Yesterday, an Oregon judge ruled that the Vatican may be sued for allegedly conspiring to protect a molesting priest by moving him from Ireland to Chicago to Portland more than 50 years ago. In an unprecedented decision, the judge said that the Holy See does not enjoy foreign sovereign immunity in this case because the Vatican supposedly knew the priest had a history of sexual misconduct.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on this today:
“The lawyer who sued the Vatican is Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul, Minnesota. A former SDS radical who hates the Catholic Church, Anderson has made literally tens of millions of dollars suing the Church in sexual abuse cases. His hatred stems, in part, from the fact that his eight-year-old daughter was once abused by a former priest. I say ‘in part’ because the abuser was a psychotherapist: as Newsweek’s Ken Woodward once said, Anderson never decided to target the American Psychological Association, and that’s because the big bucks lay in suing the Catholic Church. Hate, mixed with greed, is a sick stew.
“Four years ago, sexual abuse charges were dropped against a former superintendent of the Oregon School for the Deaf because it was ruled that the alleged abuse against two girls occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and thus were too old to prosecute under state law. ‘What stupefied me was that this [the abuse] was common knowledge’ in the school, said a disability counselor who investigated the matter. Yet the school did nothing about it. To its credit, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, ran a story at that time on sexual abuse of deaf students nationwide and found that not only is sexual abuse commonplace in schools for the deaf, the states and the federal government do virtually nothing about it.
“Rightly or wrongly, up until recently the sexual abuse of youngsters was uniformly handled by private and public institutions as an in-house matter. What’s really going on here is an attempt to fleece the Vatican by a multi-millionaire with an agenda—it has nothing to do with justice. Look for Anderson to lose in the Supreme Court.”