January 09, 2006

Vatican Official to Face Questions on Oregon Cases

The New York Times

Published: January 9, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 8 (AP) - A high-ranking Vatican official is expected to attend a deposition on Monday where lawyers plan to ask him how the diocese in Portland, Ore., handled accusations of sexual abuse by priests during his tenure there.

The official, former Archbishop William Levada, was served with a subpoena before he left for Rome last summer to take over as prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the position formerly held by Pope Benedict XVI. It is the highest Vatican post ever held by an American.

Archbishop Levada served as archbishop in Portland from 1986 to 1995 before transferring to San Francisco. In 2004, Portland became the first Catholic diocese in the United States to declare bankruptcy, citing sexual abuse lawsuits that sought more than $155 million in damages.

About 150 of those lawsuits are still pending, said the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Kelly Clark.

Posted by kshaw at January 9, 2006 06:51 AM