It seems that, despite the claims of some, that the Vatican did NOT know about this case until two decades after it happened.
The diocese actually had a canon law trial pending on his death.Two decades later, when the Vatican first heard about the case, the Congregation suggested the canonical trial that had been initiated against Murphy by his diocese in 1996 be suspended because he was dying, Levada wrote. Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, led the Congregation at the time.
While the article says diocesan officials took no action against him (other, presumably than change his mission which we already know about), the police didn't take any action either.In an article on his diocesan Web site, Brundage points out that because he had never received the instruction to suspend the trial, Murphy actually died as a defendant in a church criminal trial.
Seems to me that some people using this case to attack the Vatican is little more than a witch hunt and is really a lot to do about nothing.In his article, dated March 26, Levada wrote that Murphy should have been defrocked in the 1960s and 70s for his "egregious criminal behavior." But he noted that when accusations first arose in the 1960s and 70s, police and diocesan officials took no action against Murphy.