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I was age five when the bishop stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what the priest did to you." Then, forty years later... I started babbling.
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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Skewered News Coverage

Will do a story at AlterNet SoapBox about this next week, keeping my notes here:.

Here is link to: 86 Pages of Documents Released to New York Times last week by Jeff Anderson re 200 Deaf Children...

Then below is transcript of the part of the March 29, 2010, Joy Behar Show on HLN with Anderson and Cullen. Unfortunately, the videos now at CNN include ONLY the babbling of Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, and leave out Cullen and Anderson:

Now back to today`s guest host, Judge Jeanine Pirro.

PIRRO: The sex scandal plaguing the Catholic Church has finally landed at the Vatican gates. New allegations claim that the Pope Benedict knew about an American priest who molested up to 200 deaf boys and failed to take any action. The Pope responded harshly yesterday saying he would not be intimidated by petty gossip. Since when are allegations of child abuse petty gossip?

So what did the Pope know and when did he know it? Joining me to discuss this tonight are Kevin Cullen, reporter with "The Boston Globe" and author of "The Crisis in the Catholic Church"; Jeff Anderson, an attorney who has filed thousands of lawsuits against the Catholic Church on behalf of victims; and Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League.

I`m going to start with Kevin tonight. Kevin, I still have your book "Betrayal". I`ve had it for years, and of course, you and I met when I did one of the first grand jury investigations into this priest pedophile cover-up with respect to some of the priests in my jurisdiction.

And of course, my question is, talk about Wisconsin. What happened with the priest pedophile case there and what even brings it close to the Pope?

KEVIN CULLEN, AUTHOR, "THE CRISIS IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH": Well Jeanine, as you mentioned, this is deja vu all over again. The situation here, while I think it`s changed the tenor of the debate and elevated or brought it back into the news is that before he was Pope Benedict, the Pope was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. And in that position with the Vatican he was in charge of discipline and doctrine and handled a lot of these cases.

When they left whether the United States or Ireland or any place else, it went through the Cardinal`s office.

And in this specific case the allegations are is that Cardinal Ratzinger then called off the dogs, called off the trial, the church trial of this priest named Murphy in Wisconsin who was accused of abusing so many children in this deaf institution.

PIRRO: And Kevin, as you say at the time the now Pope was as Cardinal Ratzinger, the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which is a position where -- and checked this out today where their task is to maintain and defend the integrity of the faith and to examine and prescribe errors on false doctrine.

And as such -- and I`ll go to Jeff with this -- documents were unearthed in the Wisconsin case, I think by Jeff which is what brings it into the newspapers these days.

Jeff, how did you find out about this stuff? When I was the D.A., I could not get this information, most of it was protected and back in Rome.

JEFF ANDERSON, ATTORNEY FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE: Well, look, for 25 years, as you know it, Judge, it`s tough to get these documents. But we`ve been, by court order, requiring them to turn these over. And I`ve been, for 25 years, requiring that of the bishops across the country.

But in this case, we just got a turnover of documents in which these documents were embedded. And I`m not surprised that the Vatican, of course, is in charge of this.

But what shocked me when I saw this is this is the first documentation we`ve seen directly from this cover-up of the serial predator in Wisconsin through the Archbishop, directly to Cardinal Ratzinger and Rome and then Rome and Cardinal Ratzinger instructing the Archbishop and other clerics to abate the process, keep it secret and forget about the kids.

PIRRO: All right, now I`m going to go to you, Bill --


PIRRO: -- I mean, you know, what we`ve got here are two Bishops who, in this case and the priest in Wisconsin beseeched the Vatican and said get rid of this guy and asked him to take action against him. Instead the church trial was halted and they refused to defrock him. So what`s going on here?

DONOHUE: I want to take issue with several things that have been said including -- this is probably the biggest frame I`ve ever seen in my life.

PIRRO: But why would anybody want to frame the church?

DONOHUE: Can I -- can I -- let me go through the timeline, which neither one of these gentlemen did. Abuses took place in the 1950s. The reasons we don`t know --

PIRRO: No, no, not that tape, I`m talking Wisconsin.

DONOHUE: No, that`s what I`m talking about.


DONOHUE: In the 1950s that`s when it started.

PIRRO: If you yell, it doesn`t make your point, Bill. And I can hear you.

DONOHUE: But Jeanine, Jeanine --

PIRRO: What?

DONOHUE: You gave these two guys both of them -- their opportunity, right?

They began in the 1950s. The victim`s families didn`t bring it to the attention of the authorities until the mid 1970s. The cops investigated and they found nothing and they dropped it. The great hero of Archbishop Weakland out of Wisconsin never even bothered to notify the Vatican until 1996. Ratzinger never even knew about this.

PIRRO: So you -- you deny that Ratzinger, now the Pope, knew about it. And you say that because it was beyond the statute of limitations. There was nothing they could do.

DONOHUE: As a matter of fact --

PIRRO: Isn`t there a Canon Law, Bill irrespective of the civil law and they were not referring these cases to civil courts anyway. Shouldn`t you, instead of leading these victims, you know, delivering them to the wolves, shouldn`t you be shepherding the victims as opposed to moving these pedophile priest around?

DONOHUE: First -- first of all, the hero of the left Archbishop Weakland could have brought -- could have had a trial on this in Wisconsin. He could have been investigating this. Why did he wait so long? But look, it went to Ratzinger`s office. Ratzinger`s office, I get hundreds of letters every day that I don`t read. But even --

PIRRO: Oh, don`t even go there, Bill. You know the buck stops at the top.

DONOHUE: No, no, and you know what? What did they do, they could have said, the statute of limitations has run out. Instead they said let`s authorize a trial.


DONOHUE: You know why they didn`t defrock him because he hadn`t been found guilty yet and the guy died. What in the world do you want them to do with that case?

PIRRO: Ok, Kevin, talk to me. What`s your response on this?

CULLEN: Well, first of all, I think I would just like to put a little context in this. I think, one thing we have to remember is that there`s only been one bishop in the history of the United States who was actually disciplined and/or lost his job because of complicity in abuse.

And there`s the clear difference here. Were not talking about the priests who abuse children, that`s one thing. But they could only be enabled that they were being moved around and not being dealt with when these allegations first surfaced. I think what`s happening here, as we said with Cardinal Law, what happened is that our newspaper, "The Boston Globe," was able to go to court and get documents.

It wasn`t what "The Boston Globe" said; it`s what Cardinal Law said in his own document. That`s what ran him out of town. This is what`s happening in this case.

But I think the bigger issue here is that the bishops who enabled the abusers all these years, they were never dealt with.

PIRRO: You know what?

CULLEN: There was never -- and that`s why it`s coming home to roost.

PIRRO: But let me ask you this, Kevin thank you. But let me ask you this. You said that there`s one leftist bishop. What about the other bishops? What about 200 deaf boys` families and where is the church is can say, look, the Civil Statute of Limitations have passed. Why didn`t they defrock this guy? Do you think 200 deaf kids are lying?

DONOHUE: Well, no, no, I`m not saying that. I`m simply saying that you want to go where the action is, go to Wisconsin. You can`t put it on Ratzinger`s desk.

PIRRO: Of course you can.

DONOHUE: Because he never got it until 1996, he never got it until 1996.

PIRRO: All right, so why didn`t he defrock him in `96?

DONOHUE: Because they started the trial. They did exactly what they were supposed to do.

PIRRO: But they halted the trial.


PIRRO: Bill, they halted the trial --

DONOHUE: Halted the trial when the guy is ready to drop dead in a couple of days.

PIRRO: He was ready to drop dead but he didn`t drop dead. They should have defrocked him instead they said he can`t say mass outside of archdiocese.

You know what Jeff, let me ask you something. How do you get a- hold of these documents? How do you prove when Bill -- and you know what? And I respect you, Bill, I mean, you work for the church, I get it.

But what do we do for the victims in these cases? How do we prove that this got to Ratzinger, now the Pope?

ANDERSON: Well, we prove it through the testimony of the survivors but in this case and in these cases, we use the church documents that they have kept secret for centuries and decades.

And in this case, the Archbishop wrote directly to Ratzinger, asking for his intervention because he had jurisdiction over the removal of the priest. They started an investigation. They went to Rome --

PIRRO: And you know what? Jeff, you`re right.

ANDERSON: And the documents go directly to the Pope and they go directly to Ratzinger and the tale is in the documents. The documents don`t lie because those are the words of Ratzinger, his secretary Bertone and --


PIRRO: Ok, I got to wrap it up. We`re coming back. Ok. Stay right there.

More on the Catholic Church scandal when we come back.


PIRRO: We`re back with my panel talking about the Catholic Church scandal that`s made it all the way to the Vatican`s doorstep.

I`m going back to you, Bill. In addition to this case from Wisconsin, when Bishop Ratzinger or Cardinal Ratzinger was in Munich, he moved a pedophile priest by the name Hullermann from Essen to Munich. All right.

He was in charge and presided over meeting where everyone knew he was pedophile. He was an admitted pedophile, the documents are clear. And he was moved to another parish and molested more kids. Was then convicted by the civil authorities and -- get this -- the guy, the priest Hullermann was suspended of his pastoral duties ten days ago.

Shame on the Church and I`m Catholic. I don`t want to read this stuff.

DONOHUE: The guy was in Essen and then they asked him, can we go to Munich for the therapy? Quite frankly, I think the Church bought the liberal line on this nonsense in giving therapy because a psychiatry can fix people. I would have thrown him out.


PIRRO: Thank you very much.

DONOHUE: But that`s the hard line.

PIRRO: So you believe that it goes to Ratzinger, that he knew about it because he presided over the meeting. He then allowed to removal to another --

DONOHUE: They said, will you allow him to have therapy in Munich and he said yes. That was the end of it in terms of his role in this.

PIRRO: Hogwash. He moved him to a parish in Munich.

DONOHUE: Even the "New York Times" is saying that there is no evidence that that happened.

PIRRO: That`s not true. Gruber`s (ph) the one who`s taking the heat for it.


DONOHUE: So you know that Ratzinger did it and "The New York Times" is wrong?


PIRRO: All right. Jeff let me ask you this. What do we do in terms of the law? Do we make these bishops accountable for facilitation of pedophilia when they move these priests around that they know are pedophiles?

ANDERSON: What we have to do is hold the bishops and the Vatican accountable for their role in the cover up of these crimes. The question isn`t always when they knew, the question is, what did they do when they knew that a kid was abused and what they did in that case. What they`ve done across the country as we uncovered for 25 years, is when they learn they protect the priests and their own reputation instead of the kids.


ANDERSON: And that`s really what it`s about. They choose to protect their reputation and avoid scandal instead of worrying about these kids.

PIRRO: And you know, Jeff, what the shame of this is? The shame of this is there are practicing Catholics out there. It`s Holy Week, I`m one of them, but I am outraged at the thought that the Pope may have known about this.

And finally Kevin, I`m going to give you the last word. Why is this coming forward now? Why are we talking about it at Holy Week? What is it that`s bringing us here and just say it in 15 seconds because I want to go to Bill.

CULLEN: Well Judge, you know, seven years ago we dealt with the abuse of priests. Right now it seems like this is really addressing the enablers where it really was not addressed seven years ago.

PIRRO: Good point, we`re moving up the ladder. You`re absolutely right Kevin.

And Bill, how do we restore faith in the Catholic Church?

DONOHUE: Well, I think we`re doing it already. There were six accusations made between 2008 and 2009. I`ll put that up again for anybody. We`re going back 50 years. I want to see the 50-year records on the partisans and Jews and the public school industry.

But you know what? I`m setting the record straight. Tomorrow in "The New York Times", I have an op-ed page which I have written myself. And then I want to hear what the reaction will be.

PIRRO: Ok. All right. What a shock. We`ve got Bill here expressing himself with an op-ed piece.

Thanks, guys. We`ll be back right after this short break

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