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Victims want to sue Vatican after McCarrick report

Recognize the Vatican as responsible after the McCarrick fiasco, supported by the report of the same name unveiled Tuesday, November 10 by the Holy See. This is the goal of four men who claim to have been victims of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and who have filed a complaint with justice in New Jersey (United States), reports the agency AP Thursday 19 November.

→ MAINTENANCE. Sexual abuse: “The McCarrick report is a model to follow”

Of the four complainants, three claim to have been sexually abused by Theodore McCarrick in the 1980s, when they were still minors. For his part, the ecclesiastic was already a bishop. The fourth man to file a complaint is a priest who says he was a victim of the fallen cardinal in the 1990s, during a stay in his now infamous seaside house. AP, the man would have spoken about it to another priest who would have formulated the terrible advice to him not to say anything about it “ for the good of the Church “.

“Hide and Tolerate” McCarrick’s Abuse

According to a lawyer representing them, the four men want to sue the Vatican in New Jersey – State where Theodore McCarrick was bishop from 1981 to 2000 – because the report showed that popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis would have “ made the choice of hide and tolerate driving By Theodore McCarrick. Unveiled after two years of internal investigations, the document of more than 450 pages indeed shows that these popes had been informed of several complaints concerning the one who became archbishop of Washington in 2000.

Formulated from the 1980s, these complaints had however been dismissed by the Vatican, given the lack of supposed evidence, the absence at the time of accusations of abuse of minors and the vehement defense of Theodore McCarrick who had all his entries into Rome. It was not until 2017-2018, when a substantiated complaint of abuse of a minor had arrived, that the American Archbishop fell from grace, being first expelled from the College of Cardinalices and then – unprecedented for a prelate of his rank – dismissed from the clerical order.

Vatican immunity

If the report calls into question a whole cascade of dysfunctions and “omissions”, no one responsible is directly implicated. For the four complainants, it is therefore the Vatican itself which is implicated. They therefore claim financial compensation from him – not quantified – as well as the names of more than 3,000 priests accused of abuse as well as all associated documents.

→ ANALYSIS. McCarrick report, shocked American Catholics

As the agency notes AP, this is not the first time that the Vatican has been directly sued in the United States. So far, these complaints have not been successful, with Rome arguing its immunity as a sovereign entity and arguing that priests are not its employees. A case law dismissed by the lawyer of the four men: ” we are convinced that there is a clear legal path that must be taken “.


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