April 30, 2005

Case that accuses the new pope of conspiracy may be dropped

Houston Chronicle

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

A federal judge is considering whether to dismiss a case that accuses the new pope of conspiring with local Catholic officials to cover up the alleged sexual abuse of three boys.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal halted the case this week until she decides whether to grant a motion by Catholic officials to dismiss it.

The lawsuit was filed by plaintiffs known only as John Does I, II and III, who say they were molested as boys by a seminary student about 10 years ago.

Pope Benedict XVI, who was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he was added to the lawsuit this year, wrote a May 18, 2001, letter calling for adherence to a 1962 guideline for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

The lawsuit calls the guidelines "a virtual 'green light' for all bishops to actually facilitate, albeit secretly, the sexual exploitation of minors, and even brute animals, by clergy."

Posted by kshaw at April 30, 2005 05:04 AM