$31,602 to go to meet our Challenge Grant, by December 1st. Your gift now will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

US court urged to dismiss abuse lawsuit against Vatican

Catholic World News - May 17, 2010

The Vatican is asking an American court to dismiss an effort by sex-abuse victims to bring suit against the Pope and the Holy See, saying that the Vatican is not responsible for administrative decisions by individual diocesan bishops.

Jeffrey Lena, an attorney representing the Vatican in a Kentucky court, argues that the lawsuit is based on the inaccurate notion that bishops are, in effect, employees of the Vatican. He warns that a secular court should not become involved in the doctrinal questions that underlie the description of a bishop's authority.

In attempting to bring suit against the Holy See, plaintiffs' lawyer William McMurry has argued that the 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis is a "smoking gun" that proves a worldwide conspiracy of silence on sexual abuse. But Lena counters that while the 1962 document governed canonical proceedings in cases involving clerical misconduct, 'the canon law did not bar reporting of these crimes to the civil authorities." Moreover, he contends, there is no evidence that officials in the Louisville archdiocese were even aware of that document at the time the plaintiffs reported being abused.

The Vatican brief also argues that the Holy See, as an independent state, is protected by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which restricts lawsuits against foreign powers in American courts.

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!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($115,411 to go):
$150,000.00 $34,588.98
77% 23%
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!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Putting Our Best Foot Forward 9 hours ago
Contentious Spirits, Beware! October 30
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6