A bead of sweat…

Posted by Censor Librorum on Dec 10, 2008 | Categories: Accountability, Bishops, Popes, Scandals

A federal appeals court has permitted a lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse to proceed against the Vatican.pedophilepriests.jpg

The ruling, issued on November 24, 2008 by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, marks the first time a court at so high a level has recognized that the Vatican could be liable for negligance in the thousands of sex abuse cases in the U.S.  

Sex abuse victims and their attorneys have long claimed that the church failed to report priests accused of sexual crimes and  misconduct; and instead covered up the deeds to protect them.

Walking a fine line in recognition of Vatican sovereignty, the appeals court found that the Vatican may be responsible for policies or directives as they were carried out in the U.S., and may have affected how abuse complaints were handled.

One of the central pieces of evidence in the case was a 1962 memo, issued by the Vatican and unearthed by reporters in 2003, that directs Catholic bishops to keep silent about claims of sexual abuse. The document was approved by John XXIII.

“What the court has allowed us to do is proceed against the Vatican for the conduct of the U.S. bishops because of the bishops’ failure…to report child abuse,” said William F. McMurry, the attorney for three men who claim they were abused as children by priests in the Louisville, Kentucky archdiocese.

The November 24 ruling will allow the plaintiffs’ case to proceed in the U.S. District Court in Louisville.   Among the legal questions to be decided in the case is whether U.S. bishops are employees of the Vatican, and whether they acted on the Holy See’s orders.

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3 Responses to “A bead of sweat…”

  1. Póló Says:

    The Vatican has got away with murder over the years. It is a State when it suits it and it is not when it does not.

    I would love to see this matter resolved in a national court.

    It has been festering since the 1960s at least:

  2. Póló Says:

    and another link:

  3. Karen Doherty Says:

    Dear P,

    Thank you for the links. I enjoyed reading your posts, and have added your site to my blogroll.

    Be well.

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