Kentucky plaintiffs drop abuse suit against Vatican
August 10, 2010
Three Kentucky plaintiffs have abandoned a lawsuit that sought to make the Vatican responsible for clerical abuse that took place in the United States. Similar lawsuits have been filed in Oregon and Wisconsin.
“This development confirms that, contrary to what the plaintiffs’ lawyers repeatedly told the media, there has never been a Holy See policy requiring concealment of child sexual abuse,” said Jeffrey Lena, the attorney representing the Holy See. “The theory crafted by the plaintiffs’ lawyers six years ago misled the American public.”
“That the case against the Holy See always lacked merit does not mean that the plaintiffs themselves did not suffer as a result of sexual abuse,” he added. “But bringing this case only distracted from the important goal of protecting children from harm.”
Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, welcomed the news that the case was being dropped, but emphasized that the Church is committed to rooting out sexual abuse and providing support for abuse victims. “Justice for victims of sexual abuse and the protection of minors remain our primary objective,” he said.
- Plaintiffs give up sex abuse case against Vatican (AP)
- Vatican Remains Committed to Justice for Sex Abuse Victims (Vatican Radio)
- Supreme Court declines to hear Vatican appeal; abuse victims' suit will proceed (CWN, 6/28/10)
- Vatican dismisses Wisconsin lawsuit as 'completely without merit' (CWN, 4/23/10)