The Murphy affair comes only a day after a top Irish Clergyman stepped down and is just the latest wave in the child sex abuse saga to hit the catholic church. Personal secretary to three of the Pope’s predecessors, Bishop John Magee of Cloyne in Ireland offered his resignation yesterday following a probe last year that accused him of mis-handling reports into sexual abuse in his diocese.
In attempt to quell growing calls for the head of the Irish church, Cardinal Sean Brady, to also resign over his involvement in covering up a sex abuse case in 1975, the Pontiff recently sent a letter to the faithful in Ireland.
But the storm clouds engulfing the church are increasingly beginning to circle the Vatican itself. The question being raised is did the Pope have knowledge of such crimes, notably during his tenure as archbishop of Munich. In 1980, a priest accused of paedophilia, was transferred to Benedict’s diocese, where he was previously known as cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
On top of that comes the unsavoury allegation that choir boys at Regensburg cathedral were also abused. The Pope’s brother, Georg Ratzinger, who was director there between 1964 and 1994, has denied any knowledge of the affair.
It is not the first time the Pope has had to handle the actions of paedophile priests in the US. Visiting Washington and New York 2 years ago he called for reconciliation following a series of scandals that rocked the church from 2002 onwards.
That resulted in the church paying out one and half billion euros in compensation to victims. The damage this time round however maybe unquantifiable.