UPDATE: Vatican denies cover-up of molestation case - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Vatican denies cover-up of molestation case

ROME (AP) -- The Vatican says there was no cover-up in the church's handling of the case of a priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys in the United States and has denounced what it says is a campaign to smear the pope.

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said Thursday there was a "clear and despicable intention" to strike at Pope Benedict XVI "at any cost" with recent revelations of how the Vatican handled clerical abuse.

According to church and Vatican documents, the Vatican ordered a stop to a church trial of the accused priest, the Rev. Lawrence Murphy, after the priest wrote a letter to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- now Pope Benedict.

The story was first reported by the New York Times.


MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin man says he was molested by a catholic priest when he was 13 or 14.

Donald Marshall says Rev. Lawrence Murphy molested him while he attended a juvenile detention center in Irma.

The 45-year-old Marshall says it was not until his adult years he was able to talk about the abuse after having nightmares about the priest.

Marshall now says he has lost all faith in the Catholic church.

Documents show two Wisconsin bishops urged the Vatican to let them conduct a church trial against Murphy, but the Vatican ordered them to stop the process.

Murphy died in 1998.

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