Skip to comments.9th Circuit Rules Vatican Can Be Sued Over Abuse
Posted on 03/04/2009 8:22:26 AM PST by stan_sipple
A federal appeals court says the Vatican can be sued for abuse committed by its priests.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests can sue the Vatican even though it is considered a sovereign nation.
The appeals court said there are exceptions to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and abuse can be one of them.
The Oregon case has been working its way through the federal appeals court since a judge in Portland ruled in 2006 that the Holy See can be held responsible for the actions of individual priests.
They can sue all they want, but it is highly unlikely that they'll get a penny out of it. And personally I'm not sure that they should. Unless the cover up can be traced to the Vatican the lawsuits should stop at the American Conference of Catholic Bishops who were probably complicit in keeping the pedophiles hidden.
So I guess that also means that the schools; the States and the Feds can also be sued for the child sexual abuse running rampant in the school system!
I hope you're right. I hope these predatory lawyers die of old age without seeing a penny of Vatican money.
Rules are for thee, not for me.....
If the courts so rule
Yep it's all about money. Why I could feel a repressed memory of sexual abuse coming on right now if the money were right :-)
The 8th Ciricuit court is nuts. The Vatican is a state entity. I doubt that this will happen.
And Protestant churches and dioceses too?
Oops, I hit the wrong number key — 9th Circuit court
The 9th Circuit Court is not as significant as it thinks itself to be.
The Nutty 9th!! If Obama lasts 8yrs the entire court system will be like that.
Put me down for a Carrevagio!
I think you should hold out for Castel Gandofolo (sp?)...but that’s JMO :P
A lot of people think the wealth of the Vatican is in it’s art. The bulk is in much more prosaic stocks and bonds.
Catholic dioceses in the U.S. have paid out more than $3 billion to alleged abuse victims, most of that coming since the scandal broke open nationwide in 2002. Click here to view the 1962 document that discusses Vatican policy on secrecy in dealing with complaints of a sexual nature against clergy....The circuit court concluded that the Vatican was a foreign state, eligible for immunity. But, the court held, the plaintiffs could still sue the Vatican under an exception to the Sovereign Immunities Act, which allows suits that assert damages caused by the tortious act of a foreign state or any of its officials or employees.
In the "Whispers in the Loggia" blog article from 11/25, titled Immunity, Denied, it says this:
The appeals court found that the church government may be held liable for actions taken in the U.S. based on the Vaticans policies or directives.In the InsideCatholic.com blog article titled Kneeling Before the World several weeks ago, this astounding statement was asserted:
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, Ky., archdiocese. He is seeking class-action status in the district-court case.
The ruling marks the first time that a federal appeals court recognized that the Vatican could be liable under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a 1976 law that governs when a foreign nation or its agents can be sued, said Marci Hamilton, a constitutional-law scholar who is part of the legal team in the Louisville case.
[Faithful Departed author Philip] Lawler points out that while less than five percent of American priests have been accused of sexual abuse, some two-thirds of our bishops were apparently complicit in cover-ups.Given that awards to victims have reached $3 billion dollar so far, with more than half a billion of that in one archodiocese alone, I can see why someone might pursue class-action status. And given that the WSJ article links to a 1962 document that discusses Vatican policy in these matters, and if two-thirds of all the Catholic bishops in the USA were in fact complicit, I can see why one might think any such "cover-up" might extend past American shores to the Vatican itself.
I wouldn’t know much about protestant churches, but I suppose someone COULD make a case to sue the government of Sweden for any abuses by Lutheran clergy!