A lawsuit against the Vatican was filed yesterday in Louisville by attorney William McMurry seeking to depose Pope Benedict XVI. McMurry contends that officials of the Catholic Church in Rome, including the pope, knew about cases of priestly sexual abuse and then covered them up.
Responding is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:
It is a staple of anti-Catholic thinking that every priest on the face of the globe takes his marching orders from the pope, and that every instance of priestly wrongdoing is known to the Holy Father and his inner circle. The fact is that the Catholic Church is among the most decentralized entities in the world, and it is positively preposterous to think that the pope sits around orchestrating coverups in places ranging from Louisville to London. McMurry knows this as well, but having creamed over $10 million for himself (out of a $25.7 million pot) from a settlement with the Archdiocese of Louisville in 2003, he can afford to be motivated more by ideology than greed at this point.
“I have yet to meet a Catholic, expert or otherwise,” McMurry says, “who does not believe that the Holy See has the absolute right to control the day-to-day activities of a bishop’s work.” Yet when even parents cannot possibly control the day-to-day activities of their children, only someone who is hopelessly naïve—or malicious—would contend that the pope is tweeting the bishops all day long.
McMurry has three clients: one says he “thinks” the local bishop knew of his alleged abuse; another maintains that he was molested over three decades ago; and the third contends that a priest touched him through his pants pocket in 1928. If this is McMurry’s best shot, then he is bound to fail. Besides, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act makes it difficult to prosecute a head of state.
This lawsuit, then, is not driven by a noble pursuit of justice. It is driven by hate. As such, it deserves a quick death.