Urgent: 4 days left! We still have $5,430 to match to win a $25,400 Challenge Grant! Can you help?
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 seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($5,430 to go):
$25,400.00 $19,969.71
21% 79%
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.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Was Lewis “basically Catholic”? 10 hours ago
Urgent! We need extra financial support between now and May 24th. 13 hours ago
Reading The Diary of a Country Priest: Scandal May 20
Modeling King David’s awareness of God May 20
Has the sensus fidei disappeared? May 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days