March 04, 2005

Cardinal did not ask Rice to intervene in lawsuit, official says

Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, did not ask U.S. Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice to intervene in a lawsuit against the Vatican, an informed Vatican official told Catholic News Service March 3.

The official said that during a Feb. 8 meeting at the Vatican, Cardinal Sodano simply expressed "surprise" over a class-action lawsuit naming the Holy See as the responsible party for the sexual abuse of minors by U.S. clergy.

In June, an attorney in Louisville, Ky., filed a lawsuit against the Holy See, accusing it of being responsible for the sexual abuse of children by clergy in the United States. The attorney, William McMurray, is also seeking monetary damages for the plaintiffs.

Cardinal Sodano "took up the issue (with Rice) and said how he had been surprised the Vatican was named" as the defendant in the lawsuit, said the Vatican official.

He said Cardinal Sodano never would have asked Rice, as head of the U.S. State Department, an executive body, to intervene in a judicial matter.

"He knows the separation of powers is sacrosanct," he said.

Posted by kshaw at March 4, 2005 01:55 PM