August 20, 2012
Contact Jeff Anderson: 612.817.8665
Judge dismisses historic child sexual abuse case involving
role in clergy abuse cover-up
Attorney says appeal is definite
Statement of Jeff Anderson re: John V. Doe v. Holy See
(Portland, Oregon)“We are saddened and disappointed that after ten
years in the federal courts, United States District of Oregon Judge Michael W.
Mosman dismissed the historic lawsuit (John V. Doe v. Holy See) brought by
clergy abuse victim John V. Doe against the Vatican for its role in the
cover-up and secrecy of the clergy abuse crisis in America.
However, be assured that we will
be appealing this decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Along with courageous survivor
John V. Doe, we have been there before, and prevailed, and we expect to prevail
In making his ruling Judge
Mosman’s thoughtful remarks from the bench clearly expressed his difficulty in
deciding the case as he referred to the case as very troubling and a close
call. But he ultimately decided that under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
(FSIA) there was insufficient evidence to decide that the Vatican has both
directional and operational control over priests in the United States. The Judge also acknowledged that there would
likely be an appeal of his decision.
Indeed, I can confirm that there
will be an appeal. We believe that under
further scrutiny the courts will find that Vatican protocols and practice make
it clear that obedience to Rome required the secrecy, and concealment practiced
by priests and bishops as the clergy abuse crisis unfolded in the United
Finally, it is with renewed
vigor that we must, and will, carry on this fight for transparency and
accountability on behalf of John V. Doe and every single survivor of sexual
abuse by a priest in this country and across the globe.”
*Note: Earlier in the case, Holy See
claimed sovereign immunity from the suit and moved the court to dismiss the
case. However, both the Federal District
Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Holy See’s
motion. As a result, the Holy See petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to
hear the case on appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition.
Jeff Anderson: 612.817.8665 Mike Finnegan: 612.2055531 Marci Hamilton: 215.353.8984