Milwaukee A neatly typed letter dated March 5, 1995, is addressed to the No. 2 man at the Vatican and recounts the story of a priest who preyed on deaf boys trapped in dormitories with no chance of escape.
The letter to Cardinal Angelo Sodano from one of the Rev. Lawrence Murphy’s alleged victims is more evidence for those trying to learn what Vatican officials knew about abuse claims at St. John’s School for the Deaf outside Milwaukee and when.
The document was revealed Thursday in yet another lawsuit aimed at the highest reaches of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s also significant because it involves Sodano, a strong defender of Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of the global clergy sexual abuse crisis and a man whose own record on a separate high-profile case has come under scrutiny.
The Vatican’s U.S.-based attorney, Jeffrey Lena, said in a statement Thursday that the lawsuit was a publicity stunt with no merit and it rehashes theories already rejected by U.S. courts.