Vatican asks for dismissal of Louisville lawsuit

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Posted: May 17, 2010 5:40 PM EDT Updated: May 17, 2010 6:56 PM EDT

Bill McMurry Bill McMurry
Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI

By Maira Ansari – bio | email
Posted by Charles Gazaway – email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The Vatican is making its most detailed defense against a Louisville lawsuit. The suit seeks to depose top Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy See filed a motion Monday trying to get the case dismissed. 

The Louisville case was filed in 2004 by lawyer Bill McMurry, representing three men who allege that they were victims of priest abuse as children and who are seeking damages from the Vatican.    

On May 17, an attorney for the Holy See filed to dismiss, using ‘judicial notice’ as the basis. 

“We’re seeking to hold the ultimate party accountable for the sexual abuse by priests in this country,” said McMurry, who wants to put the Pope Benedict XVI on the witness stand. 

“I want to know what then Cardinal Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict, may have said to Pope John Paul II and what kind of sharing of information went back and forth about the priest abuse problem in the United States.” 

The motion by the Vatican pointed out the statute of limitations for the plaintiffs has passed and some received settlements in lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Louisville. It listed dozens of articles written about the abuse. 

The Vatican has argued it did not orchestrate a cover up. Bishops are not Vatican employees because they are not paid by Rome, and that a 1962 Vatican document did not require them to keep quiet. 

The court’s decision could affect other efforts to sue the Vatican in the U.S. 

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