Vatican Denies Cover-Up in US Molestation Case
Says it's a deliberate attempt to smear pope
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 25, 2010 12:01 PM CDT
Members of the SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest), display photos of people they claim have been victims of abuse during a press conference in front of The Vatican, March 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
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(Newser) – 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 today that 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.