Holy See Not the Boss

A federal judge in Oregon ruled on Aug. 20 that the Vatican was not the employer of a priest accused of molestation and dismissed a 10-year effort to hold the Holy See liable for sexual abuse. A lawsuit filed by a Portland area man argued the Vatican was partly responsible for his molestation in the 1960s. But U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman said he could not find an employment link in the facts and therefore, under the sovereign immunity law, the U.S. court had no jurisdiction. Jeff Anderson, attorney for the plaintiff, said in a press release that his client would appeal. “The judge’s thoughtful remarks from the bench clearly expressed his difficulty in deciding the case,” Anderson said. But an attorney representing the Vatican called Anderson’s statement misleading: “[Judge Mosman] did not say it was a close call on whether Ronan was an employee.” On this central point, “he said the plaintiffs had not really produced any solid facts to support their theory.”

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Just about everyone is sick of the partisan rancor that radiates from Washington.
The EditorsJune 23, 2017
Beatriz Mejia of El Salvador speaks at a rally in front of the White House in Washington in March 2016 in support of immigrant families who are seeking asylum. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Can a Catholic carry out his or her job duties in good conscience if they include the deportation of people facing imminent death in their home countries?
Callanan, a professor and novelist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be awarded the $25,000 Catholic literary prize.
The EditorsJune 22, 2017
Retired San Francisco Archbishop John R. Quinn, left, is pictured in a 2004 photo in Saginaw, Mich. He died June 22 at age 88 in San Francisco. He headed the Northern California Archdiocese from 1977 until 1995. (CNS photo/Brett McLaughlin, Catholic Weekly)
Retired Archbishop John R. Quinn of San Francisco, who led the Northern California archdiocese for 18 years, died on June 22 after a long illness. He was 88.