The Pope has been in a bit of hot water lately over his handling of another wave of so called celibate priests messing around with kids allegations.
AP and the New York Times ran a memo recounting a key Vatican meeting about a Milwaukee priest who abused deaf children which they said implicated Pope Benedict in a cover up.
But the Catholic News Agency said that the translation of this document may have affected both the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s treatment of the case and last year’s reporting about it.
Part of the problem is that the American Catholic church representatives stuck the CDF memo through a Babelfish to work out what was going on.
Two key players in the affair thought that the translation gave them a rough idea of what happened.
The only problem is that it didn’t. Several significant phrases and sentences are left out entirely. The result was that everyone was acting on a document which looked like it had been run through Drashek translation services.
A proper translation of the memo shows that those at a May 30, 1998 meeting in Rome said that a lack of evidence, such as missing records from the archdiocesan archives, militated against the defrocking the Milwaukee priest.
The memo showed that the Church did believe it all happened and unless the accused priest showed genuine penitence, he still risked being defrocked.
It mentioned forcing the priest to a spiritual retreat to understand whether his penitence is genuine. If not genuinely penitent, he would risk “more rigorous measures,” including dismissal from the clerical state.
AP claimed Fr. Murphy was “spared a defrocking” because he was “protected by the Vatican office led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the Pope.”
However, the memo reconfirms that Cardinal Ratzinger was not in attendance in the meeting and so was not involved.
Of course there is still the small matter as to why the Church did not expel the priest or report the matters to the plod. We guess the church moves in mysterious ways, its wonders to behold.