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An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-03-25

New sex scandal hits Catholic Church in US

The day after an Irish bishop resigned over failing to report cases of sex abuse in his diocese to the police, a new scandal has hit the Catholic Church in Wisconsin. This and other stories in today’s international press review. THURSDAY, 25th MARCH, 2010

The New York Times reports that Pope Benedict XVI failed to defrock an abusive priest in Wisconsin despite being informed by American bishops that he had abused up to 200 deaf boys between 1950 and 1974.
 
At the time that the abuse became known, the Pope was at the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith which has the power to defrock priests. The paper says that the then Cardinal Ratzinger chose to keep the abuse quiet. His priority was to protect the Church and civilian authorities were not informed.
 
The priest in question, Rev. Lawrence Murphy was simply moved elsewhere and died in 1998 having worked for years afterwards in contact with children.
 
Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph reports that an Irish bishop, John Magee resigned yesterday. Magee was the Bishop of Cloyne in the south of Ireland. He was informed in 1995 of two priests in his diocese accused of sexual abuse but never informed the police. Magee’s resignation is particularly embarrassing for the Vatican as he had served as private secretary to three successive popes.
 
In today’s Los Angeles Times, Irish singer Sinéad O’ Connor says that there should be a full criminal investigation of the Pope. O’ Connor became infamous in 1992 for tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, an American TV show, this as she criticized the Church for failing to protect children affected by child abuse.
 
As for the Pope’s letter to the Irish faithful sent out this past weekend, O’Connor said, “It’s a study in the fine art of lying and actually betraying your own people.”
 
Other stories in today’s international papers:
 
The Hindu: Disputed isle in Bay of Bengal disappears
 
Times of India (New Delhi edition):  “New Moore isle no more, expert blames warming”
 
The Huffington Post: Biden on “Big F---ing Deal”: Obama Loved It
 
Daily Mail: Who needs a Space Shuttle? Amazing pictures of Earth captured by one man, a balloon and his compact camera
 

By James CREEDON

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