October 08, 2005

Vatican entitled to foreign immunity, judge rules

Ireland Online

08/10/2005 - 09:12:42

A judge in Kentucky has ruled that the Holy See is a foreign state that enjoys certain immunity protections, in an action by three men who claim the Vatican covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Judge John Heyburn of the US District Court in Louisville rejected the victims’ argument that the Holy See was an international religious organisation and ruled that it was a foreign state subject to provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

The 1976 act restricts when foreign states can be sued in American courts, although it provides exceptions, such as when the states engage in commercial or certain harmful activities in the US.

Posted by kshaw at October 8, 2005 07:09 AM