Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican denies bid to name Pope as defendant in abuse case

Catholic World News - January 31, 2011

The Vatican has turned down a bid by a high-profile American lawyer to name Pope Benedict and other top Vatican officials as defendants in a sex-abuse lawsuit.

Jeffrey Anderson, a Minnesota attorney who has specialized in suits against the Church, asked Vatican officials to serve legal papers on the Pope, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The Vatican rejected the plea, saying that any such request should be forwarded through proper diplomatic channels.

As a sovereign state, the Vatican is generally immune from lawsuits. Vatican officials have also argued consistently that diocesan bishops bear the responsibility for handling sex-abuse complaints.

Anderson, who has made numerous efforts to list the Pope as a defendant in sex-abuse cases, swept aside those legal arguments, and complained that Vatican officials are trying to hold themselves above the law.

Jeffrey Lena, a lawyer representing the Vatican in US courts, responded that it was Anderson, not the Vatican, that had sought to short-circuit the justice system. Lena pointed out that the ordinary procedure in such a case would be to serve the legal papers through diplomatic channels, as the Holy See requested. The attempt to serve papers directly, he said, “is really just a form of grandstanding by Mr. Anderson for the press and the public."

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 five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($19,750 to go):
$35,000.00 $15,250.48
56% 44%
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.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days