Abuse victims can sue Vatican, court rules
This is good news. The Vatican and the Popes must not be "above the law" especially secular law. Justice must be brought upon them and jail them when they are found guilty. And they are all guilty of the cover-up of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
By JEFF STRICKLER, Star Tribune
Last update: June 28, 2010 - 11:03 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for sex-abuse victims to sue Pope Benedict when it refused Monday to hear the Vatican's appeal of an Oregon lawsuit.
St. Paul lawyer Jeff Anderson, who specializes in filing abuse suits against the Roman Catholic Church, called the decision "the biggest breakthrough in the movement's history."
"This is huge. Really, really huge," he said. "We've kicked down the iron gates that they've been hiding behind for all these years."
In declining to hear the case, the court upheld an appeals court ruling that the Vatican can be sued for sexual abuse if church officials knowingly reassign priests who have been accused of such acts in their previous parishes. The Vatican appeal had argued that the U.S. courts lacked jurisdiction over the Rome-based church.
Anderson predicted that now he can eventually depose Pope Benedict.
"I won't start with him; I'm going to work my way up," he said. "But this ruling gives me the ability to depose anybody within the organization who has knowledge about the events."
Before becoming pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger oversaw the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office that disciplines priests for abusive acts.
SNAP (Survivors Network of the Those Abused by Priests) issued a statement saying that the Supreme Court's decision "gives hope to hundreds of thousands of clergy sex abuse victims across the globe who know lies remain under wraps at the Vatican and will only be unearthed through persistent action by secular justice officials and systems."
The suit that led to the appeal was filed in 2002 by Anderson in Oregon for an unnamed 49-year-old man who alleges he was sexually abused as a teenager by a priest who had been reassigned after being accused of similar abuses in parishes in Chicago and Ireland.
Jeff Strickler • 612-673-7392
Statement from SNAP
There's so much more work to be done, but ever so slowly, the tenacity of courageous victims is beginning to shed light on deeply-buried church secrecy and complicity. This is another crucial step forward towards healthier public understanding of the depth of church corruption. This court ruling and last week's Belgian police raid should make every bishop in the world think twice about keeping clergy sex crimes hidden. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “No lie lives forever.” This decision gives hope to hundreds of thousands of clergy sex abuse victims across the globe who know lies remain under wraps at the Vatican and will only be unearthed through persistent action by secular justice officials and systems. We’re thrilled that this brave victim is closer to exposing which and how Catholic officials knowingly moved a dangerous predator priest, and we applaud him for preserving in his quest for truth. It’s ironic that on the same day, the Pope tries to stifle open examination of church abuse cover ups while the US Supreme Court tries to enable open examination of church abuse cover ups. (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is http://www.snapnetwork.org/) Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, email@example.com
posted by snapjudy on Jun 28, 10 at 2:59 pm |