Pope Benedict XVI has been further drawn into the sex abuse scandal enveloping the Catholic Church as new documents reveal that back in the 1980s, as then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he failed to discipline Reverend Lawrence Murphy, an American priest who allegedly molested hundreds of deaf boys, despite receiving letters from a number of American bishops imploring him to act. A new lawsuit reveals his second-in-command, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Vatican’s secretary of state, instructed Wisconsin bishops to begin a canonical trial for Father Murphy with the intention of having him defrocked if found guilty; however, that trial was stopped after the Murphy wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger begging for leniency on the grounds that he had already repented and was in poor health. The documents emerged as Pope Benedict faces other accusations that he did not discipline priests accused of sexual abuse, or alert the relevant civilian authorities.
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