Undesired and Unwanted

That is exactly what the Vatican stated when it was faced with accepting service of Terry Kohut’s lawsuit relating to the sexual abuse of hundreds of boys  by Fr. Lawrence Murphy at the St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   According to a document filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Vatican accepted service of the legal documents involved with the lawsuit and then, four days later, the Vatican contacted FedEx and asked FedEx to retrieve the package because the package was “undesired and unwanted.”  


Unfortunately, Terry Kohut has experienced this message before.  When he wrote to the Archbishop of Milwaukee about Fr. Murphy’s sexual abuse of him and his friend while at St. John’s, the Archbishop ignored Terry’s plea for help.  This communicated to Terry that he and his friend were “undesired and unwanted.”   When Terry wrote Vatican officials about Fr. Murphy, the lack of any response from the Vatican communicated that Terry and his fellow deaf students were  “undesired and unwanted.”  Although disappointed in the Vatican’s return of the package containing the legal documents, Terry Kohut was not surprised.  His church has made it abundantly clear that he and the hundreds of deaf students who were sexually abused at St. John’s School for the Deaf are “undesired and unwanted.”   

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It is time that the Vatican do an about face regarding its treatment of the students at St. John’s School for the Deaf.  It is time that the Vatican treat these boys with the respect and compassion that they deserve.  Stop playing legal games and start protecting kids.  Stop forcing Terry to jump through legal hoops that are entirely unwarranted, when all Terry wants to do is to protect kids.  Come to court and put on your case.  If there is a valid defense as to why the Vatican allowed Fr. Murphy to sexually abuse hundreds of deaf kids at St. John’s, let’s hear it.