Today, April 3, two civil lawsuits will be filed naming the Vatican as a conspirator in the Church’s sex abuse scandal. Also to be named are the dioceses of Portland, Chicago and St. Petersburg, as well as two religious orders. The attorney filing the suits, Jeffrey Anderson, recently filed a RICO suit against former Palm Beach Bishop Anthony O’Connell, the aforementioned three dioceses where he served, and all American bishops.
Catholic League president William Donohue went on record today:
“In our news release of March 22, I wrote that righteous anger did not justify the use of RICO. Branding RICO ‘the wrong remedy for an admittedly outrageous crime,’ I counseled that ‘casting the net too wide is just as bad as dropping it altogether.’ Now Jeffrey Anderson, the lawyer who filed that suit, is back again. This time he wants to stick it to the Vatican.
“Nothing can justify Anderson’s exploitation of this issue. His work is that of an ideologue, not that of someone seeking justice. The Vatican can no more be blamed for lousy decisions made by some bishops than Islamic organizations all around the world can be blamed for the behavior of 19 terrorists who bombed the U.S. on September 11. But this commonsensical understanding of how international organizations operate is of no interest to those with an agenda.
“Anderson’s crusade is malicious. He knows he will lose in court. What he doesn’t know is that he will also lose in the court of public opinion.”