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Archbishop Chaput explains: bishops are not Vatican employees

May 26, 2010

Writing about the Kentucky case in which sex-abuse victims seek to list the Vatican as a defendant, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver argues that the plaintiffs' argument-- that the Vatican controls the activities of individual bishops-- is completely at odds with everyday realities and, more important, with the Catholic understanding of the nature of the Church.

That argument is not merely false in practice. It is also revolutionary in consequence. In effect, it would redefine the nature of the Church in a manner favorable to plaintiffs’ attorneys but alien to her actual structure and identity. To put it another way, plaintiffs’ attorneys want a federal court to tell the Church what she really is, whether she agrees or not, and then to penalize her for being what she isn't.


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