Pope Benedict XVI is named in a new lawsuit on child abuse in a case that will test the claims of diplomatic immunity claimed by the Vatican’s lawyers, here. The claims stem from the alleged cover-up of abuse by a priest at a Catholic school in Wisconsin, Father Lawrence Murphy. The lawsuit seeks the names of potentially thousands of similar priests facing “credible allegations of sexual misconduct” against them.
The Illinois man attended the St. John’s School for the Deaf where much of the abuse by Murphy occurred. The Pope has been accused of blocking efforts to defrock Murphy when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
The priest molested as many as 200 boys and the complaint states that the church “knew that there was a high probability that these clerics would sexually molest more children, but sought to protect itself from scandal, sought to keep its income stream going, at the peril of children.”