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Lawsuit against Vatican can proceed

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A Kentucky lawsuit filed in federal court in 2004 against the Vatican that alleges that the Vatican covered up known or suspected sexual abuse by American priests recently survived a legal challenge.

Legal counsel for the Vatican made an application to strike out the lawsuit on the grounds of sovereign immunity, which generally protects nations from being sued in the U.S.

In a decision released January 11, 2007 U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II dismissed the Plaintiff’s allegations that the Vatican was negligent in failing to protect children entrusted to the care of Catholic priests.

However, the judge refused to dismiss allegations that the Vatican failed to report incidents of child abuse and failed to warn parishioners that their children would be under the care of known or suspected sexual abusers.

The Kentucky lawsuit is based in part on instructions the Vatican sent in 1962 to every Catholic Bishop in the world commanding them to maintain a policy of “strictest secrecy” when dealing with allegations of sexual abuse against a priest. The document, which was signed under the seal of Pope John XXIII, threatened to excommunicate anyone that violated the Church’s code of secrecy.

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In May 2001 then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) sent a letter to Bishops confirming that the 1962 code of secrecy remained in effect.
If the Kentucky lawsuit proceeds, it could conceivably lead to the discovery deposition of Pope Benedict XVI , which could prove to be enlightening to say the least.

What has the Vatican been hiding for the last 45 years?

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