Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Oregon judge orders Vatican to answer queries in sex-abuse lawsuit

Catholic World News - April 22, 2011

A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that the Vatican must answer questions posed by the plaintiff in a sex-abuse suit.

Judge Michael Mosman granted “limited discovery,” ordering the Vatican to produce evidence showing whether or not the late Father Andrew Ronan, the accused abuser, was a Vatican employee.

The Vatican has informed the federal court that a priest’s behavior is supervised by the local diocese, not by the Holy See. The attorney representing the Vatican, Jeffrey Lena, also points out that the Vatican was unaware of complaints against Ronan until after the reported abuse took place.

Nevertheless, Judge Mosman said in his rulling that the plaintiff had “proffered evidence that tends to show the Holy See knew of Ronan’s propensities and that in some cases, the Holy See exercised direct control over the conduct, placement, and removal of individual priests accused of similar sexual misconduct.”

The plaintiff’s attorney, Jeffrey Anderson, has been striving to include the Vatican as a defendant in a sex-abuse lawsuit. To date he has been unsuccessful. The Oregon court ruling addresses the question of whether the Vatican can be held responsible for a priest's assignments--which are made by diocesan officials.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($14,503 to go):
$35,000.00 $20,496.73
41% 59%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 22, 2011 7:29 PM ET USA

    In related news, I just ordered the Chinese government to stop persecuting Catholics. I think Judge Mosman and I both have solid understandings of our respective levels of importance in the world.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Apr. 22, 2011 2:04 PM ET USA

    "[H]as ruled that the Vatican must ... " Some judge in Oregon (!) thinks he has jurisdiction over the Vatican, a sovereign state? LOL!! I'm sure that the Vatican will jump right to it.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Our Spiritual Destiny and the Horror of War September 19
The Islamic roots of terrorism must be addressed September 19
Each of us is destined to marry Jesus Christ September 18
From simple husband to ascetical priest September 18
St. Augustine's warning to pastors September 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18