Vatican Sex Abuse Case Allowed to Go Forward

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court decision that will allow a lawsuit against the Vatican to proceed. According to the appelate court ruling, the Vatican lawsuit can continue because the lawsuit alleges that the Vatican helped coverup priest sex abuse of minors and performed the coverup on U.S. soil.
This is an important if not unprecedented ruling since the Vatican as a sovereign state is normally immune from U.S. lawsuits. Part of the court’s decision involved the 1962 Vatican document known by its Latin title Crimen Solicitationis. The court ruled that while the document was promulgated in the Vatican and therefore immune from the lawsuit, its directives and policies were carried out by church officials in the United States.
The Kentucky lawsuit involving the Vatican alleges that bishops and archbishops, as Vatican operatives, were ordered to carry out the conspiracy to cover up the priest abuse scandal. The activity on US soil makes the Vatican subject to civil lawsuits and may finally open up some of the secret documents held by the Vatican and its diplomatic agency in Washington D.C. This is good news for those of us fighting for the rights of survivors of priest sex abuse.