Jeff AndersonThe lawyer is representing sex abuse
victims of Catholic priests has made the audacious ploy of suing the Pope
Benedict; the Vatican’s current secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,
a former secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano; and the Holy See over the misdeeds
of Milwaukee priest Father Lawrence Murphy.

“We’re chasing them. We’re taking
bites out of their ass,” Jeff Anderson told the Washington
Post
a few days ago. “They are spinning this thing in a way that is
untruthful. And the truth has to be known.”

The colourful Mr Anderson, who has earned
ten of millions from his lawsuits against American dioceses for himself and for
his clients, has
filed a suit
alleging that Vatican officials failed to take action when the
plaintiff, John Doe 16, wrote to the Vatican in 1995 asking for Father Lawrence
Murphy, a known sex abuser, to be excommunicated. Mr Anderson says that his
client suffered “severe emotional distress” because of a lack of
action.

The Vatican’s lawyer in the US, Jeffrey
Lena, dismissed
the suit as a stunt
:

The
case against the Holy See and its officials is completely without merit. Most
of the complaint rehashes old theories already rejected by U.S. courts. While
legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them…

The
lawsuit represents an attempt to use tragic events as a platform for a broader
attack — this one dependent on re-characterizing the Catholic Church as a
worldwide ‘business enterprise’… Given its lack of merit, the lawsuit —
together with its de rigueur press conference and news releases — is simply
the latest attempt by certain U.S. lawyers to use the judicial process as a
tool of media relations.”

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet.