Thursday, January 11, 2007

Kentucky court okays sex abuse case against Vatican

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 11 A federal judge in Kentucky Thursday ruled that a lawsuit against the Vatican alleging cover-ups of predator priests could go forward.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that the ruling by U.S. District Judge John Heyburn allows the alleged victims of sexual molestation by the priests to pursue information -- and the deep pockets of the Vatican -- in the lawsuit filed in 2004 on behalf of three men.


William McMurry, who filed the suit. McMurry said he thought the ruling would be appealed. However, if the decision is upheld he said it could open the door for all the attorneys involved to take the depositions of Vatican officials -- and acquire copies of church documents that could help determine why the church kept quiet about pedophile priests when reports of child abuse were pouring in.


Note that the report did not obtain the Catholic side of the story.

Now how is this going to work?

It seems that whenever the MSM talks about the Vatican, they're often so vague and uninformed. How would the Court force citizens of a different country to appear in an American Court and hand over documents that are essentially documents belonging to another sovereign state.

Someone explain that to me.

Perhaps they will compel American Vatican officials to appear. Okay. But then the lawsuit isn't really against the Vatican, is it? If I say I am suing Washington (i.e. the American government), but I can compel people to appear in a court because they're Canadian, that's not really a suit against Washington, is it?

The Vatican is not subject to American courts, as far as I know. I'm not making any judgments about the merits of the defendant's case, I'm just saying that there's a legal technicality that escapes me. And I think the reporter should have explained noted it and explained it.