On April 3, 2002, Jeffrey Anderson filed suit against the Holy See claiming that it was responsible for the conduct of a priest who had allegedly molested a young man in Oregon in 1965. Anderson contended that the priest worked for the Vatican and that officials there knew about his sexual exploits. On April 4, 2002, I issued a news release stating the following: “Anderson’s crusade is malicious. He knows he will lose in court.”
I was right. On Monday, Anderson told the Ninth Circuit that he was withdrawing his appeal of a federal district court ruling that said the Holy See did not employ the priest and was not liable for damages.
Anderson knew from day one that he would lose. While his knowledge of the way the Catholic Church works is deficient, he had to know—unless he is truly a conspiratorial maniac—that his stunt would go nowhere. Moreover, his actions were exploitative: 2002 was the year the sex scandal hit the newspapers, so he thought he could cash in on it.
Maybe he is a conspiratorial maniac. Yesterday, he said “all roads lead to Rome.” That’s what he said before when he lost.