Deaf victim of sex abuse is suing pope, and going public with his story for the first time
September 23rd, 2010
09:10 AM ET

Deaf victim of sex abuse is suing pope, and going public with his story for the first time

Editor’s note: A one-hour CNN special, “What the Pope Knew,” will air Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, 8pm and 11pm ET. This story is drawn from that exclusive report.

By Scott Bronstein
CNN Special Investigations Unit

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – Terry Kohut has kept a dark secret for nearly 50 years. Now he is breaking his silence, becoming a key figure in the sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and the growing controversy over what Pope Benedict XVI did about it.

When Kohut was barely a teen, and for years afterward, he says, he was sexually molested and assaulted by the headmaster and priest of the school where he lived, St. John’s School for the Deaf, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What occurred there is one of the most notorious cases of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Kohut was not alone. From 1950 to 1974 the headmaster of St. Johns, Father Lawrence C. Murphy, raped and molested as many as 200 deaf boys, according to court and church documents.

Kohut has now filed the first sex-abuse lawsuit against the Vatican actually naming Pope Benedict, previously known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as a defendant.

Ratzinger was once head of the Vatican’s powerful CDF, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, charged in certain circumstances with investigating the sexual abuse of minors by priests. And though church records show the abuse by Father Murphy was brought to the attention of Ratzinger and the CDF years ago, a church trial against the headmaster was stopped and he was allowed to remain a priest.

The Vatican’s “policy of secrecy” in abuse cases, and its “directives to conceal the sexual abuse of children” by priests, the lawsuit says, helped bring about the abuse of Kohut and others by Father Murphy.

Kohut has never before gone public or spoken about what Father Murphy did to him. He has remained anonymous in the suit, listed only as “John Doe 16,” one of dozens of men alleging abuse.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, Kohut, 60, spoke with his hands and through an interpreter, describing how the abuse by Father Murphy started.

“I went into his office, the door was closed,” he said. “And Father Murphy said, ‘Take your pants down. And so I did… you know, he was always in his black attire with a white collar, and you know … I was questioning why he would ask me to do that. Here he is, a priest, and – I have to obey him. And he proceeded to touch me.”

What happened to Kohut and the other deaf boys -– and the handling of the Murphy case by Ratzinger’s office - are central issues in a widening examination of the church’s role in covering up sexual abuse by priests. Did that approach reach as high as the man who would become the pope?

“I think what the Murphy case shows is the deference that Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Benedict would give to the priests,” said David Gibson, a pope biographer and author of “The Rule of Benedict.” Ratzinger, like other Vatican officials “would always accede to the priest’s wishes first, rather than the victim’s wishes, rather than justice for the victims. They were secondary to what the priest wanted and what he felt was best for keeping things quiet and taking care of the institutional church.”

Steven Geier and Carl Nelson were also deaf students who say Father Murphy sexually assaulted them repeatedly. They say Father Murphy would prowl the dorm at night, visiting boys in their beds, raping and sexually assaulting them. He would also routinely assault and molest his victims in one of the church’s most sacred places – the confessional – church documents show.

Father Murphy is believed to have picked out victims who were especially vulnerable, or had been through tragedy already in their young lives. Terry Kohut fit that pattern. His older brother was electrocuted and died when he was just 10 years old. The next year, their father hanged himself. And the following year Kohut’s only close companion, his dog, died. “It all really tore me up…. I saw Father Murphy and I thought that he could be a second father. But to my shock he took advantage of that.”

Minnesota attorney Jeff Anderson is the lead lawyer in Kohut’s lawsuit. Anderson has filed hundreds of lawsuits for sexual abuse victims of priests, and has obtained a massive trove of internal Vatican documents to build his case against the pope. He says numerous abuse cases show that Vatican officials all the way to the top, including then Cardinal Ratzinger, did little to help the victims, and were mostly interested in protecting the church from scandal.

Father Murphy was “one of the worst pedophiles” in U.S. history, says Peter Isely, a leader in SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Isely, of Milwaukee, says he himself was raped repeatedly by a priest as a child. He has led groups of victims to Rome to criticize the church and demand accountability – especially in the case of Father Murphy.

“This is the story of a man raping and assaulting 200 deaf children,” he says. “To think that there are all these children being raped -– these disabled deaf children - who can’t even scream out, can’t speak out. It’s monstrous.”

“It wasn’t easy living in the dorm,” said Geier, 60, through a deaf interpreter. “There were no parents there. No police. We were stuck. It was like a prison. You can’t get out.”

Groups of boys tried to tell local police and even the local District Attorney in Milwaukee about what was being done to them, according to Kohut, Geier, Nelson and others CNN interviewed. But no one ever believed their story, and local police even drove them back to the school, returning the boys to Father Murphy.

After years of allegations and reports of abuse, and threats of lawsuits, local bishops finally moved Father Murphy in 1974 to remote northern Wisconsin. There, more abuse allegations later surfaced.

On July 17, 1996 the Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rev. Rembert Weakland, wrote to then-Cardinal Ratzinger at the CDF, describing Father Murphy’s abuse and his “use of the confessional to solicit sinful actions.” Rev. Weakland asked Cardinal Ratzinger how to proceed.

After eight months and two more letters to the Vatican, Rev. Weakland heard from Cardinal Ratzinger’s secretary, telling him to proceed with a secret church trial, which could result in Father Murphy being defrocked, or removed from the priesthood. The trial preparations were under way, and the case was moving ahead. One church document describing the local investigation results said the Murphy situation “may very well be the most horrendous, number-wise, and especially because these are physically challenged, vulnerable people.”

But as the secret trial preparations moved ahead, on Jan. 12, 1998, Father Murphy wrote a personal letter to Cardinal Ratzinger.

“The accusations against me were for actions alleged to have taken place over twenty-five years ago,” Murphy wrote. “I am seventy-two years of age, your Eminence, and am in poor health. I have repented of any of my past transgressions.” The priest basically asked to be left alone, writing “I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood. I ask your kind assistance in this matter.”

After Father Murphy’s personal letter to Cardinal Ratzinger, and despite the entreaties of the local archbishops and the detailed case file against Father Murphy, something seemed to change. Cardinal Ratzinger’s secretary wrote again to Archbishop Weakland, but this time the letter and approach from Rome struck a different chord, seemingly sympathetic to the Father Murphy.

Cardinal Ratzinger’s secretary described Father Murphy’s personal letter, and then asked Archbishop Weakland “to give careful consideration” to “pastoral measures” instead of a trial, such as counseling and supervision “destined to obtain the reparation of scandal and the restoration of justice.”

The local archbishops disagreed, and one wrote back to Rome that “scandal cannot be sufficiently repaired, nor justice sufficiently restored, without a judicial trial against Father Murphy.” And in May 1998, Archbishop Weakland and several other Milwaukee officials flew to Rome to meet with Cardinal Ratzinger’s team about the case. Notes from the Wisconsin Archdiocese log of that meeting state: “It became clear” that Cardinal Ratzinger’s office “was not encouraging us to proceed with any formal dismissal…”

Finally on August 19, 1998, Archbishop Weakland wrote that he would follow the CDF’s suggestion and stop the trial of Father Murphy, and instead “put together a pastoral plan” for him.

That meant Father Murphy remained a priest for the rest of his life. He died in 1998 and was buried in Milwaukee with the full dignity and honors of a Holy Roman Catholic priest in good standing, angering many who knew what he had done.

The Vatican has called the Murphy case “tragic,” issuing a statement earlier this year saying it “involved particularly vulnerable victims who suffered terribly from what he did. By sexually abusing children who were hearing-impaired, Father Murphy violated the law and, more importantly, the sacred trust that his victims had placed in him.”

The Vatican pointed out that more than two decades passed before Murphy’s abuse came to the attention of local church officials, police, and the Vatican.

Its actions, the Vatican stated, were taken “in light of the facts that Father Murphy was elderly and in very poor health, and that he was living in seclusion and no allegations of abuse had been reported in over 20 years.”

In a rare interview, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s prosecutor, told CNN he understands the frustration and anger in the Murphy case.

“If the case would have been decided today with the knowledge we have, the judgment may have been different… We’re talking about human judgment here.” Asked whether the judgment by Cardinal Ratzinger was faulty in the Murphy case, Monsignor Scicluna replied, “I wouldn’t say faulty because it is a judgment that took care of reparation, of scandal in the sense that it expected a public admission of guilt and it also ensured that Father Murphy be kept in a ministry which did not constitute a risk.”

Asked if the Murphy decision were a mistake, Monsignor Scicluna said, “No, I wouldn’t call it a mistake. I would call it a different take on a very difficult case.”

But Terry Kohut and other victims say justice for them could not even begin without Father Murphy losing his title and good standing as a priest.

Kohut, whose lawsuit alleges that through a policy of secrecy “the Holy See knowingly allowed, permitted and encouraged child sex abuse by its priests, including Murphy,” has a question for the pope today:

“I would ask him why? Why did you stop that trial? Why did you give pity to Father Murphy? I mean what about me, what about the 200 other boys?”

Steven Geier agrees and has his own message to the Pope:

“I believe this pope knew everything. He knew it was happening. I feel like all he did was ignore every deaf child who was abused by Father Murphy. In their eyes the church comes first, not the kids. They asked us to forgive them, forgive Father Murphy and there is no way that we could ever forgive him. Tell the pope to stop all this bull-.”

Kohut has written numerous letters to church officials about the abuse. Some of them were sent to top Vatican officials, including Cardinal Ratzinger.

In a letter to Father Murphy in 1995, Kohut wrote:

“I would lay awake every night, shaking in fear that this would be a night you would touch me. Can you imagine that? Can you? Jesus on the Cross on the wall saw you coming every night to molest us. He must have been shocked and grieved every time. I hope he cried like we did, because we were innocent children.”

Kohut says Father Murphy never responded.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (1,247 Responses)
  1. Robert from Miami

    Dont send him to prison Im sure he will like it there, give that monster the death penalty.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • Tabitha

      Did you not read that he died? He will burn in an enternal pit of fire. This monster live his life out with all dignity. This children could not defend themselves. His body should be removed from its grave and burnt.. This is a prime reason I dont go to church... I can praise god anywhere.. dont need a priest or anyone else reading the word.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  2. Bruno

    Imagine if he could have been a Muslim Imam? How the media will portray all the Muslims.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • Try it

      But he wasn't. So what's your point? Are you just here to bash Muslims. Get a life.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • sfhr

      if it was Muslim imam in non-western nation, he would've been dead by now..

      September 23, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • DenverGrl

      shfr is so right. They would have already beheaded him with all of these witnesses that have come forward. The sad thing is that there is no way to punish those that are already dead. And, even if there is a judgement against the Vatican, it will be appealed for years, in hopes that this poor victim will die before the pay out has to be made. There should be a special prison for pedophiles, where torture is legal. I don't care if they are priests, rabbis, imams, pastors, or someone down the street.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  3. Brasca

    Good ...lets close the Vatican... no more U.S tourist... in Vatican – Rome.. stay home..

    September 23, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  4. Russ

    what better place for a gay pedophile to operate than a men only organization. SHALOM

    September 23, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  5. Cinna

    1) Not all members of this denomination are bad ppl, priests included.
    2) There are, im sure, leaders of the church, in other denominations, that are just as guilty, its not always as publizied, why im not sure
    3) As a person, mother, & catholic, these ppl, i dont care who they r or what leadership role they have, need to be punished for such acts.
    4) Just remember, b4 u judge any group of ppl, u need to realize not all of em n tht group are bad ppl

    September 23, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • Angie

      Of course, that is with any group of people. We always forget that, especially in regards to Muslims.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:33 am |
    • Vince

      Not all priests are bad... true... but this church systematically covered for pedophile priests for decades and maybe longer. They allowed this abuse to continue even though they knew about it from the top down. So yes, they are ALL responsible... or does your church not teach responsibility?

      September 23, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • JozGirl

      Because unlike Catholics, other groups take action against their members who commit these heinous acts! From the obvious, even the Pope chose to turn his cheek and act like nothing was going on so long as the donations kept coming in.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:21 am |
    • Cher

      The Catholic Church is in the unique position of being tightly controlled and hierarchical and with more authority invested in priests than in other religions. Consequently the pedophilia was well known within this hierarchy and supported (protected) by it. In other religions, any act occurs in a more autonomous environment without a leadership hierarchy. Thus , the Catholic offenses appear more egregious in that they are systemically supported by the bureaucracy.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Being a Catholic is being a member of the Church that Jesus Christ founded. Satan is very busy all over the world, wherever there are people…but why does it seem that he is attacking the Catholic Church the most? Jesus Christ said that His Kingdom, His Church, will be attacked from within as well as without but woe to the one who brings the scandal. If satan wishes to tear down Jesus’ Church he will have to employ all that he has against it….but we have Jesus’ promise that He gave the Apostles…that He would safeguard it and that evil will not prevail. The Pope is the successor of the Apostle’s and so this is where the promise starts and reaches out to us.

      Those that speak words of hate against the Magisterium/Pope/Authority are of the world…they can read the Bible or not, but they do not have ears to hear or eyes to see. Many have left the Church and many have returned. Searching for Truth in 35,000 differing ecclesial communities has become a daunting tasks, so many just start their own ecclesial community…each seeking to be his own pope. It has become a serious problem for many who truly wish to become close to God and now they are saying down with ‘religion’ and say…just stay home…read your bible…interpret it as you see it…ask Jesus into your heart and you are saved. Do they skip over the verses that say ‘receive Baptism’, ‘then do the Father’s will’…and many other such verses?

      Go on line and google any topic such as ‘evil ccc’ [Catechism of the Catholic Church].

      September 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  6. Alv88

    Such a horrific experience those children had to endure.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  7. j brasca

    Well there is $$$ to be made!!

    September 23, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Vince

      Why do you support pedophiles?

      September 23, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  8. Reality

    For new members only:

    For truth in scandals:

    "In a statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi in September 2009, the Holy See stated "We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in s-exual a-buse cases," adding that this figure was comparable with that of other groups and denominations."

    “As with other religious organizations, Jehovah's Witnesses have been obliged in recent years to develop child protection policies to deal with cases of child a-buse in their congregations. Details of the policy have been published in Jehovah's Witnesses' publications and press releases issued by their Office of Public Information.[1][2] Some details are found only in letters to elders which, while solely for internal use, have been made available on the Internet.”

    “Facing calls to curb child s-ex abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of mol-esting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and pe-dophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse. "

    "Yet another prominent Orthodox rabbi has been charged with se-xual abuse. This time it is Rabbi Mordechai Elon, one of the foremost rabbinic leaders of the Israeli Orthodox movement and former rosh yeshiva at the flagship Yeshivat HaRav, where last year a Palestinian mounted an assault which left several students dead. The result was that students of the yeshiva and other far right Jews went on a rampage and tried to burn down the home of the family of the perpetrator of the attack. Elon’s brother is Benny, a former MK for a far-right pro-settler party."

    "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered s-exual ab-use as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oreg-onian.

    Attorneys for 38-year-old Kerry Lewis said the verdict exposed the organization’s “dark history with pe-dophiles and its unwillingness to come to terms with the problem.” They waved “per-version files“ around the courtroom – secret files kept by the Scouts doc-umenting claims of se-xual ab-use by troop leaders and volunteers over a 70 year-period."

    September 23, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • precious

      So?...kids still got hurt!

      September 23, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • Peacemaker

      SO....... what is you point???????? Others do it???????? SO? PRIESTS SHOULD NOT! PERIOD. The Vatican and the hierarchy has been hiding these crimes for years.......... A WORNG IS A WRONG. I DO NOT CARE IF THE BAPTISTS, JEWS, METHODISTS...... ETC., HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM!


      September 23, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • chimchimcheree

      It doesn't matter who committed the crimes. They all need to burn.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Matt McHugh

      I've actually heard a local priest deliver a Sunday homily invoking this argument, i.e., abuse occurs in all organizations. Took everything I had not to walk up and punch the little f–k. I hope the R.C. Church gets nailed hard for this, right up to Pope. If the Church really believes in the power of forgiveness, it needs to start begging for it from its members before its too late.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:49 am |
    • Cath O'Lick

      Thank you for stating all of this! The blind masses think the only/worst pedophilia going on is all because of Catholic priests. Hopefully everybody here with torches and pitchforks will stop to read your comment and have it shed some perspective on the situation. I grew up Catholic and never knew of a priest anywhere who did anything horrible like that. As you mention, the figures for priests are on par with others from other denominations, boy scout troops, high school coaches...

      September 23, 2010 at 11:05 am |
    • irrelevant

      yes there are many other, equally sick people in the world and in other religions. The difference here is none of these other preachers are claiming to be perfect and the only intercessors to God. The catholic church calls themselves the only true divine church and spotless of sin, and their priests claim to be that way too; which is why all these allegations of "perfect people" taking advantage of children is such a big deal.

      Also, thanks for proving my point...when other religious leaders are caught abusing kids, they are tried and go to jail. The catholic church is more concerned with keeping up their perfect image, and rather than stripping them of their priesthood they've ignored and covered up allegations for decades leaving these kids to suffer the rest of their lives.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • JozGirl

      At least JW's take action (removal) against members that do such horrific things. The Catholics just swept it under the carpet hoping it would go away!

      September 23, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • Aaron

      Matt, good strong point and you put the blame where it was due. There are a lot of bigots that try to put the blame on members and all the priests (some are very vocal about this). The funny thing is that the bigots really don't have a say because they arent part of the church and only comment to spread hate. And all of them are simple little f's who hide behinfd there ignorance.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:22 am |
    • Dennis

      Like all scandalls, it is the cover up which villifies. Man is fallible, all groups of people have members who commit horrible acts. The true sin in this case is that the organisation responsible for the moral direction of billions turned it's back on these acts committed by it's members. The church FAILED in it's most important role.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • Linda

      The question is, do other organizations, especially ones that claim to be RIGHTEOUS, loving religious ONES, engage in massove cover ups?????

      September 23, 2010 at 11:48 am |
    • Jean-Arthur

      So do you believe in magic? That mystical force that creates things from "nothing"? I still have yet to see this christian/muslim/jewish/taoist/satanic nirvana supposedly taught to all the "faithful". Just pain and suffering right here on Earth... not in hell, but right here right now. So, we are supposed to suffer in hell, not here.... Proof again that there is a flaw in all of these aboriginal religions. How prehistoric. Perhaps we should get out a hogs head and worship it?

      September 23, 2010 at 11:55 am |
    • Reality

      for new members only)

      Why do popes, prelates, preachers and rabbis, so focused on society's se-xual sins, lose sight of clerical se-xual sins?
      FEAR, SHAME and GUILT!!!

      Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

      Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

      Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pe-dophilia are married.

      Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have se-x with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy"

      Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods.

      Neither is being an atheist or pagan since pe-dophilia is present in all walks of life.

      If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedo-philiacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women), divorce for adu-ltery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (B16, Clinton, Cardinal Law) and the death penalty or life in prison for mur-der (Kings David and Henry VIII).

      September 23, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Cactusmac

      Dude, seriously....you got some issues.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • Mike

      @R last post... we finally agree on something.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
    • newsreel

      Same old excuses conveniently used by the church defenders. So as long as other parties are also guilty, then your guilt is lesser ? Like saying other criminals murder too, so my murder crime should not be singled out ? Reading through the replies, you obviously ran out of points to continue the defense, thus the deaf silence. Know your place, and the place of the church, and keep quiet instead of defending a hopeless cause. This church is corruprted to the core, and the faithfuls know it. The only reason they keep defending is to preserve their own mental comfort.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • Brian, Detroit, MI

      I believe it is time for the Catholic Church to be abused, throw down this criminal enterprise and let us be done with all religions.

      September 23, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • krruss

      The problem for me with the Roman Catholic church is that they claim Papal infallibility.
      I'm gonna do some research on P I and see what the church teaches now.
      All I remember as a child in the Catholic church is that the Pope could not make a mistake, be wrong.
      I'm sure it must be more complex than that. But I want to know how the church now frames the
      issue of papal infallibility. How embarrassing for them to have to keep up the claim of infallibility,
      when the popes have always been sinners and have done plenty of wrong things. This is probably
      one of the main reasons I left Catholicism. Just doesn't add up. Still I am still trying to come to terms
      with all this and do what Jesus would have me do with all my past hurts re: the Roman church.

      September 25, 2010 at 12:56 am |
    • CatholicMom


      I am sorry that you didn’t do research of the Pope’s infallibility before so much time went by because if you believed what you just wrote, you are totally misinformed. Whenever you wish to read about the Truths of the Church you must go to the Church not an anti-Catholic source. When you want to find out about a car do you go to a tractor dealer?

      Thank you for looking into the Truth. On line there is much, but the Catechism of the Catholic Church is very detailed. No matter what faith question you have…be it Sacraments’ or ‘good works’, just google the topic and add CCC. Such as: good works ccc. Thank you....

      September 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  9. ECW

    Some priests are just sick men! People who commit horrible action against another human being based on their religious belief or using their religious influence should all be thrown behind bars for the rest of their lives.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  10. Michael

    Soon the nations will destroy all religions.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • Jinx

      Really? Get rid of all religions because there are bad priests? That would be like abolishing the stock market because it crashed, or closing all banks because some failed. Let's close all daycare facilities because they stink, too!

      I hope this Pope resigns. He is definitely no John Paul II

      September 23, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Bob

      One can only hope.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • MJ

      These stories are just yet another nail in the coffin for belief in religion. I just fail to see how any rational person can believe in these fantasy tales, whether it be Christian, Judaism, Islam, whatever.

      As children you believed in the tooth fairy, santa, the easter bunny, and unicorns.
      You believed because:
      A. You wanted to believe it was true.
      B. Everyone else did.

      As you got older and developed a sense of reason, you questioned the existence of these stories as there was never proof. Your parents finally let on that it was a lie, a white lie, but a lie all the same.

      Now you're an adult with rational thought and yet you still believe in fantasy tales where there is no proof. Why?
      A. You want to believe it's true.
      B. Everyone else believes.

      Sound familiar?

      September 23, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • Jay

      Soon babylonh the great will come to her end... Then salvation will be near. I'm tired of this system of things.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Russ JW

      It's amazing how you grow up a JW hearing prophecies like Babylon the great(world empire of false religion) being completely obliterated by the Nations(UN maybe?) and kind of always questioning it because religion always seemed like something that will always be around.. Now Listening to all these comments on here and pretty much the worlds comments everywhere on how pretty much everyone is an atheist. How could you be an atheist and not believe in the bible when all these events were foretold in the bible thousands of years ago! Time to learn people.. Study the Bible!

      September 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
    • juliemarie


      You say "soon the nations will destroy all religions" – I think you've got thatbackwards because obviously: SOON RELIGIONS WILL DESTROY ALL NATIONS...

      September 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  11. Reality

    The final nail in the coffin known as the Roman Catholic Church? And the final spike in the heart of a religion called Christianity?

    September 23, 2010 at 10:23 am |
    • McCluck

      ha! not a chance 🙁

      September 23, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • Cactusmac

      Christianity is not a religion. Catholicism is a religion.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • Crash

      On no, this one is even more dumb.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • Jim

      Catholics aren't Christians. When you worship the pope, Mary, "good works", etc., you are not Christian. You are something else. Christians only worship and follow Jesus. That's it!

      September 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • Brar

      Catholicism isn't Christianity. It is a heathen, idol worshiping religion.

      September 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
    • Peacemaker

      @ Jim, so now YOU are God????? I AM A CHRISTIAN........ I DO NOT worship Mary; I realize that there are Catholics who pray asking for Mary's help, what's wrong with asking the Mother of Jesus to pray for us, sinners?

      Jim, it is people like you, sir, that give us, Christians a bad name. Jesus warned us over and over NOT TO JUDGE. God knows what is in the hearts of those of us, who worship Him in the Catholic tradition, which is over 2000 years old.

      "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Jesus (Mat. 7:3-4 NIV)

      September 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • peace2all


      Christianity is a religion....Catholicism is just one 'derivative' or denomination within the religion of christianity.

      Why is it that is seems that ALL of these Christian denominations don't have the same version of god's truth...?

      Maybe they are ALL wrong...?


      September 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
    • Quincy


      Sorry to correct both of you in this. Catholicism is in fact the earliest surviving form of Christianity. There were two breakaway groups in the 5th century, however all the other forms broke away from Catholicism after the Great Schism in the 11th Century creating the Roman Catholic Church (later also called the Holy Roman Empire when both a religious and military ruling body). In the 15th Century, Martin Luther led the Reformation in Germany. Henry VIII followed shortly thereafter with his break creating the Church of England.

      That being said, does not alter the fact that Catholicism is filled with hypocrisy, just as all other religious faiths have their fair share. An example of that irony, when it comes to Fundamentalist Christians (or any other Biblical Literalist) They refer to the Old Testament as a means of punishing others, an eye for an eye. Yet when it comes to punishment for themselves, they refer to Jesus and the Golden Rule, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' or being the lamb and 'turn the other cheek.'

      Apparently, by both of your definitions of Christianity, the teachings of Jesus do not always apply to all forms of Christianity. By logical extension of your definition, Baptists, Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Latter Day Saints, Pentecostal, Non-Adventist, British-Israelism, and many others pick the words of Christ when it benefits them, yet refer to the Old Testament when it better suits their needs despite Christ having teachings concerning the matter. Hence, they don't follow Christ. So by both of your interpretations, the very woman that the Bible makes a point of revering for her being selected by G-d, has no place in spiritual worship. Nor is it significant that she is mentioned during the Crucifixion. Catholics do not worship Mary, they hold her sacred. There is a difference. Not that someone looking to demonize a religious group cares enough to understand the distinction.

      Before spouting off something as fact, you might want to have some facts about the matter.

      September 23, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      Splitting off of the Catholic Church when Jesus commanded that we all be One in Him is what protestants did with Martin Luther, a priest, as the very first protestant, their leader. I remain Christian BECAUSE I am Catholic.

      Jesus said there is One Fold, One Shepherd, One Path, One Life, One Truth, One Way….. Not 35,000; did the Holy Spirit make a mistake and hand out 35,000 differing Truths? These 35,000 like to say Catholics are not Christians but they took the Bible which the Catholic Church put together and ran with it…leaving behind Authority [Magisterium], and Tradition, ripping out Books, changing words, adding and subtracting words…It is no secret…it is history…but man has his pride and…. ‘thinks himself more learned than me,’ said Martin Luther, when people started saying, ‘Well, if he can interpret the Bible, so can I, and started splitting away from him! So in 1521, immediately there were squabbles between him, Zwingli, his fellow reformer from Switzerland, and Thomas Munzer. In that same year, Munzer broke away and formed the Anabaptists. John Calvin separated in 1536 and formed Calvinism. John Knox parted company and formed the Presbyterians in 1560. John Smith started the Baptists in 1609, and John and Charles Wesley started Methodism in 1739. From the moment they separated themselves from the Catholic Church, Protestantism lost their ability to properly interpret the Bible. They lost the Papacy and the Magisterium, and they lost all of the authority given to those two offices by GOD Himself.

      So you go by your interpretation of the Bible and I go by the interpretation the Church espouses because She is the pillar and foundation of Truth. [Not the Bible] We do not worship the Pope but believe what the Bible says…. when Jesus told the Apostles that He would send the Paraclete to guide and guard them, He also told them to go out to all nations to preach what He had told them AND to Baptize everyone. It is through Baptism, initially, that you and I receive the Holy Spirit and become a member of the Body of Christ, the mystical Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head. He wills all people to be members of His Body. There are those who do their will and say that all they have to do to receive the Holy Spirit is ask Him to come into their heart. That is following man’s way….which is not the Way Jesus Christ inst!tuted His coming to us. Just think about it….why would He want everyone Baptized? And then He gave the Keys to His Kingdom to Peter, our first Pope.
      Sin drives the Holy Spirit out of our soul. He cannot remain in an unclean vessel. Repent of your sins and be restored. Yes, the blood of Christ is what made it possible that all may have life-everlasting…but this does not mean that you can now go off on your own and do sin… "If a man loves me," says the Lord, "he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him".

      We cannot do good works until we are Baptized. Once Baptized, whenever we do good [works] it is the Holy Spirit WORKing through us. We can do NOTHING good without God that could ever merit anything in Heaven. Once we have the grace of God living within us, we must now DO the Father’s will. To say, I believe and now am saved is not biblical. Satan believes….is he saved? We must believe AND do the Father’s will.

      Jesus cannot remain in an unclean vessel, as I mentioned above. So He saved His Mother, Mary, at the moment of her conception to be the clean vessel, to be the human tabernacle, by which He, the Bread of Life, would enter this earth. We do not worship Mary, but like Jesus, we honor Our Mother. Should we not emulate Jesus in all things? YES! She is your Mother if you are Baptized and are a member of Jesus Christ’s Body. Jesus Christ is the head of the body….He tells the body what to do, not the body telling the head what to do.

      Mary said that all nations will call her blessed; her soul magnifies the Lord. What does magnify mean? She makes Him more clear to us…she brings Him closer to us. Do you believe the Bible, the whole Bible?

      September 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Vincent

      Fantasy because you are blind to reality! The Catholic Church was here long before you and will be here long after. Is that your anger ? quit being a nobody and be somebody.

      September 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
    • Jay

      Catholics don't worship the pope. Catholics don't worship Mary (we ask her to pray for us, just like you ask your friends and neighbors to pray for your loved ones). Catholics don't worship idols (we worship Jesus Christ and his presence and sometimes use physical objects as a focus for this worship). Catholics don't worship 'good deeds'.. we recognize that we need to express our faith by actually doing some of the actions Jesus taught us to do such as helping the poor and helping our neighbors... and protecting the innocent, as should have been done by the leadership at the time.

      September 27, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  12. tcaros

    The German pope was a Hitler youth. Does that tell you why he's covering up abuse of children?

    GW Bush loved this pope. Does that tell you anything?

    September 23, 2010 at 10:22 am |
    • truelinks

      Really? C'mon. Get serious.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • truelinks

      Really? C'mon. Get serious. Hmmm...let's ee who Obama has admired in his life and follow that same line of reasoning, eh?

      September 23, 2010 at 11:04 am |
    • Hang'm

      BS – Bush isn't even Catholic.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • Crash

      Some of the statements posted here are dumb, but this one about GW is the dumbest I've read so far.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    • Fredriguez

      GW isn't even Catholic. He's a born-again-something-or-other.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • bakergc

      Hitler, Pope, Bush and Obama ... all of these guys should have never been in power, huge mistakes, as history will show.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  13. squiddy79

    Good for you Mr.Kouht. Its about time the Pope take some responsibility for something he knows is still going on today and does nothing about! Stay strong!

    September 23, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  14. yvonne brindley

    It's right that this is all coming to the surface. Shame on the Catholic church for letting this happen in the first place, knowing it was still going on, and letting it continue. I cannot beleive that the Pope did not know or support it with his silence and denial when the rest of the world has known for years...... I hope the abused get justice at last. Shame on the Vatican.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  15. Sunny

    This has been going on for centuries and someone from 5 decades ago is coming forward, and how about those who never come forward?! People will STILL believe in the Pope and the churches since everyone need an imaginary friend (God).

    September 23, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • IronMan

      Right on !!

      September 23, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • RB

      God is not your friend, He is your creator.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Joe

      "God is not your friend, He is your creator."

      Then why isn't his name on my birth certificate?

      September 23, 2010 at 10:49 am |
    • Posh-Kenneth

      "God is not your friend, He is your creator."

      Then why isn't his name on my birth certificate?

      @Joe- LMFAO. God I love you right now dude.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Consuelo

      So sad you dot realize that God does exist, and the hand of the devil is defenetly in this, so sad there is also so many catholics that follow this stupid religion that is all about money greed inmoral acts and efvery thing that stands for evil. I bet with all the money they have they could feed half of the poor people in this world. Catholics are the false prophets mentioned in the bilble. "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

      September 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
    • anti-anti

      "God is not your friend he is your creator"
      exactly! created for you to follow and for you to be controlled – which is human, we all could use guidance. we just need to evolve some more hopefully before we destroy ourselves

      September 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
    • TomC

      "God is not your friend, He is your creator."

      If God created this world, and fashioned it into today's form, then he is a monster and a butcher, and certainly not deserving of worship.

      September 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      John Chapter 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. [Said Jesus]

      September 25, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • Vincent

      Cloudy... nothing Sunny of your remarks. Here's another person that came from an Ape. People like you may get their way soon, it doesn't matter.. because when you die , you will beg God for forgiveness... Everyone does. Everyone. On those last seconds of your life, go ahead, ask him for forgiveness. He will listen to you. But by then it will be too late to change your way of thinking. The greatest Miracle is when one changes their way of thinking. Try it.. You'll feel better, I promise. Look in the mirror now, There is Hate...Make the change and look again...you will see Love! I don't know you but I have hope for people like you to Love God back.

      September 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  16. EX-Catholic

    Every time I hear about a case of abuse by ANY religious minister I am horrified. As a former Catholic i am especially saddened at the actions of so many, from the abusers to the others who covered up the abuse. The church hierarchy has completely lost it's way on this matter. Nothing they say or do can recover the trust of the people.
    The shortest verse in the bible sums it up, "Jesus wept".

    September 23, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • Peacemaker


      September 23, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • Vincent

      Ex Catholic ? I wonder what else are you ex.... You must be ex -American cause there are bad Americans, you must be an Ex- white, black or whatever you are because there are bad whites and blacks, next, Ex- man or woman...because there are bad men and women... the list goes on. Don't be a Coward ..! Whatever you are is you! Instead of running away improve your religion, country , race, gender. You run away from God when you change religion. Catholism is not besed on some bad Catholics, it's based on Jesus. Now, if you think Jesus was bad, well then leave, but don't tell me Ex-Catholic other wise you have to move to another planet and start over. I recommend you return to being a Catholic and participate in improving your religion. The greatest miracle there could be is when someone changes their way of thinking, I promise you , you will feel better. If you don't go back, OK improve what you are ... or will you run to another and another. Be the Best you can be and help others to do the same.

      September 25, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • kimmer72

      Vincent, you are jumping the gun. A person doesn't need to be "ex" because of those reasons you mentioned. I am an "ex" because I enjoyed the protestant church more–no hard feelings. You seem quite defensive.

      September 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
  17. Matt in Oregon

    It seems abundantly clear that the Catholic church is more sorry that it got caught than it is sorry it happened.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:16 am |
    • Brenna


      September 23, 2010 at 10:25 am |
    • Robin

      I wholeheartedly agree with you. The church was sorry it got caught. So many priests abuse the power they have, and hide behind the cloth. My Mother had an affair with a priest for 15 years, and is shouldn't of been. He knew full well. He couldn't jump over the fence one way or another.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:33 am |
    • Shannon

      I agree.... I will be following this story and hope the victim will get the justice they deserve!!!

      September 23, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Curtis

      Not only did the Catholic Church cover up the abuse, but they are trying to take the Church back to the 1950's. Pray Pay, and obey is what the government of the Church wants. They are terrified of the laity taking power and doing their best to take it from us. I am so disgusted that I am about to turn Protestant. I am just do not think the Catholic Church is worth fighting for. Cut away the cancer let it heal or better still let it die. I doubt that any of the major religions on the planet has it right.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:56 am |
    • blue

      @Matt in Oregon.
      Your comment is exactly right. They are more sorry for getting caught than they are for the victims. I say tax the crap out of them and pay off the deficit, and then put them all in prison and lock down all their churches and buildings forever.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • blue

      You are exactly right. They are more concerned with getting caught than concernedfor the victims. I say tax the crap out of them and pay off the deficit, then put them all in prison for life, and close all their churches and buildings and burn them to the ground! GOOD RIDENCE!!!!!!

      September 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • Vincent

      How about this Baptist Bishop.... Are all Baptist bad.....nooooooooooo Don't judge everyone because of a few bad ones. otherwise you also have a tail to step on.. All races, religions, Gays, countries etc have bad people. Why focus on the bad , there are a lot of good people focus on them. You would be surprised how your way of thinking changes.

      September 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  18. Greg

    Scary that most of our Supreme Court call themselves Catholic. Look at the Catholic Inquisition and the Bartholomew's Day Massacre and ask how any civil and intelligent person could be proud of calling themselves Catholic. The Pope should be a museum piece like the Queen of England, nothing more. Anything more than light religious belief is too much.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:16 am |
    • Peacemaker

      Yes, Greg, Catholics have a lot of blood on their hands. We are sinners. As a Catholic, I am disgusted. I do not call the "pope" by his "holy" name, he is RATzinger to me. I remain Catholic, because the vast majority of us, including priests are good people doing the best we can. I stay because I am working on CHANGING the church, I pray for the day that the Vatican becomes a museum and ALL the wealth is sold to give to those in need.

      Please do not lump all Catholics together, we know we are sinners, we know that we have plenty of skeletons in the closet. We, the Church in the pews, are praying and working for change. Peace.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:50 am |
    • Frogist

      @Peacemaker: Good for you! I am really tired of people who say, if you don't like it then leave. I acknowledge there is a time for leaving. But I also think if you see something that you know is wrong, you should try to change it. So good for you trying to work towards making your piece of the world better.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Pablo

      How foolish and judgemental. I will not cease being Catholic because of the wrong doing of a few. I am Catholic because I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, and after years of studying the origins of Christianity, I believe Catholicism is true. There are so many complex yet beautiful things, but you won't know about it because you seem to only care about what you get in the news and your own emotions. Studing the church led me to so many connections and beautiful, awesome things, I believe. The abuse needs to be cleaned up and responsibility needs to be taken. We need to rid off the attacks of the evil one, because he hates the Catholic Church, and he's done a good job attacking it from within and without as of late.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
    • krruss

      Greg, when you wrote that most of the Supreme Court justices are Catholics, I just had to check it out. I hadn't heard that before. Well, I checked and you are CORRECT!! It's very interesting. Hey, one thing I am completely clear about it that God knows the real truth, who abused, how many, when, where and why. He will deal justly with each person who sinned against His precious little ones. I am very distraught about this whole abuse cover up. I was raised Catholic but left after finishing high school. I don't know what the "tipping point" will be in this sordid mess, but I know God is good and will take care of all this in His perfect timing. BTW, I'm really enjoying reading everyone's comments.
      And can't wait to see the special CNN report.

      September 25, 2010 at 12:39 am |
  19. baruch

    I applaud the courage of Terry Kohut and all that speak out about abuse. I wonder, should justice prevail, will Joseph Ratzinger, formerly cardinal and now pope, go to prison in the US? That would seem the correct result should there be a guilty verdict. Will Ratzinger sit in the dock like any defendant? Will the US government intervene? Does "The Pope" have diplomatic immunity? I will definitely be following this case.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:15 am |
    • Anna

      Unfortunately, I predict that nothing will happen as a result of this case. The church is just too wealthy and powerful. It doesn't mean that they shouldn't try, though.

      My sympathies go out to every victim of abuse, especially those who reach out for help and are not believed. Shame on everyone who played a role in this tragedy.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:25 am |
    • anti-anti

      Any other bussiness or controlling organization would be prosecuted and accountability would be pinned for abusing a person who can not hear or speak! Just imajine how that would feel......... Yet again, the sick power of yet another mask to disguise the truth to control people will magically slip through the cracks. It's time for the people to take control and not allow this to be forgotten. It is time for the people to ask the catholic church – why you? and more importantly why does it keep happening? I believe in freedom of faith, however when it is utilized to influence, intimidate and control it is no longer a faith and goes against what makes AMERICA a free nation to live in. Why cant we stop the destruction/control of religion...

      September 23, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Sarah LV

      No, sadly, he won't. Besides Anna's points of the Church being wealthy, the UN wouldn't get enough support from other countries for extradition. There are too many Catholic countries who revere the Pope too much to allow for that.

      That said, I'm awfully tired of American, Catholic priests who aren't prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and are rather fed to the Vatican to be "prosecuted". There are men in prison for life who have molested less children, and these priests get to remain free, so long as the Catholic church "takes care" of them. Why aren't we changing the laws in America to just bypass the Catholic church and imprison these priests who are obviously so detrimental to our childrens' lives?

      September 23, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • mif991

      Anna, I predict God will punish these perverts with consecuences beyond our knowledge. This latest lawsuit will bring to light the corruption existing in this leadership resulting in a huge loss of its membership and income. If you read the Bible, God promises a just retribution to those whose inflict damage to His Name and to the innocent victims, specially children. It will be done in HIS time, justly and fair without a doubt.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • Mars

      On the contrary from what Ana wrote, if people don't start to raise their voice regarding this matter, nothing will be done, all they need to do is push things up...make this as big of an issue as it is....this kind of crimes in Catholic Church are not new....all this matter need is full attention. My sympathies to all those victims who had the courage to come forward and for those still in silence, Stay strong!. And for those involved in this SICK and MONSTROUS acts..." He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers"

      September 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • Fred

      Vatican City is it's own country. The Pope isn't going to trail anywhere for anything at anytime.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • ak2k

      Why is the Catholic Church above the law?? WHYYYYYYY?????

      September 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • Vincent

      Read the whole article. There were procedures to be followed. He had to quit or there would be a church trial. Besides You legalized Gay people adopting kids. Ironic isn't it? How you are fast to judge but you legalize it ! The priest was wrong, tried and went to jail. A Gay person that does the same will be applauded? Will you say, not all Gays are bad, then why do you criticize all Catholics because of some bad ones. There are 2 categories Good & Bad people not judge everyone by Reliogion, Creed, color.

      September 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
    • becky

      I posted too quickly – I meant to say "gay people who ADOPT children". Gay does not equal molester was my point.

      September 27, 2010 at 9:42 am |
    • Anne Edwards

      This is a tragedy on so many levels. Why don't the police get sued for not believing the accusations? How is their inaction any different from the Pope's? Aren't they supposed to protect people?

      September 27, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • Lance

      The Vatican is a sovereign nation. The Pope is its head of state. Yes, he has diplomatic immunity.

      More's the pity.

      October 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
    • Epidi

      A lawsuit is a civil sit – not a criminal one so there will be no jail time for this particular case. Remember the OJ trial? The jury found him innocent of murder so he did not go to jail. The later wrongful death civil suit, he lost, and lost most of his $$$.

      October 13, 2010 at 3:23 am |
  20. Interp

    The deaf client spoke through an American Sign Language interpreter, not a deaf interpreter. The writer of this article should have done a little more research and think about what they're actually saying. If the interpreter was deaf, as well, then they probably didn't voice for the deaf client.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • precious

      You are missing the point of the article...plus, it is okay to be nice to people, even journalists.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:24 am |
    • Anna

      Maybe the interpreter was also deaf and had to have their own ASL interpreter. Ah, bureaucracy!

      September 23, 2010 at 11:21 am |
    • gousa

      I agree, Interp. Precious, it's not about people not being nice to the journalist. It's about holding them accountable for their hired position. The journalist and/or the editor should have caught this. Accountability is lacking from the Catholic church, too.

      September 23, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • George

      Haha , Interp. The term hearing people use such as "deaf interpreter" is understood in their jargon. If it was spanish language they say, " a Spanish interpreter, . It does not mean that the interpreter was Spanish . That's what they meant by "deaf interpreter" . It is understood. Work long with the deaf and you become deaf. The local hearing people would not know if ASL or Signed English or whatever was used. So they say that and that is superficial enough.
      You see ASL as a different grammatical language, thus you should be using "translator" That is the word. Actually what the interps do is "interpret" which is paternalistic and unethical itself. They should hire Signers , just as the blind have Readers for the Blind. It should be signed word for word. Interps have no business to take over and become "explainers".
      It the material is not understood, the SPEAKER interprets his own words and the Interp should just sign that.
      When I was in school, my teacher gave me a poem of Longfellow (it was in English) and asked me to go home and write an interpretation . That means I still wrote in English but in differnt words,my own words. Our field is a tragic mess.
      We call those with transliterating certificates , which is supposed to be word for word) interpreters where as it is a contradicting term. We call those who mouth word for word , Oral Interpreters, lol that means there is another kind of English language English 2 ??? Real dumb.
      I have seen interps say ASL has its own word order, then turn around and say it is a beautiful gestural language without words and it is non-verbal. LOL Real DUMB.
      In truth , sign language is speech. (talking with the hands) and American Sign Language is English, clear, straight, broken, or deaf English. Just as American Oral Language and American Written Language ( AOL, AWL,) are English still despite the quality. Sign "boy" and ask a deaf person to spell it, he will spell b o y in English. Interps are signing in English but just changing the words around, there is no grammar . Put three up there , read a paragraph and they are all different. It ia a big farce because people are listiening to an incompetent named William Stokoe who never took a course , no deaf ed courses, nothing at all , not even certification; He only had in-service training ont the job with Miss Benson. And missed a lot of sessions.His field was English and we have movies of him teaching in college ( I was there too) and he signed in straight English and no S.E.E. junk existed at that time. He went warped and made a language out of lower educated deaf people 's colloquial use of ASL, of which he did not understand, but asked other incompetents to judge it. You typed your reply in English. Does that mean 100 % of the deaf are bi-lingual or does it mean those deaf who know only ASL cannot read this and lost out? LOL
      These interpreters are the worst thing for a deaf child in an educational setting. They are ruining the children's English and people are not blaming them, they are blaming the children's deafness. It is YOU interps. You are ill trained. Imagine is someone would do that to the hearing kids, voice in broken English or key words, they would not learn their English as well. Since they hear others, they 'd be a little better off, but duh. their parents would scream bloody murder.
      I am a charter member of RID and way beforfe your time and they used to sign word for word. They did not "interpret" but had that erroneous word there. I kept telling them, they didnt listen and said, it was not important. They were thinking transliterating one form of speec to another. Hearing people think they own the world, and that only their way is called talking or speaking. Actually writing is also talking and speaking. I speak on my text pager. Signing is speaking too. We have books , Talk To The Deaf, Say It With Hands, Signing: How to Speak to the Deaf , Handtalk, Talk With Your Hands. etc.
      Problem is, if I write I am said to be "writing" if I sign, I am " signing" , but if talk with your MOUTH, you are said to be _____? Hearing people don't have a word for their way of talking, so they steal the universal terms TALKING , SPEAKING and lead the public to think that writing and signing are not talking and speaking, but hammering the deaf down to a lower indvidual. You are lost.

      September 25, 2010 at 7:30 am |
    • Rick

      To George:
      You are so very wrong on so many accounts that I don't have the time or patience to go line by line and show you the monstrous errors you have.

      I suggest that you get out of your residence, drive your Model T Ford to the closest coffee joint and chill.

      September 27, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • Dan


      September 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • BabyJesus

      To look away, be silent, to know and do nothing about is what really hurts. Lies will come up no matter how deep they'r buried. Even this msg can be silenced except the truth. Abusing the little ones abominable from any one.

      September 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • Joy

      George: "Deaf" is not a language. "Spanish" is a language. There is more than one sign language system, by the way. If a journalist wrote that someone "spoke foreign" and the translation was provided by a "foreign" interpreter, they'd get called on that, too. ASL is a language. It has a name. It makes sense to use that name. And, yes, the deaf who know ASL and also written english are, in fact, considered bilingual. Lots of languages share words, or borrow words. Dutch has a lot of German words, as does yiddish. But they are three distinct languages. Cajun isn't French, and isn't Haitian Creole.

      "Interpreter" is another word for "translator." Their job is to find an equivalent statement that carries the same meaning. If you want translation of individual words, feel free to use an online program, and see how much sense that makes.

      Unless you want to engage in slander, and say that the translator was putting words in this courageous man's mouth, you need to take your hobbyhorse for a ride somewhere else. Like a situation that isn't about heinous abuse, apparently followed a coverup by a religion that's also a sovereign state and also, effectively, the world's most influential NGO.

      September 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
    • aha

      Ok im guessing your catholic and your in denial. You are part of the problem, because you don't want to recognize the issue here.

      September 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.