St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson can sue the Vatican on behalf of sex-abuse victims after a ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court turned back a challenge by the Catholic Church that said it was immune from U.S. lawsuits.
“Today’s action by the Justices is an answer to the prayers of literally thousands of survivors of sexual abuse who finally have a real shot at obtaining justice, and the truth, about the complicity of Vatican leaders in covering up the criminal acts of Catholic priests against innocent children,” Anderson said in a statement.
The case began when Anderson filed a 2002 lawsuit in Oregon alleging the church moved a priest, the Rev. Andrew Roman, from Ireland to Chicago to Portland, while knowing he’d abused seminarians and minors.
The Vatican has claimed sovereign immunity from the suit and sought dismissal first in district court, and then with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Anderson has stated that his ultimate goal is to have Pope Benedict testify under oath.
Recently, he filed suit against St. John’s Preparatory School, the abbey, the Order of St. Benedict and Father Raymond Francisco Schulte, a former teacher and minister at the school. Anderson says Schulte recruited and sexually abused two boys, one from North Carolina, one from Minnesota, before and while they were students at the school in the mid-1980s. The lawsuit names Father Raymond Francisco Schulte as the abuser, and says he is currently an active Benedictine monk in Rome, giving tours.
Supreme Court green lights Jeff Anderson’s sex abuse lawsuit against the Vatican
By Hart Van Denburg
Monday, Jun. 28 2010