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U.S. Lawsuit Against Vatican Alleging Sex Abuse Cover-Up Dropped

The Vatican had a victory Monday in the U.S. Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal when a lawyer asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit three U.S. men he represents had brought against the Holy See. The lawyer said in filings in U.S. federal district court in Louisville, Kentucky, that the U.S. courts had placed an impossible burden of proof on the plaintiffs to prove their case.

The Vatican is protected by a law that says that sovereign nations are immune from lawsuits. The Vatican is located in Rome, but is considered a sovereign nation. The Vatican said that the reason the plaintiffs had dropped their case after six years is because they finally are admitting that they have no proof to back up their charges.

The men had sought to hold the Vatican responsible for their sexual molestation by priests employed by the Catholic Church, governed by the Vatican. The lawsuit was originally brought against the Church in 2004 and alleged that the Catholic Church engaged in a massive cover-up of the sex crimes of its priests, often transferring the priest to another district rather than turning them into law enforcement officials, ultimately leading to more child sex abuse.

There are at least three more cases involving civil lawsuits still pending at various stages in the U.S. A lawyer involved in the other cases said that they still believe in their case and the Kentucky case will not affect them moving forward with their lawsuit.


  • Plaintiffs Drop Sex-Abuse Suit Against Vatican (The Wall Street Journal)

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