Local lawsuit blaming Vatican for abuse by priests gaining international attention


by Renee Murphy


Posted on March 31, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 31 at 6:47 PM

(WHAS11) - A Louisville lawsuit that's been tied up in court is now gaining international attention.

The suit blames the Vatican for the abuse of three Louisville men by priests.

The attorney for the men wants Pope Benedict to give an official statement in a deposition and during the holiest of weeks, local Catholics are calling on the community not to lose faith.

Allegations of a sex abuse cover up by the pope in Europe are sparking debate and certainly have people talking as facts are slowly revealed.

The 2004 lawsuit alleges three men were abused by priests as children and faults the Vatican.

The attorney for the plaintiffs says there is a document from 1962 that mandated bishops not report sex abuse to the police.

The Louisville lawsuit is taking on more significance since recent allegations surfaced that the pope was involved in a cover up of abuse cases in Europe.

U.S. bishops, including Louisville Arch Bishop Joseph Kurtz, issued a statement Tuesday saying "during this holy week we stand with our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in prayer for the victims of sexual abuse, for the entire church and for the world."

Vatican lawyers plan to argue that the pope has immunity as a head of a state and therefore cannot be deposed.

Lawyers from all across the globe have said they plan to use a similar strategy as the attorney in Louisville who is going directly after the Vatican for sex abuse cases from the past.