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U.S. Federal District Court order is first ever compelling Vatican to produce documents in clergy abuse cover-up case

4/21/2011 7:00:00 PM

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Press Release

For Immediate Release

April 21. 2011

 

U.S. Federal District Court order is first ever compelling Vatican to

produce documents in clergy abuse cover-up case

 

Judge:  Clergy abuse victim entitled to “jurisdictional discovery” in John V. Doe v. Holy See

(St. Paul, Minnesota USA)  For the first time ever, the highest officials of the Catholic Church in Rome are being forced by a U.S. judge to turn over documents about clergy sex abuse and cover ups.

Late today, an Oregon judge ruled that a child sex abuse case against the Vatican can proceed to discovery of records and documents in the Vatican that pertain to a predator priest and his connections to the Vatican.

In his order United States District Judge Michael W. Mosman wrote:  “Here, Plaintiff has proffered evidence that tends to show the Holy See knew of Ronan’s propensities and that in some cases, the HolySee exercised direct control over the conduct, placement, and removal of individual priests accused of similar sexual misconduct.”

 Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the plaintiff in John V. Doe v. Holy See said today that Judge Mosman’s order is a “historic step in getting to the bottom of the world-wide tragedy of clergy sex abuse of children.”

John V. Doe v. Holy See is in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.   Earlier in the case, Holy See claimed sovereign immunity from the suit and moved the court to dismiss the case.  However, both the Federal District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Holy See’s motion.  As a result, the Holy See petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case on appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition.   As a result of the Judge’s order today the case now moves to a new level requiring the Holy See to produce documents and answer plaintiff’s questions.