Monday, August 16, 2010

Oregon lawsuit against Benedict XVI will proceed: Dismissal of Kentucky case has no bearing on Oregon case

Anderson Advocates Blog

The fact that attorney William McMurry decided to dismiss claims against the Vatican -- thereby abandoning the lawsuit he filed six years ago on behalf of plaintiffs in Kentucky – has no bearing on our Oregon case against the Vatican. Our courageous client is determined to move forward to expose the Vatican’s role in concealing child sex abuse and we have the resolve and the resources to support that mission.

One reason McMurry cited for dismissing the claims is that he was unable to find new victims who have not yet settled with the Church. We have not found that to be true. In fact, we receive numerous calls on a daily basis from survivors across the country and throughout the world. There are likely thousands of survivors of clergy sex abuse who have yet to break their silence. As always, we encourage survivors to come forward and seek justice. In the meantime, in honor of all survivors, we promise to push forward with our case against the Vatican and face any challenge.

Statements made by Jeffrey Lena, the attorney representing the Vatican, are very misleading. Lena claims that this recent development somehow confirms that there has never been a Holy See policy requiring concealment of child sex abuse. How could that possibly be confirmed or denied if the Kentucky case never went to discovery, no Vatican officials were deposed, and no documents were turned over?

We are more determined than ever to prove that Church officials did in fact conceal abuse, and thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling that allows our Oregon case to proceed, we can now move forward into the crucial phase of discovery. We are optimistic about the future and determined to see our case through.


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