26 Mar 2010

Pope accused of failing to act in abuse case

5:59 am on 26 March 2010

Pope Benedict has been accused of failing to act on complaints in the United States about a priest who is alleged to have abused 200 deaf boys.

Documents seen by the New York Times allege that in the 1990s, long before he became pope, he failed to respond to letters from an American archbishop about a priest who may have molested the boys from the 1950s to the 1970s.

US media reports say a church trial of the priest, Lawrence Murphy, was halted when he pleaded ill health.

The Vatican said US civil authorities had investigated and dropped the case.