Vatican Sex Abuse

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2021 file photo, Pope Francis holds the pastoral staff as he celebrates a mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the opening of the bishops' synod, at the Vatican. A European court ruled Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, that the Vatican couldn't be sued in a local court for sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests, affirming that it enjoys sovereign immunity and that the misconduct of priests and their superiors cannot be attributed to the Holy See. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, file)

ROME — A European court agreed Tuesday that the Vatican couldn’t be sued in a local court for sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests, affirming that it enjoys sovereign immunity and that the misconduct of priests and their superiors can’t be attributed to the Holy See.

The European Court of Human Rights dismissed a case brought by two dozen people who said they were victims of abusive priests in Belgium. The 24 had argued the Holy See was liable because of the “structurally deficient” way the Catholic hierarchy had handled cases of priests who raped and molested children, covering up the crimes rather than reporting them.

The plaintiffs appealed to the Strasbourg-based court after Belgian courts ruled they had no jurisdiction given the Holy See’s immunity as a sovereign state.

The European court said the Belgian judges were correct and that the victims hadn’t been deprived of their right to have access to a court. It restated the Belgian court ruling that the Holy See enjoys sovereign immunity and that no exception to that rule applied since the misconduct of bishops in handling abuse cases couldn’t be attributed to the Vatican.

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

I am not catholic, but it seems the media is going after religion. Can we say let's sue the School boards and School Administrators, when a teacher molests a student ( it happens more than you think ). In fact we have an ex-principal doing major prison time for killing a student while drunk driving. Seems our educational system hurts many children, on many levels...I wonder why that is not published in the news media more than it is...?

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