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Two secular lawsuits raise deeply ecclesiastical conundra

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Michie, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

    United States
    Rome – Within the last few days, two completely separate lawsuits have been filed in two different countries that somehow involve the Vatican. In the United States, four alleged sex abuse victims of ex-cardinal and ex-priest Theodore McCarrick are suing the Vatican, while in Italy Cardinal Angelo Becciu has filed a $12 million defamation of character claim against a news magazine.

    On the face of it, both actions are fairly straight-forward. The alleged victims want monetary compensation for their suffering, while Becciu wants to be paid for alleged injury to his reputation.

    Yet in reality, each lawsuit, filed in completely secular courts, raises a classic ecclesiastical conundrum:

    • Is a Catholic bishop an “employee” of the Vatican?
    • Technicalities aside, do you actually have to be a cardinal to be elected pope?
    Let’s begin with the McCarrick case. Filed in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, by renowned plaintiffs attorney Jeffrey Anderson, it rests on the claims of the four alleged victims – three who say McCarrick abused them as youths in the 1980s, and a priest who says he was abused in the 1990s and told to forget about it “for the good the Church.” The Vatican is on the hook for damages, according to Anderson’s filing, because he was its “employee.”

    Continued below.
    Two secular lawsuits raise deeply ecclesiastical conundra
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