Documentary exposing the abuse of power in the Catholic Church and a cover-up that winds its way from Wisconsin through Ireland's churches to the highest office of the Vatican.
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This programme contains scenes which some viewers may find disturbing.
When I first entered St John's, I loved it.
The campus of that school was beautiful.
Such magnificent stonework.
It was like a castle.
I loved that school.
Our school had a magnificent statue of Jesus Christ
with his hands lovingly placed on the heads of two children.
I could see that Jesus loved children.
And the children loved Jesus too.
My name is Gary Smith.
It was four in 1954 and I really liked being at school.
I liked being in the dorm.
The dorm was cooler than being at home with my parents,
because I didn't have any siblings.
When I first got to the school, I loved it,
because there were so many children
around the same age as me who I could play with
and they were good people, it was a good group of friends.
In 1953, I was four years old.
I remember when I got there, I couldn't stop crying.
Then, I was looking up at a nun,
she was wearing her black-and-white robes.
I was looking at the nun and my parents left.
Every morning, we'd have mass.
A priest would use incense
and the smell would fill the room.
I felt like we were in heaven.
I wanted to be a Catholic, like everyone else.
And so, when I was ten, Father Murphy baptised me.
Murphy would hug children.
All the kids just loved him, they always flocked to him.
He would play with the kids and the nuns would stand around
just watching and smiling.
I wanted Murphy's attention, like all the other kids.
I needed him, he was like a second father to me.
Father Murphy knew how to sign
and he could communicate with all the kids.
He was a hearing man who could sign and sign very well.
I remember looking at him and thinking,
"Wow, that's really impressive."
Lawrence Murphy was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
and entered the St Francis Seminary in 1943.
After he was ordained as a priest in 1950,
he moved next door on assignment to St John's School For The Deaf.
He had a knack for public speaking and fundraising
and, by 1963, he was promoted
to director of St John's.
After Father Murphy baptised me,
I felt proud, I felt better.
I was excited and couldn't wait to have my first communion when I was 12.
Later on, I got into trouble at school.
I was mischievous and the nuns would come and say,
"Go to Father's room."
And so, I did.
In the confessional booth, there was a dividing wall.
But there was a little space that you could see his face through.
So you could sign back and forth.
And he would bless you.
I filled out the confession form.
The form listed stealing, lying, sex and things like that.
I would mark things off and turn it in.
Father Murphy looked at it and then asked me really weird questions like,
"Have you been with other boys?"
He asked me, "Have you been playing with your penis?"
And I told him, "No."
But he gave me one of his looks.
And it scared me. So I admitted that, yeah, I play with myself.
He told me to pull down my pants and to do it right there.
So I played with myself for a little bit.
He watched me intently until I was done.
Then, he told me that God forgave me
and I felt like my sins had been wiped away.
He could have been playing with himself for all I know,
but I couldn't see.
I remember one afternoon I went to Murphy's office
and he closed the door and he told me to take off my pants.
And I said, "Take off my pants?"
I was shocked. And I thought, "Why would I have to do that?"
And I was looking at this man in a black suit, the white-collar,
and I thought to myself, "He's a priest and I'm supposed to obey him."
So I took my pants down and he molested me.
I felt sick and confused.
"Why would a priest do that to me?
"Is this supposed to be OK? Did I do something wrong?" I didn't know.
After it happened, I just left.
And I just kept it to myself.
I was a monk, I was a very pious monk.
I folded my hands, kept my eyes down, did my studies.
I lived in the system.
Richard Sipe spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk.
He was also a therapist counselling his fellow priests.
Sex in celibacy became central to my research and understanding.
Sipe began what became a 25-year study
examining celibacy in the priesthood.
My intent was that this would help in the training of priests.
I felt that I could make a contribution
by being honest about it.
The data showed that at any one time,
no more than 50% of American Roman Catholic priests were practising celibacy.
There were certain levels of experimentation,
and even criminal involvement with children.
And the more I got into it, the more and more discouraged I got.
They know that celibacy is not practised.
By "they", I mean Vatican authorities,
I mean bishops, I mean religious superiors.
And the higher you go, the more they know.
You may not be keeping your celibacy,
but as long as it's secret, it's OK.
Sipe found that clericalism,
setting a priest on a pedestal above ordinary lay people,
helped to prop up the secret system.
Kids would come forward to their parents and say,
"Well, Father did this to me."
"Oh, don't you say that! You can't say that about a priest!"
Which then allowed priests to express themselves sexually,
some from time to time and some in horrendous ways.
Sipe recognised the syndrome that police call Noble Cause Corruption -
a belief that good intentions purify bad behaviour.
For a priest, belief in his own goodness can transform,
like turning bread into the body of Christ,
a perversion into a holy act.
A priest who had an affair with this 12, 13-year-old girl
brought to one of their encounters what he said was a consecrated host
and he touched it to her vagina and he said,
"This is how God loves you."
And then, he raped her.
It goes from just this broad social acceptance
that the priest is perfect, the Pope is perfect,
to this kind of perversion of power that can be twisted in this way.
The system of the Catholic clergy,
for which I have great respect
and to which I have given many years of my life,
selects, cultivates, protects,
defends and produces sexual abusers.
I went to bed one night and, before I fell asleep,
I could see Murphy creeping into our room,
like a ravenous wolf.
I could see him sit on a bed
in the dim light of the illuminated exit sign.
And I saw that he was molesting a boy.
I imagined Jesus crying on the cross with a broken heart
wondering why Murphy was doing this.
Why was Jesus just watching?
He would walk in like a cat.
Of course we couldn't hear him, but someone would open their eyes
and see a dark shadow passing by and they knew it was him.
I would see how he would go and pick out certain boys.
He knew which boys wouldn't object if he went to them.
The boys noticed that Father Murphy would single out students
with hearing parents who couldn't sign
so that the children couldn't tell their parents
what was happening to them.
He favoured me. He wanted me.
He liked seeing me ejaculate.
He got what he wanted and he would leave, that was his thing.
I was afraid to tell my mother
because I didn't think she would believe me.
She'd say, "A priest would never do something like that to children."
I kept it a secret.
My mother had already been through so much pain.
My brother had been electrocuted,
my father had hung himself.
My mother had been through so much pain and I didn't want to hurt her.
It was hard for me to communicate with my father
and so, my dad would speak and Father Murphy would interpret.
My father never wrote back and forth
because I didn't know how to write well,
so I depended on Father Murphy and the nuns
to communicate with my father.
My parents were hearing, so we used home signs,
not true American Sign Language.
We had some gestures for things like eating and for how the scolded me,
but they wouldn't actually sign "Bad",
they would wag their finger at me.
And there was no TTY, and my parents were far away,
so how could we possibly have communicated?
Murphy took advantage
of children in that situation.
My question is, what about the sisters?
Where were the nuns who were supposed to be watching the children?
The nuns should have been able to hear,
but they turned their heads and looked the other way.
Murphy wasn't the only one
that nuns should have heard creeping through the dorms at night.
Murphy enlisted older boys in an organised system of abuse.
One of these was Tom Tannehill,
a high-school student who had been molested by Murphy.
As a dorm supervisor, Tom had used threats of discipline
to force victim to perform oral sex on him.
Pat Kuehn was only seven when Tom first molested him.
He now believes that Tom was breaking him in for Murphy.
I was very innocent, naive.
After the first time Tom played with me, I got used to it.
I felt so excited that he chose me out of all the others.
It made me feel special.
Bambi was the first movie that I watched with captioning.
Which was really exciting.
I was sitting towards the back of the audience, on the boys' side,
Father Murphy walked up behind me and pushed me in the back of the head.
So I looked up and I waived because I thought he was just saying hi.
And then, I went back to watching.
And he nudged me again, so I acknowledged him.
I think about it now
and it was probably his penis bumping up against me.
He was playing with me.
In 1963, Father Murphy went away for a few weeks.
During his absence,
there was a visiting priest from Chicago named Father Walsh.
I could see Father Walsh signing and I was watching him
and I thought, "You know what? I'm going to try my best to tell him."
I think it was in confession.
And so, I told Father Walsh about Father Murphy molesting me.
He didn't say anything, but I could see his facial expression change.
A week went by and I knew his last day was going to be Friday
and Father Murphy had come back.
Father Murphy comes walking into my classroom
and called Father Walsh.
When I saw that, I knew this was it.
I got up from my chair
and I went and peeked around the coroner from my classroom.
I could see Father Walsh and Father Murphy getting into a huge fight down the hallway.
I went back and sat at my desk and I didn't say a word about it.
Murphy came back and nothing was ever said.
The following year, I was hoping Father Walsh would return,
but he didn't come back.
He didn't come back the second year, he didn't come back the third year,
he just never came back.
During the summer months,
Murphy would take some of the boys up to his cabin,
in northern Wisconsin.
Murphy would ask the boys to choose
which one of them would sleep in the bed with him.
Father Murphy asked who was going to sleep with him
and all of us pointed at this kid, Joe, and said, "He is."
I didn't want to be picked.
Poor Joe, I feel bad that we picked him.
When Murphy took Gary and the other seniors on a road trip
to look at colleges in Washington and New York,
he molested Gary almost every night.
I was afraid if I said "No", he would be mad.
I just didn't know what to do.
I got used to it and didn't care.
I just wanted to graduate and get out of there and feel better.
You know, between the ages of 26 and 31, I was baptised
in a very radical way
to know that this wasn't an anomaly,
that this was a pattern,
that there are treatment centres.
I had no idea that we had treatment centres around the world
for priests to go to when they sexually molested,
raped and sodomised kids.
I didn't know that.
My parents didn't know that.
I didn't know that we had 55 molesters in my monastery.
I didn't know there were more than 70 molesters
operating in the US dioceses.
That wasn't public knowledge.
Shortly after his ordination,
at St John's Abbey, in Collegeville, Minnesota,
Patrick Wall was given a special assignment -
travelling the country putting out fires for the Church.
The sexually abusive priest has to be completely removed,
his stuff was removed, and then, there's another guy,
basically, another black-and-white who's placed in there,
to make sure that the normal things happen -
that people are baptised, people are married, people are buried
and the normal life of the parish can continue.
I thought I was going there to uncover the crime,
to heal the wounds,
I thought it was pastoral care,
you know, comfort the afflicted, what we're ordained for.
But the people sending me in obviously had ulterior motives.
You know, they would give you authorisation
up to 250,000 to settle a case
if you could get a confidentiality order.
And, in 1995, we had a budget of 7 million
to handle the various problems of childhood sexual abuse.
And most people don't want to have anything go public.
I mean, in the Catholic mindset, you don't sue the Church.
They want to know that it's going to stop.
When Wall found out that it didn't stop,
that offending priests were allowed to stay in ministry,
he left the priesthood.
That was part of your brief,
to report these things to the local authorities?
That's the worldwide policy -
to snuff out scandal.
Bob Bolger was another student who was abused at St John's
by Father Murphy.
After graduating from college,
he began hanging out with Arthur and Gary
and found an unexpected way back
to memories of St John's.
I started getting these revelations, these memories.
Finally, I woke up and I was furious
and the more we worked on it, the angrier I got.
I had kept this quiet for so long
and not said anything to anyone.
It suddenly hit me just how wrong this was.
And Bob was like, "Go to the police station, now, go!"
And Gary was thrown off guard.
And Bob said, "If you're angry, Gary, then go.
"Go to the police station. Now, go!"
We went out to the police station and went in.
Bob was writing back and forth with the officer
because he had good English skills.
And then, two police officers told us to stay in a room.
And we waited and waited and waited.
And I went to open the door and the door was locked.
And then, two detectives came into the room and said, "You can go."
And we were all excited about being able to leave.
And guessing that the detectives had already talked to Murphy.
We waited for a week to go by,
then another week went by and then another.
We didn't hear a thing. It was just sickening.
Murphy had told them that it wasn't true and the kids were making it up.
That we were just little troublemakers.
It started to bother me more and more
because I was hearing that he was molesting other kids.
I was mad and I wanted to protect these deaf kids.
And it was time to do something about it. And we did.
We didn't put the reason why on the flyer,
we just wanted it to be a warning to people.
When the school would hold a fundraiser,
they'd go to the cars that were parked at the school
and they would put this flyer,
you know, don't give money to this man because he abuses these kids.
I was shocked and I tried to advise Bob
that, you know, this was not really the way to fix this.
He was caught up in the era of activism
and he was really trying to get deaf people
to kind of stand up for themselves.
At John Conway's suggestion, they hired a lawyer
and began collecting sworn affidavits from Murphy's victims.
The idea was to submit these affidavits,
which were very graphic and very clear,
to Archbishop Cousins and then, we thought the matter would be finished,
we thought that the priest would be removed from the school.
The Church's response was silence.
Determined to make their voices heard,
Bob, Arthur and Gary went to the Milwaukee Cathedral
and handed out their flyers to passers-by.
Suddenly, they were granted a meeting with Archbishop Cousins.
The Archbishop was there, Father Murphy was there.
In fact, Father Murphy sat right next to me.
He would look down, look around,
he was not going to make eye contact with us.
In the group were two priests.
They were described by the Archbishop as members of the Vatican.
And the Archbishop thanked us for bringing this matter
to the attention of the Archdiocese.
He allowed that this problem had existed before,
and he mentioned that back as far as 1960,
this matter had been addressed.
Cousins would deny having said this,
but an investigation revealed that, even before 1960,
Father Walsh had tried to do something about Murphy.
Having heard complaints from Arthur and from other students,
Walsh reported the accusations to Cousins' predecessor,
Meyer went to Murphy and he confessed to the abuse,
but Murphy was not dismissed.
He went away in a short retreat
before being invited back
to supervise children at St John's.
Other deaf people had told Father Walsh
and then, Father Walsh told Meyer in 1957.
And then, I said something in 1963.
It turned out that Walsh had made the same report
to the office of the Papal Nuncio,
the Vatican Ambassador in Washington DC.
So by this meeting, in 1974,
the Vatican had known about Murphy for almost 20 years.
This was known and it had been dealt with in the past.
We immediately said Father Murphy has to be removed from the school.
Murphy said, "No, I take care of the budget and the money and everything."
And Archbishop Cousins got very angry.
He started scolding and arguing with us.
I'm thinking, "Wow, I can't believe this. Where was his compassion?
"Where was his wanting to listen to this?"
So we eventually kind of walked out, the Archbishop's saying to me
that he was very upset because he thought he was dealing
with a person of good faith.
I told him I thought I was dealing with a person of good faith as well.
When deposed years later Archbishop Cousins recalled the meeting,
he said that, at the time, he did not find the allegations credible.
He had conducted an investigation and found no proof.
When asked what steps he had taken
to determine the veracity of the allegations,
Cousins said that he had interviewed Murphy and the school staff.
When the lawyer asked if he had interviewed students,
Cousins admitted that he hadn't bothered to talk to them.
"After all," he said, "The students are deaf."
Bob Bolger, Gary and I went to the Milwaukee Courthouse downtown.
And we started handing out these flyers.
And all the hearing people were shocked.
And Bob put the flyer on DA Michael McCann's desk.
Nobody talked to us, we said nothing,
we just kept handing them out.
The DA's office took notice of the flyers
and granted the men a meeting with then Assistant DA Bill Gardner.
Gardner went out to St John's to question students in the senior boys' dormitory.
They met in our dorm, about six of the boys.
The meeting only lasted about 15, 20 minutes,
cos they all said, "No, no, nothing is going on."
And it didn't take long, it was over.
I was kind of surprised,
cos two of the gentlemen in the dorm
loved to argue and debate anything
and they were quiet as a church mouse.
Gary, Bob and Arthur believed
that their charges were not taken seriously
because McCann and Gardner were devout Catholics.
With no active students willing to come forward,
the brief investigation ended.
McCann's office said they did not investigate past claims
because of the Statute Of Limitations.
The DA's office never brought charges against Murphy,
but at the school, the matter was not forgotten.
One of the gentlemen in the dorm had come by the door to my room,
it was about 10.30, 11 at night.
And he said, "We want to talk to you about Murphy."
You know, that's when they opened up about some of the stuff.
So I did call the Archbishop's office and I just said,
"I have some stuff on the Father Murphy case
"that I think the Archbishop needs to hear."
He and I just met alone and I told him,
"Father Murphy admitted to me that he is molesting boys,"
I said, "I have dates and times"
and I said, "I'm going to go to the parents."
Almost immediately, it was announced
that Father Murphy would leave St John's for health reasons.
The writer for the Milwaukee Sentinel who covered the story
included the allegations against Murphy in her draft.
But the newspaper's editor removed any mention of sexual abuse.
Terry had just returned to St John's to teach history
after graduating from Gallaudet University.
With his new Super 8 camera,
he filmed Murphy's departure.
I remember filming Murphy leaving
and knowing that Murphy was a paedophile.
The children thought that Murphy was leaving because of health reasons,
but I knew he was leaving because he had molested children.
The children lined up to shake his hand.
And through tears, Murphy said goodbye to each of them.
Father Fitzgerald started out as a priest in Boston
and priests come to him who have sexually offended,
so he knows he needs to do something.
He formed an order, the Order of the Paracletes
in order to treat paedophile priests.
The first Servants of the Paraclete treatment centre
was opened in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, in 1947.
Father Fitzgerald did not believe in psychology or counselling.
He favoured spiritual treatment,
hoping that sex offenders and alcoholics
would find salvation on their knees, praying for mercy.
But on one point Father Fitzgerald was absolutely clear -
sexual predators should be defrocked
or hidden from the faithful behind monastery walls.
He came to the conclusion that priests who sexually abuse children are like vipers -
you can never stop them.
The only thing you can do is remove them from their target population
and make them live a life of prayer and penance.
He wrote to the Pope, he constantly wrote to bishops
and he said, "Look, this is a terrible problem.
"Paedophilia is infesting lots of seminaries,
"you've got to do something about it."
So, he thought, "Let's get an island!
"You can't stop them, but you can contain them.
"Let's get an island in the Caribbean."
He sent a priest out, he was looking in Barbados,
he was looking in various islands and they went ahead
and they actually did begin the process to buy an island.
It was the island of Carriacou, off the coast of Grenada,
famous for its nutmeg and beautiful beaches.
The Church put a 5,000 down payment on Carriacou,
but Church superiors overruled the idea of an island for paedophile priests.
Then, the Church hierarchy decided to change the policy of the Paracletes.
Instead of removing priests from victims,
the centres attempted to rehabilitate and recirculate them.
From the 50s to the 90s,
the Servants of the Paraclete spent 80 million
treating more than 2,000 priests
in special centres in Italy, France,
Great Britain, Africa, South America and the Philippines.
Lawrence Murphy retreated to his cabin in Boulder Junction,
a small town in northern Wisconsin.
He was assigned to a local church, St Anne's.
But the parish was not told anything about Murphy's past.
Murphy continued to abuse local children.
Back in Milwaukee, Gary Smith decided to tell his father
about the abuse he suffered as a teenager.
John Conway did the interpreting and explained it to my father
and he was very upset.
And that's when my dad lost his temper
and decided to contact a lawyer.
They decided to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese,
the school and Father Murphy.
Nuns from the school
and other supporters of Father Murphy within the deaf community
began showing up at Gary's apartment,
pressuring him to drop the lawsuit.
Then, mysteriously, the matter was settled.
Father Murphy agreed to pay 500 for Gary's legal fees
and St John's offered Gary the sum of a few thousand dollars for counselling.
The deal was struck
after a nun called Sister Martha Ann visited Gary,
who had no-one to translate for him,
and persuaded Gary to sign an unusual document
in which he dropped the case and apologised to the Church.
He, of course, is deaf and marginality literate.
Not all deaf people are illiterate, but English is not their language.
They coerced and tricked him into a settlement.
Despite Gary's apology,
the Church failed to pay the 5,000 for his therapy
for 20 years.
Father Doyle is an early whistleblower in the scandal.
He's working for the Papal Nuncio in Washington,
he's beginning to see some of the communication about these cases
and is realising that it could be a bigger problem
than just a couple bad apples, a bad priest here or there.
He initially tries to work within Church channels
and he thinks that there's going to be a response.
When there isn't, he eventually becomes a public whistleblower.
The attitude from the Vatican was, "We don't turn our priests in.
"This is our problem, we take care of it,
"you don't refer to the civil authorities
"when they're committing felony crimes."
Now, I don't know what they would have done if it would have been a slew of murders.
He has remained in the Church while being both a critic of the Church
and an expert witness in lawsuits against the Church.
I first became aware of the Murphy case
when it became publicly known
and I was asked to evaluate some of the information.
The Vatican knew that there'd been prior reports about Murphy,
there was no conspiracy,
but there was something far worse than a conspiracy.
The very policy of keeping this absolutely secret,
that was the policy.
And the first regulations to keep these issues absolutely secret
were issued in 1866 by the Vatican.
Back in the 1980s, Father Doyle wrote that these cases
were going to cost the Church eventually 1 billion.
The last estimate is it's over 2 billion.
So he was right.
'Facing the crisis,
'Catholics confront the sex abuse scandal on the very first day...'
'NBC News In Depth tonight. Crisis in the Church...'
'New details tonight about how the Boston Archdiocese handled the case
'of a priest charged now with repeatedly raping a young boy.'
'Tonight, another priest...'
'John Geoghan, accused by more than 130 of abuse...'
'Newly released documents show Boston Church officials knew...'
'Cardinal Law knew of Shanley's alleged abusive behaviour,
'but never informed legal authorities...'
'Last month's life sentence given to Father John Hanlon
'for raping a young boy
'is the latest chapter in a scandal that is...'
'Now, after the Church sex scandal first came to light in Boston,
'thousands of victims across the country have gone public...'
'This morning, the Pope has broken his silence
'about the growing sexual abuse rocking the Catholic Church in the United States.'
'Even President Bush weighed in yesterday saying he's confident
'the Church will clean up its business and do the right thing.'
DEMONSTRATORS: 'Law must go! Law must go!'
Identified as a key figure who covered up sex abuse in Boston,
Cardinal Law cost the Church tens of millions of dollars in settlements.
But instead of being punished by the Vatican,
Law was rewarded with a seven-year term
at this magnificent basilica in Rome.
It sends a pretty blatant message that victims aren't that important,
but you've persecuted this poor cardinal.
You know, he's suffered enough, now we've got to give him
a nice cushy job to protect him.
One of the things that Vatican officials had tried to do
is portray this as an American thing
or, at best, an Anglo-Saxon thing.
Oh, the sex abuse scandals,
they happen only in the United States, in Canada...
And, suddenly, in the year 2010,
this great scandal explodes in Europe.
It explodes in Ireland,
in Austria, in Switzerland,
in France, in Belgium.
Everybody points to this to be from the date 2002,
when the Boston Globe said, "Hey, we have a problem here."
And they subsequently published 1,200 articles.
This is an old, old problem
and if you follow this problem to its foundation,
it will lead you to the highest corridors of the Vatican.
Benedicti Decimi Sexti.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope,
and chose the name Benedict XVI.
He was known as a great theologian and intellectual.
What many did not realise
was that for 25 years, he'd led the Vatican Office familiar
with the most severe cases of sex abuse by priests,
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The CDF has a dark history.
When it was founded in the 16th century,
it was known as the Inquisition.
Ratzinger took that job over,
he was Archbishop of Munich and Freising,
and he was promoted by John Paul II to run
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Think of the Pope in the middle and a whole bunch of offices around him.
What you had was multiple offices of the Holy See, who ultimately
don't talk to one another, handling these different cases.
And so, cases wouldn't get bogged down.
But then what happened in 2001,
Ratzinger put out this teaching approved by John Paul II that said,
"Every sex abuse case that involves a minor, they all come to my desk."
From 2001 forward,
every single priest sex abuse case went to Ratzinger.
Cardinal Ratzinger, now His Holiness Benedict XVI,
is the most knowledgeable person in the world
regarding priestly sexual abuse of minors,
cos he has all the data.
Inside the cloistered walls of the Vatican
lie voluminous records of worldwide sexual abuse in the priesthood,
centralised in the secret archives
of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
It is the century-old history of the Catholic Church.
We have documents from councils in Spain in the 4th century
after Christ, in which there is written something about
sex abuse with children.
So it is 1,700 years that the church is dealing about this.
This is the guilt of the Vatican.
They could already understand that this scandal was not just
an American scandal, and that a paedophile is not a sinner,
but he's a criminal.
He is a criminal who plans his activity, who is very
attentive to organise situations in which he can abuse children.
# Well, it's one for the money And it's two for the show
# Three to get ready Now, go, cat, go
# But don't you Stand on my blue suede shoes
# You can do anything But lay off of my blue suede shoes. #
For most people, Tony Walsh was the priest from Ballyfermot
who did an Elvis impersonation,
He was part of the Singing Priests group.
And he was very good, he was a really, really popular priest.
What most people didn't know was that Tony Walsh
was Ireland's most notorious paedophile.
In 2010, a government investigation revealed that Walsh,
by his own count, had committed over 200 acts of abuse.
That investigation, known as the Murphy Report, also uncovered the
fact that the archdiocese of Dublin had known about Walsh's activity
for nearly 20 years, yet did nothing to inform parents or police.
In Ireland, Catholicism is kind of like a blood type.
It's the status quo, it's what's always been done,
you don't question it, you blindly go along with it.
The Catholic Church was part of who we are and what we are.
The priest, he is the carrier of the sacrament.
You know, it's almost like he's the...he's got the Holy Grail.
I remember interviewing a woman once and she said,
"We used to get down on our knees
"when he passed by and bless ourselves."
"He carried the host." That's how people saw them
and that's because they were almost Godlike.
The government investigation into the Singing Priest uncovered
church documents that revealed a new dimension
to the worldwide sex abuse scandal.
It was the role played by bishops
and the Vatican in allowing the abuse to continue.
Year after year,
parents reported Walsh's abuse to the Dublin archdiocese,
but the church did not punish the priest,
reach out to the victims or alert local parents.
As revelations continued in the Walsh case,
parents and survivors scanned the Murphy Report to learn
the extent of the crimes and the cover-up.
Documents showed that the church kept allowing Walsh
to care for children, even after a secret stint in a clinic
run by the Servants of the Paraclete.
VOICE DISTORTED: The clinic allowed Father Walsh
to roam the streets of the nearby large city,
after admitting to abusing 100 kids, unsupervised.
He was allowed to dress in clerical attire
and said Masses in the local churches.
Father Walsh visited a house
and paid a lot of attention to the 11-year-old son.
He agreed to babysit for the children
-and God knows what happened to the kids that week.
I mean, that's a clinic allowing him to do something like that.
-That is ridiculous. And they're not being held accountable.
Father Walsh was immediately removed from the clinic.
I think it's about time
when a paedophile gets thrown out of a clinic.
Through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
And we ask these and all our prayers,
through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen.
Even after a decade of abuse,
the faithful heard nothing about Walsh from the Archbishop of Dublin.
-Why didn't you go yourself, Bishop?
-Go to the victims yourself.
-And encourage them to go to the police.
I suppose perhaps I should have, perhaps I should have done
but, erm, I've so much to do.
In secret, Archbishop Connell did launch an investigation,
but according to the laws of Roman Catholicism,
known as Canon law, Connell followed orders from the Vatican to keep
any details of Walsh's crimes hidden behind the walls of the church.
Everybody involved in that process,
the accuser, the accused and the witnesses,
are all obliged to take an oath of absolute secrecy,
that they will never reveal for the rest of their life
any of the information that they learned in the process.
Following the dictates of the Vatican,
13 years after the first sign of Walsh's abuse,
Archbishop Connell finally convened a secret church trial.
They appoint three judges, Canon lawyers, to listen to evidence,
which is overwhelmingly evidence against this guy, and they
recommend in 1992 that he should be dismissed from the priesthood.
And he's always pleaded not guilty.
Even though he's admitted to 100 cases of abuse,
he's pleaded not guilty.
He appeals that to Rome.
For eight months, the Vatican dithers
and decides what to do with him,
and in that eight months he abuses another child.
Abuses a child at his grandfather's funeral.
The Vatican is fundamentally responsible
for this guy being abused.
The Vatican come back and decide,
"Well, we won't dismiss him from the priesthood,
"Put him in a monastery for 10 years."
The bishop is tearing his hair out.
"What do you mean, put him in a monastery for 10 years?!
"No monastery will take him!"
And so, Des Connell pleads with the Vatican, and he personally
went to see Cardinal Ratzinger to write his dismissal order.
The Vatican did nothing.
But angry parents forced the police to act.
Walsh was convicted of sexual assault in 1995.
Only then, after tolerating Walsh's abuse of hundreds of children,
did the Vatican finally dismiss Father Walsh
from the priestly state.
Two priests who were judges on the Tony Walsh case
swore an oath of secrecy.
Where are they now? They're two bishops.
For priests, secrecy can have its rewards.
But for the faithful in Ireland, the cover-up may be an unforgivable sin.
We were 95% practising Catholics.
I spoke to a priest only yesterday, he says,
"4% come to church in Dublin."
But that's not to say that they've lost their faith.
They certainly lost faith in the hierarchy.
In 2010, Pope Benedict sought to bring the flock back to the church
by writing an unprecedented letter to the Irish faithful.
To us bishops he says,
"We must admit that grave errors of judgment were made,
"and failures of leadership occurred which have seriously
"undermined our credibility and effectiveness."
What he does is, he blames the Irish bishops for their misplaced concern
for the reputation of the church in the avoidance of scandal,
for not following Canon law.
He never once acknowledged the role of the Vatican in all of this.
I spoke to one bishop who was so angry.
He said, "How dare he blame us?
"Show me where we didn't follow Canon law!
"Canon law was the problem!"
That prompted a few people to come out of the woodwork, if you like.
An anonymous source leaked a mysterious document.
It was a smoking gun.
A 1997 letter from the Vatican
that overruled attempts by Irish bishops
to report sex abuse to the police.
Why didn't any of them just stand up publicly and come out and say,
"The Vatican has instructed us not to report crimes to the police"?
Because they are totally loyal to the Vatican.
In 2011, the release of yet another government investigation
was the final blow which shattered relations
between the Vatican and Ireland.
The report excavates the dysfunction, the disconnection,
the elitism that dominates the culture of the Vatican today.
The rape and the torture of children were downplayed
or managed to uphold instead the primacy of the institution
its power, its standing and its reputation.
withering position being the polar opposite of the radicalism,
the humility and the compassion upon which the Roman Church was founded.
Even as Irish churches lay empty,
Rome received tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world
who had come to see the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
PRAYER IN LATIN
As the prayers continued late into the night,
victims of sex abuse couldn't help wondering
why Benedict was in such a rush
to move John Paul's soul on the path to sainthood.
Maciel Maciel Degollado was one of the world's most charismatic
fundraisers for the Catholic Church.
In 1941, he founded the Legion Of Christ,
a group of young zealots who raised phenomenal amounts of money
and opened universities and seminaries all over the world.
Maciel controlled an annual operating budget of 650 million,
and counted amongst his friends the world's richest man, Carlos Slim,
Jeb Bush, Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup,
and former CIA director William Casey.
Maciel was also a particular favourite of Pope John Paul II
who exalted him as a holy man and visionary.
Maciel was as connected as you could get in Rome
and he got that way by giving money to people.
He was held in great favour by John Paul II.
For a number of reasons. The money was certainly one of them.
And second, he was bowing and scraping
and worshipping the Pope and the Pope apparently liked it.
But, as the song goes, though Maciel looks like an angel
and talked like an angel, he was a devil in disguise.
Behind closed doors, Maciel led a secret life.
He was a morphine addict
and a ruthless sex criminal who abused dozens of his legionaries.
He would visit the monasteries every few days
and insist on being masturbated
or on having sex with one of the boys.
Often posing as an agent of the CIA,
he had at least two secret mistresses and four children.
He abused some of them too.
Yet even when stories in the press started to emerge about Maciel,
John Paul did not investigate him, he celebrated him.
In 1997, when Renner and I did the investigative piece
for the Hartford Courant,
the response we got from the Vatican was nothing.
To say that John Paul was not given the information is preposterous.
He is the Pope. People around him have this kind of information.
One key cardinal, Angelo Sodano, stayed close to Maciel
even as Maciel funnelled millions of dollars into the Vatican.
Sodano would be Maciel's protector right to the end.
The Maciel case is really a school case
in order to understand how the machine works within the Vatican.
Marco Politi is one of Italy's most knowledgeable Vatican-watchers.
He has also spent a considerable amount of time
with Joseph Ratzinger.
From the outside, Ratzinger is often perceived as a stiff personality,
cold, merciless with the dissenters in the Church.
If you see him from the inside, in the inner circle,
it's a very warm personality, sensitive.
So he has always been very shocked
when he has heard about sex abuse scandals.
For him it is a horrible sin.
His first reaction is the horror that a priest could do
something like this. That's telling.
It wasn't, "These poor victims!" That was not his first reaction.
His first reaction is,
"It's despoiled the priesthood! The sacred institution!"
Yet, when he was a cardinal,
it was his job to examine every one of these sex abuse cases.
Ratzinger would have liked to open an investigation
but he was stopped by the Secretary Of State, Cardinal Sodano.
Sodano's ability to protect Maciel put Ratzinger in a difficult
position as more and more victims of Maciel came forward.
What you find in Ratzinger at that point is a man who is troubled
by justice that had not gone forward
and yet at the same time was trying to balance his loyalty to the Pope,
who clearly did not want Maciel prosecuted.
Cardinal Ratzinger waits till the moment when John Paul II is dying.
The same day that John Paul II dies,
the Prosecutor General of the Congregation Of Faith flies
to New York and he stays in New York and in Mexico City for eight days
and he gets all the material to show that Maciel was a sex criminal.
So it is interesting, for at least 15 years, the Vatican didn't move
a finger to investigate and only in the moment
when all the Vatican is stopped because the Pope is dead
Cardinal Ratzinger succeeds to get the evidence.
Cardinal Ratzinger's investigation confirmed his suspicion
of Maciel's crimes but still he did not act.
When Benedict became Pope in 2005, did Benedict order his trial?
Did Benedict punish him in any way? No.
Not even a Pope is all-powerful because he lives in a structure -
the Roman Curia which is almost 2,000 years old -
and the structure always wants to defend itself.
He searched the truth about Maciel but he didn't get the courage
to condemn him immediately, publicly and to defrock him.
In 1997, facing a disease that would ultimately take his life,
Bob Bolger made this video to memorialise Father Murphy's crimes.
He set out on a road trip with his friends from St John's, Arthur
and Gary, to see if they could finally hold Murphy to account.
Murphy was living at the cabin in Boulder Junction
with a deaf housekeeper who'd studied and worked at St John's.
Bob gave me the camera and I videotaped it.
And then Murphy came out. And they met.
And Bob got in his face and really let him have it.
He told him, "You need to walk yourself right now
"to the police station.
"Walk yourself to jail."
Don't bother me. Don't bother me. Go on.
Then Grace got involved and was saying, "Forget it, forgive him!"
And Bolger is like, "You don't understand, Grace,
"stay out of it." After that, we got in the car and we left.
When I told my wife what I had experienced with Murphy,
her heart broke for me.
When I finally told her I thought,
"Shit, I should never have told my wife!"
I thought I had made a mistake.
I shouldn't have said anything, I should've kept it to myself.
But it was too late.
We grappled with it and my wife ultimately took me
to a psychologist.
So when I finally blew, just let it all out,
I decided to write what turned out to be a seven-page letter to Murphy.
I had to unleash every angry emotion that I had ever felt
and I just regurgitated it onto paper to Murphy.
I sent that letter off to him
and I got no reply so I wrote a second letter to Murphy.
Still no reply.
Weakland inherited Murphy in 1976
and all through the '70s and through the '80s and up until that letter
does absolutely nothing with him. Not a thing.
He keeps gathering information on Murphy
because victims keep coming to the archdioceses about him.
"What's happening with him? What are you doing with him?"
He does psychological and criminological assessments of Murphy
where they determine he has assaulted probably 200 children.
The therapist's handwritten notes on her interviews with Murphy
not only determined that he was untreatable,
they also revealed his complex justifications for his crimes.
Father Thomas Brundage called priest paedophilia
"a form of homicide",
in that it takes away children's innocence.
Would you agree or disagree with that observation?
If you had asked me that in 1979,
I would not have agreed but if you
ask me that now in the year 2008, I would say in almost every case, yes.
What do you do about Father Murphy?
It was a question which repeated itself over and over again.
The statutes of limitation had expired
so criminal charges in the courts were out of the question.
Statute of limitations in the Church courts,
according to Church law, Canon law, had expired long before the others.
Then it became evident that it might be possible to still submit the
Murphy case on the basis of the way in which he used the confessional.
That was one where the statute of limitation never expires.
I submitted that to Cardinal Ratzinger's office.
Finally, I think after a year, we got an answer back saying,
"Yes, we can open the case."
Weakland had a private conversation with Cardinal Ratzinger.
Weakland also had a formal meeting to
plead his case at the Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith.
The deaf community in Milwaukee wanted to dismiss Father Murphy
from religious life, so my heart went out to them.
It went out to the kids in particular
because they had not been believed by anybody.
This meeting was held in the last week of May.
In the middle of the summer, towards August, we got a letter
that this case would not go forward because Father Murphy was quite ill.
I felt awful having to go back and to say there was nothing more
I could do, I felt awful about that.
Weakland actually made an effort to do what any
ordinary citizen would do - get the guy out and protect others.
However, he did it without sacrificing his standing
in the clerical culture and with the Vatican.
He had his own sexual activity that he had to hide and keep secret
and that distorts the whole picture.
Weakland's activity was a homosexual affair that he had had with
a graduate student who ultimately blackmailed him
and the Church for 450,000.
Weakland's fall from grace
had nothing to do with sexual abuse really,
I mean, it was a consensual relationship
with somebody who was 35.
The big problem was the payoff, the paying for silence.
That was the real scandal.
This scandal distracted people from a key element of the Murphy story.
Rome may have refused to move against Murphy
because of a letter
that Father Murphy had written to Cardinal Ratzinger.
"I have repented of any of my past transgressions
"and have been living peaceably in northern Wisconsin for 24 years.
"I simply want to live out the time that I have left
"in the dignity of my priesthood."
It's not just, "I'm an old man. I'm an old PRIEST. I'm an old priest.
"Don't throw me away because I have this special mark.
"I am another Christ."
See, there is a heresy that the Church teaches.
When a man is ordained a priest, he is changed ontologically.
He is made a different brand of human being. A little less than the angels.
These are people set apart.
They are called, they are chosen by God, they want to protect
the sacramentality, the supernatural element and so that is
why they were very, very careful to do anything to the priest.
A priest can take bread and wine
and make Jesus Christ present on this altar.
He has power over heaven and hell, somebody comes to you in confession
and you say, "I won't absolve you" - he'll be damned.
The church court informed me
that Murphy couldn't go to his church hearing,
because he was too ill.
And Murphy wouldn't live much longer.
But Murphy went to play the slots.
And then he collapsed and was taken to the hospital.
Murphy passed away and he was buried in his priestly vestments,
in a Catholic cemetery.
LOUDSPEAKERS, IN ITALIAN: 'God helps throughout history.
'While contemplating the mystery we give thanks to God.
'We thank the Father.'
There are many people inside the Vatican
who still don't see how serious a matter this is.
And the code of Omerta, the code of silence,
keeps people from speaking out.
It's part of the whole psyche and mentality
and ethos of the hierarchy.
This idea that there are enemies out to destroy the church,
and do whatever you can to keep ammunition away from them.
For centuries the Vatican has been accustomed
to show to the world always that it is perfect.
So, you understand that the Vatican is terrorised that in Italy
you could have, also, thousands of sex abuse cases which,
up till now, have been hidden.
news of victims is often drowned out by more powerful voices.
The signal from Vatican Radio is so strong that Romans can often
hear Sunday mass on their electric doorbells.
But when it comes to stories about sex abuse,
there is a deafening silence on Italy's national networks.
I think, for Catholic journalists, it has been a very difficult time.
I still hear some of the old Monsignori in the Vatican,
saying, "Oh, boys have always done this,
"in all-male environments, it's normal."
And, I mean, "This wasn't abuse, these kids,
"they were interested, and it's rites of passage."
Even in 2011.
One bishop made the statement, "Little boys heal.
"They will get over it."
In reference to a priest
who had marauded a number of young boys,
10, 12, 13-year-old boys.
Anally raping them, and things like that. You don't heal from that.
And most instances, your life is never the same. It's ruined.
I realised that the Vatican was in control of every priest
and every nun, every bishop and every cardinal,
and they were all under oath, they couldn't talk about it.
I couldn't stand seeing the church tell everyone to keep quiet,
and not talk about it.
Terry, having written to Cardinal Sodano,
on that, I felt we could build a case.
Jeff said, "Your letter to the Vatican was very powerful,
"and I'd be honoured to represent you."
I immediately agreed, and signed the paperwork.
When they left, I said to my wife,
"Jeff is going to help me sue the Vatican.
"He's going to get things in motion."
I love Jeff for that.
Jeff Anderson & Associates filed a lawsuit
against the Vatican on Terry's behalf.
The suit named Pope Benedict, the current Vatican Secretary of State,
Cardinal Bertone, and the former Secretary of State, Cardinal Sodano.
What we implore the Vatican to do in this lawsuit,
and what we need them to do, is to act.
That is, to disclose the secrets,
the evidence of the crimes that they have,
the identities of the offenders,
and the bishops, archbishops and cardinals
that have been complicit in those crimes, worldwide.
As a result of Terry's lawsuit,
documents were uncovered revealing the role of Rome
in the worldwide sex abuse scandal
that caught the attention of the New York Times.
These documents seemed to turn the whole story
that we'd been writing all these years, on its head.
Up until then, what we thought was that American bishops were at fault.
With these documents, for the first time,
we saw communication between American bishops
and in particular the office run by then-Cardinal Ratzinger,
in which the American bishops are pleading
with officials in the Vatican, repeatedly,
saying, "Help us get this priest out of the priesthood.
"The victims are asking us to defrock him."
And the response from the Vatican is to have compassion for the priest,
and almost no thought at all about the victims.
And you see that in these documents.
I was completely unprepared for the reaction.
I had no idea how big the story was.
I got hate mail, I got hate phone calls that were anti-Semitic.
The New York Times, and me personally,
we were accused of being anti-Catholic.
This is being driven by Jeffrey Anderson,
teaming up with the New York Times, going back half a century.
The alleged abuse took place in the 1950s.
The Vatican didn't find out about the case until 1996.
Ratzinger goes ahead and orders an investigation,
and during that two-year period while they are investigating,
Father Murphy dies.
Now what exactly was Ratzinger supposed to do?
Where is the wrongdoing?
It appeared to me that Mr Donohue didn't even read the story.
The victims, and their advocates, met with Archbishop Cousins in 1974.
And there were representatives of the Vatican in that meeting.
They were introduced to two men who said
they were from the Papal Nuncio's office.
There was a way that the Vatican was informed
of that case, as early as 1974.
Deny, minimise, and blame.
And so they now blame the media,
they now blame the lawyers,
they now even blame the survivors.
In 2011, Jeff Anderson & Associates
attempted to serve legal papers from Terry's lawsuit, to the Vatican.
The FedEx package was returned, with the Vatican's comment marked,
"undesired and unwanted".
Forcing Anderson's next attempt
to be made through the US State Department.
The church claims to be, and is recognised as, a state.
States have immunities, states have their own law.
They are severely disordered, and that's why they abuse.
Geoffrey Robertson is a human rights lawyer,
and the author of the book The Case of the Pope.
He seeks to hold the Pope accountable
for crimes against humanity,
and to demolish the diplomatic immunity of the Vatican.
The Vatican is not really a state.
It's a tiny little religious enclave in Rome.
It doesn't have a people. There are no Vaticanians.
No-one gets born in the Vatican, except by accident.
It's a group of celibate religious figures.
It's got no army, no soccer team,
none of the attributes of statehood.
Yet it has this power because of an historical anomaly.
In 1929, Mussolini made an alliance
with the man who became Pope Pious XI.
The church supported Mussolini's one-party, fascist state,
in return for being given the attribute of statehood.
It is the creation of a state
for the Catholic Church, by fascists.
This fence is the border of the country
that is known as the Vatican.
178 countries now acknowledge the Vatican as a state.
Politicians like to go and meet the Pope.
They like to have the blessing of the Pope,
to encourage their voters.
But the Pope poses a problem.
According to Canon Law,
the Pontiff cannot be judged by any civil or religious authority.
He is beyond the law.
It will be, I think, an important task,
to work out how to bring the Pope beneath the law,
by arguing either that the Vatican is not a real state
or that the degree of his negligence
over the child abuse scandal
does involve him in a crime against humanity.
This is a global church
that is growing most rapidly in the developing world.
In these cultures, the idea of someone coming forward
and saying a priest has done something wrong,
it doesn't happen.
There is such a stigma to this problem,
so much shame and embarrassment, but we know it goes on there.
Because it's a human problem.
And there have started to be cases, in Latin America,
in the Philippines, even some in Africa and India, very slowly.
They are about where the American church was in the 1960s and 1970s.
There is going to be a delayed reaction in that part of the world.
In America, one of the church's most public defenders
has been Timothy Dolan, who was recently promoted to Cardinal.
In 2009, Dolan was the Archbishop of Milwaukee,
where he endured legal settlements to abuse victims
that cost the church more than 26 million.
When you think of what happened,
both that a man who proposes to act in the name of God
would abuse an innocent young person,
and that some bishops would have, in a way, countenanced that,
by reassigning abusers, that's nothing less than hideous.
Nothing less than nauseating.
The second story, morally, is the church's reaction to that,
which I think has been good.
Many would disagree.
The fact is that abuse cases
continue to surface all over the country.
While in Milwaukee, Dolan met with victims,
but also took bold steps to protect the church from their claims.
Survivors note that Dolan moved assets
from living victims to dead souls,
by transferring 55 million of church money to a cemetery trust.
Then in 2011, the Archdiocese declared bankruptcy.
But in 2012, 570 victims of sex abuse,
including Arthur and Gary,
were granted the right to a trial against the Church
in Milwaukee's bankruptcy court.
Their goal was to uncover more documents regarding sex abuse
and to obtain cash settlements for survivors.
This is the largest organisation in the world.
You have rivers of cash, Sunday after Sunday,
that flow into these collection plates.
There is great concern within the hierarchy
about the impact of the financial losses.
Eight diocese have taken bankruptcy protection
to negotiate mass settlements,
Boston lost more than 50% of it's parishes.
Benedict XVI would like to heal the situation, to heal the victims.
On the other hand, he is in a sort of stalemate
because the organisations of the victims
want full transparency about the past.
They don't want only that the priests are defrocked.
They want full transparency about the past.
And I don't think that Benedict XVI is able to resolve this problem.
The ongoing revelations have provoked survivors to demand
a complete accounting of all cases of paedophile priests.
Open the archives.
The church is a perfect society.
And its witness is as perfect society to the rest of the world.
If we could get that out of our minds...
Maybe we could take the pedestal away from the priest,
take the pedestal away from the cardinals, take the pedestal away
from the whole church, and be willing to say,
"This is us, world. This is us. This is who we are.
"We are a church of imperfect people."
Jesus wasn't afraid of humanity, and we shouldn't be either.
When I'm asked in court, often times,
"How many times have you testified on behalf of the church?"
And my response usually is, "Always."
And they'll say, "Really?!" "Yeah, really."
The people, they are the church.
The victims, their mothers, fathers, friends,
those are the church.
They're the people of God,
as is found very clearly in the Gospel stories of Christ.
They are the people of God, they're the church.
Hi, my name is Gary Smith. Hello. I thank you all for coming here today.
One of our heroes.
Thank you all for coming here and supporting us here today.
Thank you. I love you.
I'm so glad that all of us are here and willing to share,
and I thank the whole team of lawyers that have been here,
supporting all of us.
I really went into hiding for about 35 years.
And now I'm here, and I feel really good.
The future of the children is what's important.
And I decided to come and support everyone, all the victims.
That filing of that bankruptcy did not stop us.
And will not stop us.
The idea of a group of deaf men,
leafleting the cars outside of a cathedral,
with a wanted poster of a priest,
at a time when nobody suspected priests of wrongdoing, not
to mention sexual abuse,
and trying to shout and to warn,
that just bowled me over.
They were really the first victims who realised
that they had to make public what was taking place. And they did that.
And to think that a quarter of a century later,
this case is bringing about change,
that is a moment of resurrection.
Coming out of this silence, of this deaf community,
is this unbelievably loud and deafening cry for justice.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exposes abuse of power in the Catholic Church and a cover-up that winds its way from Wisconsin, through Ireland's churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican. The film investigates the secret crimes of a charismatic priest who abused over 200 deaf children in a school under his control and documents the first known public protest against clerical sex abuse in the US - a struggle of more than three decades by four deaf young men who set out to expose the priest who had abused them. Their efforts ultimately led to a lawsuit against the former pope, Benedict XVI himself.