DECLARATION OF U.S. LAWYER CONCERNING SEX ABUSE CASE

VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - With reference to the lawsuit against the Holy See which lawyers in the United States have filed at a federal court in Milwaukee, in the name of a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, the Holy See Press Office reiterates a declaration released by Jeffrey Lena, the Holy See’s attorney in the U.S.A., the complete text of which is given below:

“First and foremost, sympathy is due to the victims of the criminal acts committed by Fr. Lawrence Murphy. By sexually abusing children, Murphy violated both the law and the trust that his victims had placed in him.

“While legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them. Instead, the lawsuit represents an attempt to use tragic events as a platform for a broader attack - this one dependent on re-characterising the Catholic Church as a worldwide ‘business enterprise’.

“The case against the Holy See and its officials is completely without merit. Most of the complaint rehashes old theories already rejected by U.S. courts. With regard to Murphy himself, the Holy See and its officials knew nothing of his crimes until decades after the abuse occurred, and had no role whatsoever in causing plaintiff’s injuries.

“Given its lack of merit, the lawsuit - together with its de rigueur press conference and news releases - is simply the latest attempt by certain U.S. lawyers to use the judicial process as a tool of media relations.

“If necessary, we will respond more fully to this lawsuit in court and at the appropriate time”.

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