood sexual abuse.
And most people don't want
to have anything go public.
I mean, in the Catholic mindset,
you don't sue the Church.
They want to know
that it's going to stop.
When Wall found out
that it didn't stop,
that offending priests were allowed
to stay in ministry,
he left the priesthood.
That was part of your brief,
to report these things
to the local authorities?
That's the worldwide policy -
to snuff out scandal.
Bob Bolger was another student
who was abused at St John's
by Father Murphy.
After graduating from college,
he began hanging out
with Arthur and Gary
and found an unexpected way back
to memories of St John's.
I started getting these
revelations, these memories.
Finally, I woke up
and I was furious
and the more we worked on it,
the angrier I got.
I had kept this
quiet for so long
and not said
anything to anyone.
It suddenly hit me
just how wrong this was.
And Bob was like,
"Go to the police station, now, go!"
And Gary was thrown off guard.
And Bob said,
"If you're angry, Gary, then go."
"Go to the police station. Now, go!"
I've got to tell you-
I'm shaking
We went out to the police
station and went in.
Bob was writing back and forth
with the officer
because he had
good English skills.
And then, two police officers
told us to stay in a room.
And we waited and waited and waited.
And I went to open the door
and the door was locked.
And then, two detectives came into
the room and said, "You can go."
And we were all excited
about being able to leave.
And guessing that the detectives
had already talked to Murphy.
We waited for a week to go by,
then another week went by
and then another.
We didn't hear a thing.
It was just sickening.
Murphy had told them that it wasn't
true and the kids were making it up.
That we were just
little troublemakers.
It started to bother
me more and more
because I was hearing
that he was molesting other kids.
I was mad and I wanted
to protect these deaf kids.
And it was time to do something
about it. And we did.
It was Bob's idea.
We didn't put the reason why
on the flyer,
we just wanted it to be
a warning to people.
When the school would hold
a fundraiser,
they'd go to the cars
that were parked at the school
and they would put this flyer,
you know, don't give money to this
man because he abuses these kids.
I was shocked
and I tried to advise Bob
that, you know, this was not really
the way to fix this.
He was caught up in the era
of activism
and he was really trying
to get deaf people
to kind of stand up for themselves.
At John Conway's suggestion,
they hired a lawyer
and began collecting sworn
affidavits from Murphy's victims.
The idea was to submit
these affidavits,
which were very graphic
and very clear,
to Archbishop Cousins and then, we
thought the matter would be finished,
we thought that the priest would be
removed from the school.
The Church's response was silence.
Determined to make
their voices heard,
Bob, Arthur and Gary
went to the Milwaukee Cathedral
and handed out their flyers
to passers-by.
Suddenly, they were granted
a meeting with Archbishop Cousins.
The Archbishop was there,
Father Murphy was there.
In fact, Father Murphy
sat right next to me.
He would look down, look around,
he was not going to make
eye contact with us.
There were some
teachers from the school,
several leaders that I knew in the deaf
community that were there
to speak in support of
Father Murphy
In the group were two priests.
They were described by the Archbishop
as members of the Vatican.
And the Archbishop thanked us
for bringing this matter
to the attention
of the Archdiocese.
He allowed that this problem
had existed before,
and he mentioned that
back as far as 1960,
this matter had been addressed.
Cousins would deny having said this,
but an investigation revealed
that, even before 1960,
Father Walsh had tried to do
something about Murphy.
Having heard complaints from Arthur
and from other students,
Walsh reported the accusations
to Cousins' predecessor,
Archbishop Meyer.
Meyer went to Murphy
and he confessed to the abuse,
but Murphy was not dismissed.
He went away in a short retreat
before being invited back
to supervise children at St John's.
Other deaf people had told
Father Walsh
and then, Father Walsh
told Meyer in 1957.
And then, I said something in 1963.
It turned out that Walsh
had made the same report
to the office of the Papal Nuncio,
the Vatican Ambassador
in Washington DC.
So by this meeting, in 1974,
the Vatican had known about Murphy
for almost 20 years.
This was known and it had been
dealt with in the past.
So there was just no question
about the validity of the complaints
We immediately said Father Murphy
has to be removed from the school.
Murphy said, "No, I take care of the
budget and the money and everything."
And Archbishop Cousins
got very angry.
He started scolding
and arguing with us.
I'm thinking, "Wow, I can't believe
this. Where was his compassion?"
"Where was his wanting
to listen to this?"
So we eventually kind of walked out,
the Archbishop's saying to me
that he was very upset because
he thought he was dealing
with a person of good faith.
I told him I thought I was dealing
with a person of good faith as well.
When deposed years later Archbishop
Cousins recalled the meeting,
he said that, at the time, he did
not find the allegations credible.
He had conducted an investigation
and found no proof.
When asked what steps he had taken
to determine the veracity
of the allegations,
Cousins said that he had interviewed
Murphy and the school staff.
When the lawyer asked
if he had interviewed students,
Cousins admitted that he hadn't
bothered to talk to them.
"After all," he said,
"The students are deaf."
After getting nowhere with Archdiocese
and being told by the Police
that the Statute of
Limitations had past
the men approached the Milwaukee
DA's office with their concerns
about ongoing abuse.
Bob Bolger, Gary and I went to the
Milwaukee Courthouse downtown.
And we started handing out
these flyers.
And all the hearing people
were shocked.
And Bob put the flyer
on DA Michael McCann's desk.
Nobody talked to us,
we said nothing,
we just kept handing them out.
The DA's office took notice
of the flyers
and granted the men a meeting
with then Assistant DA Bill Gardner.
Gardner went out to St John's
to question students in the senior
boys' dormitory.
They met in our dorm,
about six of the boys.
The meeting only lasted
about 15, 20 minutes,
cos they all said,
"No, no, nothing is going on."
And it didn't take long, it was over.
I was kind of surprised,
cos two of the gentlemen in the dorm
loved to argue
and debate anything
and they were quiet
as a church mouse.
With no active students
willing to come forward
the brief investigation ended.
McCann's office said it did not
investigate past claims,
because of the Statute
of Limitations
But Gary, Bob
and Arthur believed
that their charges
were not taken seriously
because McCann and Gardner
were devout Catholics.
Gardner in his commentary
of St John's
We are talking about
the oath of a priest here.
We're not gonna just go
head on to ruining
this man's life.
The DA's office never brought
charges against Murphy,
but at the school,
the matter was not forgotten.
One of the gentlemen in the dorm
had come by the door to my room,
it was about 10.30, 11 at night.
And he said, "We want to
talk to you about Murphy."
You know, that's when they opened up
about some of the stuff.
So I was thinking
I need to try to,
you know, help them
get to the bottom of this.
So I did call the
Archbishop's office
and I just said, "I have some stuff
on the Father Murphy case"
"that I think the Archbishop
needs to hear."
He and I just met alone
and I told him,
"Father Murphy admitted to me
that he is molesting boys,"
I said, "I have dates and times"
and I said, "I'm going to go
to the parents."
Almost immediately,
it was announced
that Father Murphy would leave
St John's for health reasons.
The writer for the Milwaukee
Sentinel who covered the story
included the allegations
against Murphy in her draft.
But the newspaper's editor removed
any mention of sexual abuse.
Terry had just returned
to St John's to teach history
after graduating
from Gallaudet University.
With his new Super 8 camera,
he filmed Murphy's departure.
I remember filming Murphy leaving
and knowing that Murphy
was a paedophile.
The children thought that Murphy was
leaving because of health reasons,
but I knew he was leaving
because he had molested children.
The children lined up
to shake his hand.
And through tears,
Murphy said goodbye to each of them.
Father Fitzgerald started out
as a priest in Boston
and priests come to him
who have sexually offended,
so he knows he needs
to do something.
He formed an order,
the Order of the Paracletes
in order to treat
paedophile priests.
The first Servants of
the Paraclete treatment center
was opened in Jemez Springs,
New Mexico, in 1947.
Father Fitzgerald did not believe
in psychology or counselling.
He favoured spiritual treatment,
hoping that sex offenders
and alcoholics
would find salvation on their knees,
praying for mercy.
But on one point Father Fitzgerald
was absolutely clear -
sexual predators should be defrocked
or hidden from the faithful
behind monastery walls.
He came to the conclusion that
priests who sexually abuse children
are like vipers -
you can never stop them.
The only thing you can do is remove
them from their target population
and make them live a life
of prayer and penance.
He wrote to the Pope,
he constantly wrote to bishops
and he said,
"Look, this is a terrible problem."
"Paedophilia is infesting
lots of seminaries,"
"you've got to do
something about it."
So, he thought,
"Let's get an island!"
"You can't stop them,
but you can contain them."
"Let's get an island
in the Caribbean."
He sent a priest out,
he was looking in Barbados,
he was looking in various islands
and they went ahead and they actually
did begin the process to buy an island.
It was the island of Carriacou,
off the coast of Grenada,
famous for its nutmeg
and beautiful beaches.
The Church put a $5,000
down payment on Carriacou,
but Church superiors overruled the idea
of an island for paedophile priests.
Then, the Church hierarchy
decided to change the policy
of the Paracletes.
Instead of removing priests
from victims,
the centers attempted to
rehabilitate and recirculate them.
From the 50s to the 90s,
the Servants of the Paraclete
spent $80 million
treating more than 2,000 priests
in special centers in Italy, France,
Great Britain, Africa,
South America and the Philippines.
Lawrence Murphy retreated
to his cabin in Boulder Junction,
a small town in northern Wisconsin.
He was assigned to a local church,
St Anne's.
But the parish was not told
anything about Murphy's past.
Murphy continued to abuse
local children.
Back in Milwaukee, Gary Smith
decided to tell his father
about the abuse he suffered
as a teenager.
John Conway did the interpreting
and explained it to my father
and he was very upset.
And that's when my dad
lost his temper
and decided to contact a lawyer.
They decided to file a lawsuit
against the Archdiocese,
the school and Father Murphy.
Nuns from the school
and other supporters of Father
Murphy within the deaf community
began showing up
at Gary's apartment,
pressuring him to drop the lawsuit.
Then, mysteriously,
the matter was settled.
Father Murphy agreed to pay $500
for Gary's legal fees
and St John's offered Gary the sum of
a few thousand dollars for counselling.
The deal was struck after a nun
called Sister Martha Ann visited Gary,
who had no-one to translate for him,
and persuaded Gary to sign
an unusual document
in which he dropped the case
and apologized to the Church.
He, of course, is deaf
and marginality literate.
Not all deaf people are illiterate,
but English is not their language.
They coerced and tricked him
into a settlement.
Despite Gary's apology,
the Church failed to pay
the $5,000 for his therapy
for 20 years.
Father Doyle is an early
whistleblower in the scandal.
He's working for the Papal Nuncio
in Washington,
he's beginning to see some of the
communication about these cases
and is realizing that
it could be a bigger
problem than just..
a couple bad apples,
a bad priest here or there.
He initially tries to work
within Church channels
and he thinks that there's going
to be a response.
When there isn't, he eventually
becomes a public whistleblower.
The attitude from the Vatican was,
"We don't turn our priests in."
"This is our problem,
we take care of it,"
"you don't refer to the civil
"when they're committing
felony crimes."
Now, I don't know what
they would have done
if it would have been
a slew of murders.
He has remained in the Church while
being both a critic of the Church
and an expert witness
in lawsuits against the Church.
I first became aware
of the Murphy case
when it became publicly known
and I was asked to evaluate
some of the information.
The Vatican knew that there'd been
prior reports about Murphy,
there was no conspiracy,
but there was something
far worse than a conspiracy.
The very policy of keeping this
absolutely secret,
that was the policy.
And the first regulations to keep
these issues absolutely secret
were issued in 1866 by the Vatican.
Back in the 1980s,
Father Doyle wrote that these cases
were going to cost the Church
eventually $1 billion.
The last estimate is
it's over $2 billion.
So he was right.
'Facing the crisis,
'Catholics confront the sex abuse
scandal on the very first day of holy ..'
'NBC News In Depth tonight.
Crisis in the Church..'
'New details tonight about how the
Boston Archdiocese handled the case
'of a priest charged now with
repeatedly raping a young boy.'
'Tonight, another priest..'
'John Geoghan, accused by
more than 130 of abuse..'
'Newly released documents show
Boston Church officials knew..'
'Cardinal Law knew of Shanley's
alleged abusive behaviour,
'but never informed legal
'Last month's life sentence
given to Father John Hanlon
'for raping a young boy
'is the latest chapter
in a scandal that is..'
'Now, after the Church sex scandal
first came to light in Boston,
'thousands of victims across
the country have gone public..'
'This morning, the Pope
has broken his silence
'about the growing sexual abuse rocking
the Catholic Church in the United States.'
'Even President Bush
weighed in yesterday
saying he's confident
'the Church will clean
up its business and
do the right thing.'
'Law must go!
Law must go!'
Identified as a key figure who
covered up sex abuse in Boston,
Cardinal Law cost the Church tens of
millions of dollars in settlements.
But instead of being punished
by the Vatican,
Law was rewarded
with a seven-year term
at this magnificent basilica
in Rome.
He had the second most
prominent church in catholicism
and a palace to live in.
And he's got a stake a in luxurious state
of affairs for the rest of his life.
It sends a pretty blatant message
that victims aren't that important,
but you've persecuted
this poor cardinal.
You know, he's suffered enough,
now we've got to give him
a nice cushy job to protect him.
One of the things that Vatican
officials had tried to do
is portray this
as an American thing
or, at best,
an Anglo-Saxon thing.
Oh, the sex abuse scandals,
they happen only in the United
States, in Canada..
And, suddenly, in the year 2010,
this great scandal
explodes in Europe.
It explodes in Ireland,
in Germany,
in Austria, in Switzerland,
in France, in Belgium.
Everybody points to this to be
from the date 2002,
when the Boston Globe said,
"Hey, we have a problem here."
And they subsequently
published 1,200 articles.
This is an old, old problem
and if you follow this problem
to its foundation,
it will lead you to the highest
corridors of the Vatican.
Benedicti Decimi Sexti.
Cardinale Ratzinger.
In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
was elected Pope,
and chose the name Benedict XVI.
He was known as a great
theologian and intellectual.
What many did not realise
was that for 25 years, he'd
led the Vatican Office familiar
with the most severe cases
of sex abuse by priests,
the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith.
The CDF has a dark history.
When it was founded
in the 16th century,
it was known as the Inquisition.
Ratzinger took that job over,
he was Archbishop of
Munich and Freising,
and he was promoted
by John Paul II
to run the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Think of the Pope in the middle and
a whole bunch of offices around him.
What you had was multiple
offices of the Holy See,
who ultimately don't talk to one another,
handling these different cases.
And so, cases wouldn't
get bogged down.
But then what happened in 2001,
Ratzinger put out this teaching
approved by John Paul II that said,
"Every sex abuse case that involves
a minor, they all come to my desk."
From 2001 forward,
every single priest sex abuse case
went to Ratzinger.
Cardinal Ratzinger, now
His Holiness Benedict XVI,
is the most knowledgeable
person in the world
regarding priestly
sexual abuse of minors,
'cos he has all the data.
Inside the cloistered
walls of the Vatican
lie voluminous records of worldwide
sexual abuse in the priesthood,
centralized in the secret archives
of the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith.
It is the century-old history
of the Catholic Church.
We have documents from councils
in Spain in the 4th century after Christ,
in which there is written something
about sex abuse with children.
So it is 1,700 years that the
church is dealing about this.
This is the guilt of the Vatican.
They could already understand
how deep this scandal was
and that this scandal was not
just an American scandal,
and that a paedophile is not a sinner,
but he's a criminal.
He is a criminal who
plans his activity,
who is very attentive
to organize situations
in which he can abuse children.
Well, it's one for the money
And it's two for the show
Three to get ready
Now, go, cat, go
But don't you
Stand on my blue suede shoes
You can do anything
But lay off of my blue suede shoes.
For most people, Tony Walsh
was the priest from Ballyfermot
who did an Elvis impersonation,
He was part of the
Singing Priests group.
And he was very good, he was a
really, really popular priest.
What most people didn't know
was that Tony Walsh was
Ireland's most notorious paedophile.
In 2010, a government investigation
revealed that Walsh,
by his own count, had committed
over 200 acts of abuse.
That investigation, known as the
Murphy Report,
also uncovered the fact
that the archdiocese of Dublin
had known about
Walsh's activity
for nearly 20 years, yet did
nothing to inform parents or police.
His first appointment in 1979
was to Valey Farmers.
The suburb of Dublin.
He's put in the charge
of the older boys,
even though, in 1979 already there was
a complaint made against him
a couple of days
after his ordination.
In Ireland, Catholicism is
kind of like a blood type.
It's the status quo,
it's what's always been done,
you don't question it,
you blindly go along with it.
You know, the Catholic Church was
part of who we are and what we are.
The priest, he is the
carrier of the sacrament.
You know, it's almost like he's
the.. he's got the Holy Grail.
I remember interviewing
a woman once and she said,
"We used to get down on
our knees when he passed by"
"and bless ourselves. He carried the
host, you know.
"That's how people saw them," and that's
because they were almost Godlike.
The government investigation
into the Singing Priest
uncovered church documents that
revealed a new dimension
to the worldwide sex abuse scandal.
It was the role played by bishops and the
Vatican in allowing the abuse to continue.
Year after year, parents reported
Walsh's abuse to the Dublin archdiocese,
but the church did not
punish the priest,
reach out to the victims
or alert local parents.
As revelations continued
in the Walsh case,
parents and survivors scanned
the Murphy Report
to learn the extent of the crimes
and the cover-up.
Documents showed that the
church kept allowing Walsh
to care for children,
even after a secret stint
in a clinic run by the
Servants of the Paraclete.
The clinic allowed Father Walsh
to roam the streets
of the nearby large city,
after admitting
to abusing 100 kids,
He was allowed to dress
in clerical attire and said Masses
in the local churches.
Father Walsh visited a house and paid
a lot of attention to the 11-year-old son.
He agreed to babysit for
the children and God
knows what happened to
the kids that week.
I mean, that's a clinic allowing him
to do something like that.
That is ridiculous. And they're
not being held accountable.
Father Walsh was immediately
removed from the clinic.
I think it's about time when a paedophile
gets thrown out of a clinic.
Through the mercy of God,
rest in peace. Amen.
And we ask these
and all our prayers,
through Jesus Christ,
Our Lord, Amen.
Even after a decade of abuse,
the faithful heard nothing about
Walsh from the Archbishop of Dublin.
Why didn't you go yourself, Bishop?
- Go where?
- Go to the victims yourself.
Erm.. And encourage them
to go to the police.
I suppose perhaps I should've,
perhaps I should have done
but, erm, I've so much to do.
In secret, Archbishop Connell
did launch an investigation,
but according to the laws of Roman
Catholicism, known as Canon law,
Connell followed orders from the Vatican
to keep any details of Walsh's crimes
hidden behind the walls
of the church.
Everybody involved in that process,
the accuser, the accused
and the witnesses,
are all obliged to take
an oath of absolute secrecy,
that they will never reveal
for the rest of their life
any of the information that they
learned in the process.
Victims were sworn
to absolute secrecy.
And the sanction for breaking that secrecy
was automatic excommunication, the
ultimate sanction the Church can enforce.
When you read the Murphy Report
you begin to see the same patterns
emerging all over the place.
Patterns in Boston
and in Milwaukee
that were similar to Dublin.
Priests were moved
from "A" to "B" to "C" to "D"..
Nobody told anybody, the civil
authorities were not informed.
The Murphy Commission got access
to documents, they got cooperation
from Archbishop Devlin Martin,
and were able to reveal,
how the Vatican was part
of what went on in Dublin
In fact, how the Vatican
oversaw it.
Following the dictates
of the Vatican,
13 years after the first
sign of Walsh's abuse,
Archbishop Connell finally
convened a secret church trial.
They appoint three judges, Canon
lawyers, to listen to evidence,
which is overwhelmingly
evidence against this guy,
and they recommend in 1992 that he
should be dismissed from the priesthood.
And he's always pleaded not guilty.
Even though he's admitted
to 100 cases of abuse,
he's pleaded not guilty.
He appeals that to Rome.
For eight months,
the Vatican dithers
and decides
what to do with him,
and in that eight months
he abuses another child.
Abuses a child at his
grandfather's funeral.
The Vatican is
fundamentally responsible
for this guy being abused.
The Vatican come
back and decide,
"Well, we won't dismiss him
from the priesthood,"
"Put him in a monastery
for 10 years."
The bishop is tearing his hair out.
"What do you mean, put him
in a monastery for 10 years?"
"No monastery will take him!"
And so, Des Connell pleads with
the Vatican,
and he personally went
to see Cardinal Ratzinger
to write his dismissal order.
The Vatican did nothing.
But angry parents forced
the police to act.
Walsh was convicted of
sexual assault in 1995.
Only then, after tolerating Walsh's
abuse of hundreds of children,
did the Vatican finally
dismiss Father Walsh
from the priestly state.
Two priests who were judges
on the Tony Walsh case
swore an oath of secrecy.
Where are they now?
They're two bishops.
For priests, secrecy
can have its rewards.
But for the faithful in Ireland, the
cover-up may be an unforgivable sin.
We were 95% practicing Catholics.
I spoke to a priest
only yesterday, he says,
"4% come to church in Dublin."
But that's not to say that
they've lost their faith.
They certainly lost faith
in the hierarchy.
In 2010, Pope Benedict sought to
bring the flock back to the church
by writing an unprecedented
letter to the Irish faithful.
To us bishops he says,
"We must admit that grave
errors of judgment were made,"
"and failures of leadership
"which have seriously undermined
our credibility and effectiveness."
What he does is, he blames the Irish
for their misplaced concern
for the reputation of the church
in the avoidance of scandal,
for not following Canon law.
He never once acknowledged the role
of the Vatican in all of this.
I spoke to one bishop
who was so angry.
He said, "How dare he blame us?"
"Show me where we
didn't follow Canon law!"
"Canon law was the problem!"
That prompted a few people to come
out of the woodwork, if you like.
An anonymous source leaked
a mysterious document.
It was a smoking gun.
A 1997 letter from the Vatican
that overruled attempts
by Irish bishops
to report sex abuse to the police.
Why didn't any of them just stand up
publicly and come out and say,
"The Vatican has instructed us
not to report crimes to the police"?
Because they are totally
loyal to the Vatican.
In 2011, the release of yet another
government investigation
was the final blow
which shattered relations
between the Vatican and Ireland.
The Cloyne report excavates
the dysfunction,
the disconnection, the elitism
that dominates the culture
of the Vatican today.
The rape and
the torture of children
were downplayed or managed
to uphold instead
the primacy of the institution
its power, its standing
and its reputation.
This calculated,
withering position
being the polar opposite
of the radicalism,
the humility and the compassion upon
which the Roman Church was founded.
Even as Irish churches lay empty,
Rome received tens of thousands
of pilgrims from all over the world
who had come to see the beatification
of Pope John Paul II.
The penultimate step
in the path to sainthood
beatification is the celebration
of the blessed souls arrival in heaven
proven by a miracle performed
in the John Paul's name.
To the faithful, John Paul was one of
the world's most popular popes
famous for helping to end
the Communist rule in his native Poland
and throughout Europe.
He denounced
the excesses of Capitalism
and apologized for the
Church's past sins
in dealing
with other Religions.
As the prayers continued
late into the night,
victims of sex abuse
couldn't help wondering
why Benedict was
in such a rush
to move John Paul's soul
on the path to sainthood.
Marcial Maciel Degollado
was one of the world's most charismatic
fundraisers for the Catholic Church.
In 1941, he founded
the Legion Of Christ,
a group of young zealots
who raised phenomenal
amounts of money
and opened universities and
seminaries all over the world.
Maciel controlled an annual
operating budget of $650 million,
and counted amongst his friends the
world's richest man, Carlos Slim,
Jeb Bush, Sandy Weill,
former chairman of Citigroup,
Rick Santorum, and former
CIA director William Casey.
Maciel was also a particular
favourite of Pope John Paul II
who exalted him as a holy man
and visionary.
Maciel was as connected as you
could get in Rome
and he got that way by giving
money to people.
$90,000 to Cardinal Martinez Somalo
who, at the time, was
the Head of the Congregation
that should have
investigated Maciel
He was held in great favour
by John Paul II.
For a number of reasons.
The money was certainly one of them.
And second..
he was bowing and scraping and worshiping
the Pope and the Pope apparently liked it.
But, as the song goes,
though Maciel
looked like an angel
and talked like an angel,
he was a devil in disguise.
Behind closed doors,
Maciel led a secret life.
He was a morphine addict
and a ruthless sex criminal
who abused dozens
of his legionaries.
He would visit the
monasteries every few days
and insist on being masturbated
or on having sex
with one of the boys.
Often posing
as an agent of the CIA,
he had at least two secret
mistresses and four children.
He abused some of them too.
Yet even when stories in the press
started to emerge about Maciel,
John Paul did not
investigate him,
he celebrated him.
In 1997, when Renner and I did
the investigative piece
for the Hartford Courant,
the response we got from
the Vatican.. was nothing.
To say that John Paul
was not given the information
is preposterous. He is the Pope.
People around him have
this kind of information.
One key cardinal, Angelo Sodano,
stayed close to Maciel
even as Maciel funneled millions
of dollars into the Vatican.
Sodano would be Maciel's protector
right to the end.
The Maciel case is
really a school case
in order to understand how the
machine works within the Vatican.
Marco Politi is one of Italy's most
knowledgeable Vatican-watchers.
He has also spent a considerable
amount of time with Joseph Ratzinger.
From the outside, Ratzinger is often
perceived as a stiff personality,
cold, merciless with
the dissenters in the Church.
If you see him from the inside,
in the inner circle,
it's a very warm personality,
So he has always been very shocked
when he has heard about
sex abuse scandals.
For him it is a horrible sin.
His first reaction is the horror
that a priest could do
something like this.
That's telling.
It wasn't, "These poor victims!"
That was not his first reaction.
His first reaction was,
"It's despoiled the priesthood!
The sacred institution!"
Yet, when he was a cardinal,
it had been his job to examine every
one of these sex abuse cases.
Ratzinger met with
John Paul every Friday
Did he stay silent or did he speak
with John Paul about Maciel.
Ratzinger would have liked to
open an investigation
but he was stopped by the Secretary
Of State, Cardinal Sodano.
Sodano's ability to protect Maciel
put Ratzinger in a difficult position
as more and more
victims of Maciel came forward.
Vatican Watch is new, it was
Ratzinger's job to investigate.
I want to ask you a question
about Father Maciel
- No, I..
- Excuse me..
But I'm not so informed
to speak about it this moment
It is even, I think, inconvenient
in this moment to come to me
There's a question whether
you cover up..
Come to me when just
a moment is given, but not not yet.
- Well, we found out..
- This is unfair.. - Signori..!
What you find in Ratzinger at that
point is a man who is troubled
by justice that had
not gone forward
and yet at the same time was trying
to balance his loyalty
to the Pope, who clearly did
not want Maciel prosecuted.
Cardinal Ratzinger waits till the
moment when John Paul II is dying.
The same day that John Paul II dies,
the Prosecutor General
of the Congregation Of Faith
flies to New York and he stays in New York
and in Mexico City for eight days,
and he gets all the material to show
that Maciel Marcial was a sex criminal.
So it is interesting,
for at least 15 years
the Vatican didn't move
a finger to investigate,
and only in the moment
when all the Vatican is stopped,
because everybody is thinking
the Pope is dead,
Cardinal Ratzinger succeeds
to get the evidence.
Cardinal Ratzinger's investigation
confirmed his suspicion of Maciel's crimes
but still he did not act.
When Benedict became Pope in 2005,
did Benedict order his trial?
Did Benedict punish him
in any way? No.
Following a Vatican to live
a life of prayer and penitence
Maciel settled in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Vatican communiqu
did not mention his victims,
or the nature of his crimes.
An earlier statement had put
an end to Maciel church trial.
And that came not
from Ratzinger's office,
but rather from the office
of Cardinal Sodano.
Not even a Pope is all-powerful
because he lives in a structure -
the Roman Curia which is
almost 2,000 years old -
and the structure
always wants to defend itself.
He searched the truth about Maciel
but he didn't get the courage
to condemn him immediately,
publicly and to defrock him.
In 1997, facing a disease that
would ultimately take his life,
Bob Bolger made this video to
memorialize Father Murphy's crimes.
He set out on a road trip with
his friends from St John's,
Arthur and Gary, to see if they could
finally hold Murphy to account.
Murphy was living at the cabin
in Boulder Junction
with a deaf housekeeper who'd
studied and worked at St John's.
Bob gave me the camera
and I videotaped it.
Bob's ringing the door bell, and
then he comes away from the door
walks around to the side of the house,
to the right, by the lake
And then Murphy came out.
And they met.
And Bob got in his face
and really let him have it.
He told him, "You need to walk
yourself right now"
"to the police station."
"Walk yourself to jail."
Don't bother me.
Don't bother me. Go on.
Then Grace got involved and was
saying, "Forget it, forgive him!"
And Bolger is like, "You don't
understand, Grace, stay out of it."
After that,
we got in the car and we left.
When I told my wife what
I had experienced with Murphy,
her heart broke for me.
When I finally told her I thought,
"Shit, I should never have
told my wife!"
I thought I had made a mistake.
I shouldn't have said anything,
I should've kept it to myself.
But it was too late.
We grappled with it
and my wife ultimately
took me to a psychologist.
So when I finally blew,
just let it all out,
I decided to write what turned out
to be a seven-page letter to Murphy.
I had to unleash every angry emotion
that I had ever felt
and I just regurgitated it onto
paper to Murphy.
I would call
Murphy a wolf,
because of the way he lusting
after the prey that he's stalked.
It was like we were all little
sheep lying in our beds
We were good
innocent Christians.
The wolf would come in,
pick his prey, and molest them.
I sent that letter off to him
and I got no reply,
so I wrote
a second letter to Murphy.
Still no reply.
Weakland was always
considered to be someone
who stood up for the Vatican.
He really was the bte noire
of the conservative church,
because he was the leading
spokesman for an intelligence,
progressive wing
in the church.
Weakland inherited Murphy in 1976
and all through the '70s and through
the '80s and up until that letter
Archbishop Weakland does
absolutely nothing with him.
Not a thing.
He keeps gathering
information on Murphy
because victims keep coming
to the archdioceses about him.
"What's happening with him?
What are you doing with him?"
He does psychological and
criminological assessments of Murphy
where they determine he has
assaulted probably 200 children.
The therapist's handwritten
notes on her interviews with Murphy
not only determined that he was
they also revealed his complex
justifications for his crimes.
Father Thomas Brundage
called priest paedophilia,
quote, "a form of homicide", unquote.
In that it takes away
children's innocence.
Would you agree or disagree
with that observation?
If you had asked me that in 1979,
I would not have agreed,
but if you ask me that
now in the year 2008,
I would say in almost every case, yes.
I wrote a letter to
Archbishop Weakland
and Archbishop Weakland
called me in to have a meeting.
What do you do about Father Murphy?
It's a question that kept repeating
itself over and over again.
The statutes of limitation
had expired
so criminal charges in the courts
were out of the question.
Statute of Limitations
in the Church courts,
according to Church law, Canon law,
had expired long before the others.
Then it became evident
that it might be possible
to still submit the Murphy case
on the basis of the way
in which he used the confessional.
That was one where the Statute
of Limitation never expires.
I submitted that to
Cardinal Ratzinger's office.
Finally, I think after a year,
we got an answer back saying,
"Yes, we can open the case."
A Catholic going to confession is at his
or her absolutely the most vulnerable.
The priest uses his power over
these vulnerable helpless children
to solicit some form of sexual
gratification from him.
I don't think there's a
vocabulary that we have
that can adequately describe how
horrendous and duplicitous this is.
I did receive a receipt,
proving that the Vatican
had received the letters.
But nothing happened,
and that was truly disappointing.
The way in which we
wanted to handle it then
was to take it out
of ministry totally,
and that's why we took the case to him.
Weakland had a private conversation
with Cardinal Ratzinger.
In the end, Cardinal Ratzinger said,
"Well, you probably shouldn't be docile."
Weakland also had a formal
meeting to plead his case
at the Congregation
For The Doctrine Of The Faith.
The deaf community in Milwaukee
wanted to dismiss Father Murphy
from religious life,
so my heart went out to them.
And it went out to
the kids in particular
because they had not been
believed by anybody.
This meeting was held
in the last week of May.
In the middle of the summer,
towards August, we got a letter
that this case would not go forward
because Father Murphy was quite ill.
I felt awful having to go back
and to say
there was nothing more I could do,
I felt awful about that.
Weakland actually
made an effort to do
what any ordinary citizen would do -
get the guy out and protect others.
However, he did it without
sacrificing his standing
in the clerical culture
and with the Vatican.
He had his own sexual activity
that he had to hide and keep secret
and that distorts the whole picture.
Weakland's activity was a
homosexual affair that he had had
with a graduate student who
ultimately blackmailed him
and the Church for $450,000.
Weakland's fall from grace
had nothing to do with
sexual abuse really,
I mean, it was
a consensual relationship
with somebody who was 35.
The big problem was the payoff,
the paying for silence.
That was the real scandal.
People who are concerned about about me
asked me how I feel at this moment.
The best nouns to describe
this feeling would be
and "emptiness".
He is slandered all the time, people
carelessly saying he's a paedophile,
which is all nonsense.
He's come out and said very openly
that he is gay,
which also drive people nuts.
We've got an archbishop
that said that he's gay.
This scandal distracted people from
a key element of the Murphy story.
Rome may have refused to
move against Murphy
because of a letter that Father Murphy
had written to Cardinal Ratzinger.
"I have repented of any of
my past transgressions"
"and have been living peaceably
in northern Wisconsin for 24 years."
"I simply want to live out
the time that I have left"
"in the dignity of my priesthood."
It's not just, "I'm an old man.
I'm an old PRIEST. I'm an old priest."
"Don't throw me away
because I have this special mark."
"I am another Christ."
See, there is a heresy
that the Church teaches.
When a man is ordained a priest,
he is changed ontologically.
He is made a different
brand of human being.
A little less
than the angels.
These are people set apart.
They are called, they are chosen
by God, they want to protect
the sacramentality, the
supernatural element and so that is
why they were very, very careful
to do anything to the priest.
A priest can take bread and wine
and make Jesus Christ
present on this altar.
He has power
over heaven and hell.
Somebody comes to you
in confession
and you say,
"I won't absolve you" -
He'll be damned.
The church court informed me
that Murphy couldn't go to
his church hearing,
because he was too ill.
And Murphy wouldn't
live much longer.
But Murphy went to play the slots.
And then he collapsed
and was taken to the hospital.
Murphy passed away and he was
buried in his priestly vestments,
in a Catholic cemetery.
Did you ever meet Murphy?
I made him come down
and visit me, and..
I.. I don't, I don't know how to,
how to analyze someone like that.
I don't.
what's sincere and what isn't.
I couldn't work that out.
He certainly didn't come off as
an evil, angry person, and so on..
Probably child-like
it's the best way I could..
is best way
I could describe it.
'God helps throughout history.
'While contemplating the mystery
we give thanks to God, and proclaim,
'We thank you, oh Father.'
There are many people
inside the Vatican
who still don't see
how serious a matter this is.
And the code of Omerta,
the code of silence,
keeps people from speaking out.
It's part of the whole psyche
and mentality
and ethos of the hierarchy.
This idea that there are enemies
out to destroy the church,
and do whatever you can to keep
ammunition away from them.
For centuries the Vatican
has been accustomed
to.. to show to the world
always that it is perfect.
So, you understand that the Vatican
is terrorized that in Italy
you could have, also,
thousands of sex abuse cases,
which, up to now,
have been hidden.
Throughout Italy,
news of victims is often drowned
out by more powerful voices.
The signal from
Vatican Radio is so strong
that Romans can often hear Sunday
mass on their electric doorbells.
But when it comes to
stories about sex abuse,
there is a deafening silence on
Italy's national networks.
I think, for Catholic journalists,
it has been a very difficult time.
My responsibility is a reporter.
I have to try to tell the truth,
I don't work for the Catholic church.
I work for a Catholic publication.
We're not in the
business of being cheer
leader for the Holy Seal,
or to the bishops,
but I still hear some of the old
Monsignori in the Vatican,
"Oh, boys have always done this,"
"in all-male environments,
it's normal."
And, I mean,
"This wasn't abuse, these kids,"
"they were interested,
and it's rites of passage."
I mean..
Even in 2011.
One bishop made the statement,
"Little boys heal."
"They will get over it."
In reference to a priest
who had marauded
a number of young boys,
10, 12, 13-year-old boys.
Ahh.. anally raping them, and thing
like that. You don't heal from that.
In most instances, your life is
never the same. It's ruined.
I realised that the Vatican was in
control of every priest and every nun,
every bishop
and every cardinal,
and they were all under oath,
they couldn't talk about it.
I couldn't stand seeing the church
tell everyone to keep quiet,
and not talk about it.
Terry, having written to
Cardinal Sodano,
on that, I felt we
could build a case.
Jeff said, "Your letter to the
Vatican was very powerful",
"and I'd be honored
to represent you."
I immediately agreed,
and signed the paperwork.
When they left, I said to my wife,
"Jeff is going to help me
sue the Vatican."
"He's going to get things in
I love Jeff for that.
Jeff Anderson & Associates
filed a lawsuit
against the Vatican
on Terry's behalf.
The suit named Pope Benedict, the
current Vatican Secretary of State,
Cardinal Bertone, and the former
Secretary of State, Cardinal Sodano.
What we implore the Vatican
to do in this lawsuit,
and what we need them to do,
is to act.
That is, to disclose the secrets,
the evidence of the crimes
that they have,
the identities of the offenders,
and the bishops, archbishops
and cardinals
that have been complicit
in those crimes, worldwide.
As a result of Terry's lawsuit,
documents were uncovered
revealing the role of Rome
in the worldwide sex abuse scandal
that caught the attention
of the New York Times.
These documents seemed
to turn the whole story
that we'd been writing all
these years, on its head.
Up until then, what we thought was
that American bishops were at fault.
With these documents,
for the first time,
we saw communication
between American bishops
and in particular the office run by
then-Cardinal Ratzinger,
in which the American bishops
are pleading
with officials in the Vatican,
saying, "Help us get this
priest out of the priesthood."
"The victims are asking us
to defrock him."
And the response from the Vatican is
to have compassion for the priest,
and almost no thought
at all about the victims.
And you see that in these documents.
I was completely unprepared
for the reaction.
I had no idea
how big the story was.
I got hate mail, I got hate phone
calls that were anti-Semitic.
The New York Times,
and me personally,
we were accused of being
This is being driven
by Jeffrey Anderson,
teaming up with the New York Times,
going back half a century.
The alleged abuse took place
in the 1950s.
The Vatican didn't find
out about the case until 1996.
Ratzinger goes ahead and
orders an investigation,
and during that two-year period
while they are investigating,
Father Murphy dies.
Now what exactly was
Ratzinger supposed to do?
Where is the wrongdoing?
It appeared to me that Mr Donohue
didn't even read the story.
The victims, and their advocates,
met with Archbishop Cousins in 1974.
And there were representatives
of the Vatican in that meeting.
They were introduced to
two men who said
they were from the
Papal Nuncio's office.
There was a way that
the Vatican was informed
of that case, as early as 1974.
The Murphy case was reinforced
Jeff Anderson
in his role as the Vatican's
pubic enemy number one.
By 2010 he had filed over 1500
lawsuits against the Church.
Supporters of the Vatican portray
him as a money hungry sheist
caching in on
the pain of the victims
And victims see
the lawsuits he brings
as the only way they can hold the church
to account for what it has done.
Deny, minimize, and blame.
And so they now blame
the media,
they now blame
the lawyers,
they now even blame
the survivors.
In 2011, Jeff Anderson & Associates
attempted to serve legal papers from
Terry's lawsuit, to the Vatican.
The FedEx package was returned,
with the Vatican's comment marked,
"undesired and unwanted".
Forcing Anderson's next attempt
to be made through the
US State Department.
The church claims to be,
and is recognised as, a state.
States have immunities,
states have their own law.
They are severely disordered,
and that's why they abuse.
Geoffrey Robertson is
a human rights lawyer,
and the author of the book
The Case of the Pope.
He seeks to hold
the Pope accountable
for crimes against humanity,
and to demolish the diplomatic
immunity of the Vatican.
The Vatican is not really a state.
It's a tiny little
religious enclave in Rome.
It doesn't have a people.
There are no Vaticanians.
No-one gets born in the Vatican,
except by accident.
It's a group of celibate
religious figures.
It's got no army, no soccer team,
none of the attributes of statehood.
Yet it has this power because
of an historical anomaly.
In 1929, Mussolini made an alliance
with the man who became
Pope Pious XI.
The church supported Mussolini's
one-party, fascist state,
in return for being given
the attribute of statehood.
It is the creation of a state
for the Catholic Church,
by fascists.
This fence is the border
of the country
that is known as the Vatican.
178 countries now acknowledge
the Vatican as a state.
Politicians like to go
and meet the Pope.
They like to have
the blessing of the Pope,
to encourage their voters.
But the Pope poses a problem.
According to Canon Law,
the Pontiff cannot be judged by
any civil or religious authority.
He is beyond the law.
It will be, I think,
an important task,
to work out how to bring
the Pope beneath the law,
by arguing either that the
Vatican is not a real state
or that the degree of
his negligence
over the child abuse scandal
does involve him
in a crime against humanity.
This is a global church
that is growing most
rapidly in the developing world.
In these cultures, the idea
of someone coming forward
and saying a priest
has done something wrong,
it doesn't happen.
There is such a stigma to
this problem,
so much shame and embarrassment,
but we know it goes on there.
Because it's a human problem.
And there have started to
be cases, in Latin America,
in the Philippines, even some
in Africa and India, very slowly.
They are about where the American
church was in the 1960s and 1970s.
There is going to be a delayed
reaction in that part of the world.
In America, Bishops have taken
some steps to protect children
and to reckon with
the sex abuse crisis
But the Church has also begun to
attack survivor's groups in Court.
One of the church's
most public defenders
has been Timothy Dolan, who was
recently promoted to Cardinal.
In 2009, Dolan was
the Archbishop of Milwaukee,
where he endured
legal settlements to abuse victims
that cost the church
more than $26 million.
When you think of what happened,
both that a man who proposes
to act in the name of God
would've abused an innocent young person,
and that some bishops would have,
in a way, countenanced that,
by reassigning abusers,
that's nothing less than hideous.
That's nothing less than nauseating.
The second story, morally,
is the church's reaction to that,
which I think has been good.
Many would disagree.
The fact is that abuse cases
continue to surface
all over the country.
While in Milwaukee,
Dolan met with victims,
but also took bold steps to protect
the church from their claims.
Survivors note that Dolan
moved assets
from living victims to dead souls,
by transferring $55 million of
church money to a cemetery trust.
Then in 2011, the Archdiocese
declared bankruptcy.
But in 2012, 570 victims of
sex abuse,
including Arthur and Gary,
were granted the right to
a trial against the Church
in Milwaukee's bankruptcy court.
Their goal was to uncover more
documents regarding sex abuse
and to obtain cash settlements
for survivors.
This is the largest
organization in the world.
You have rivers of cash,
Sunday after Sunday, that flow
into these collection plates.
There is great concern within
the hierarchy
about the impact
of the financial losses.
Eight diocese have taken bankruptcy
to negotiate mass settlements,
Boston lost more
than 50% of it's parishes.
Benedict XVI would like to heal
the situation, to heal the victims.
On the other hand, he is in a
sort of stalemate
because the organizations
of the victims
want full transparency
about the past.
They don't want only that
the priests are defrocked.
They want full transparency
about the past.
And I don't think that Benedict XVI
is able to resolve this problem.
The ongoing revelations
have provoked survivors
to demand a complete accounting
of all cases of paedophile priests.
It's the central demand of the
Jerry Kohut lawsuit against the Vatican
Open the archives.
The Church is a perfect society.
And its witness is as perfect
society to the rest of the world.
If we could get that
out of our minds..
Maybe we could take the pedestal
away from the priest,
take the pedestal away from the
take the pedestal away
from the whole church,
and be willing to say, "This is us, world.
This is us. This is who we are."
"We are a church
of imperfect people."
Jesus wasn't afraid of humanity,
and we shouldn't be either.
When I'm asked in court,
often times,
"How many times have you testified
on behalf of the church?"
And my response usually is,
And they'll say, "Really?!"
"Yeah, really."
The people, they are the church.
The victims, their mothers,
fathers, friends,
those are the church.
They're the people of God,
as is found very clearly in the
Gospel stories of Christ.
They are the people of God,
they're the church.
Many of the people of God see their
lawsuits as taking back the church.
In a key victory
in the Milwaukee bankruptcy
victims uncovered nearly
50,000 pages of documents
which revealed predatory priests
and the role the Vatican
played in protecting them.
Terry recognized that the Pope's
power as a head of state
would beat back his lawsuit.
So he withdrew from his own case
and join Garry, Arthur
and the bankruptcy plaintiffs
in their legal crusade
to protect children.
Hi, my name is Gary Smith. Hello. I
thank you all for coming here today.
One of our heroes.
Thank you all for coming here and
supporting us here today.
Thank you. I love you.
I'm so glad that all of us are
here and willing to share,
and I thank the whole team of
lawyers that have been here,
supporting all of us.
I really went into hiding
for about 35 years.
And now I'm here,
and I feel really good.
The future of the children
is what's important.
And I decided to come and support
everyone, all the victims.
That filing of that
bankruptcy did not stop us.
And will not stop us.
The idea of a group of deaf men,
leafleting the cars
outside of a cathedral,
with a wanted poster of a priest,
at a time when nobody suspected
priests of wrongdoing, not
to mention sexual abuse,
and trying to shout and to warn,
that just bowled me over.
They were really the
first victims who realised
that they had to make public what
was taking place. And they did that.
And to think that
a quarter of a century later,
this case is bringing about change,
that is a moment of resurrection.
Coming out of this silence,
of this deaf community,
is this unbelievably loud
and deafening cry for justice.