March 04, 2005

Vatican Seeks Help With U.S. Lawsuit


United Press International

Vatican officials used last month's visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to ask for help with a federal class action suit in Kentucky.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's secretary of state, asked Rice if Washington could kill the lawsuit, filed in Louisville, Ky., seeking to hold the Vatican financially responsible for the sexual abuse of minors, theAbuse Tracker said Friday.

Rice reportedly explained that under U.S. law, foreign states are required to assert claims of sovereign immunity themselves before U.S. courts.

Mark Chopko, general counsel for the U.S. bishops' conference, said it's a fairly routine step for the Holy See to request action from the State Department, which can ask the Department of Justice to recommend against moving forward because of the Vatican's sovereign status.

Posted by kshaw at March 4, 2005 02:13 PM