Loading
Federal Judge rules Holy See is sovereign state, lawsuit unlikely

.- As three men, claiming that the Vatican covered up priestly sexual abuse, continue to push a lawsuit against the head of the Catholic Church, a federal judge in Kentucky has ruled that the Holy See is a sovereign and independent state which enjoys immunity from lawsuits as mandated by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976. Under the Act, foreign states can only be sued in U.S. courts only under certain, very strict provisions, and only if it can be determined that they have engaged in commercial or harmful activities in the United States.

Judge John G. Heyburn II of the U.S. District Court in Louisville ruled Friday, to the chagrin of some, that the Vatican is an independent state, and not simply a religious organization as the plaintiffs had claimed.

The alleged victims, who claim that they were abused as far back as 1928, have decided to push ahead with the case and serve the Vatican with official court documents.

The Immunities Act requires that court documents be served to Vatican foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, and translated into Latin--the official working language of the Holy See.

The plaintiffs plan to comply, but many doubt that the case will come to fruition.

Judge Heyburn’s ruling is also expected to play some role in a similar lawsuit by a Texas group against Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Although no ruling has yet been made, the U.S. State Department has urged that the case be dropped because the Pope enjoys immunity as head of a foreign state.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Jul
31

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Gospel
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »

Saint
Date
07/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: