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Anderson withdraws abuse suit against Vatican

Catholic World News - February 13, 2012

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson has withdrawn a federal lawsuit in which he asserted that the Vatican was liable for abuse committed by Father Lawrence Murphy, a deceased Milwaukee priest. Anderson said that he believed “his energies would be best spent working alongside fellow survivors toward justice and healing at the archdiocese level.”

Jeffrey Lena, the Holy See’s attorney in US courts, commented:

Things were different at the beginning of this case. On April 22, 2010, counsel for Plaintiff orchestrated a press event replete with props and other trappings designed to induce a media feeding frenzy. During the frenzy, Plaintiff’s counsel dramatically announced that they held information demonstrating a “world-wide conspiracy” related to sexual abuse that was directed by the Holy See. That outworn and discredited claim was in fact the centerpiece of a planned sequence of media events that took a very serious matter -- the sexual abuse of a child – and turned it into a tool to assert fallacious allegations of Holy See responsibility and liability for John Doe 16’s abuse …

A case like this one against the Holy See, which was held together by no more than a mendacious web of allegations of international conspiracy, amounted to a misuse of judicial process and a waste of judicial resources. Mythology about the Catholic Church to the contrary, the Holy See is not responsible for the supervision of the more than 400,000 priests around the world. Attorneys in this case knew that, and their knowledge of this fact is precisely what made the filing of this lawsuit so pernicious in the first place.

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