Left Menu
Development News Edition

Sexually molested victims sue Vatican to reveal names of abusive clerics

Devdiscourse News Desk | Washington DC | Updated: 15-05-2019 08:51 IST | Created: 15-05-2019 08:24 IST
Sexually molested victims sue Vatican to reveal names of abusive clerics
Another plaintiff, 51-year-old Jim Keenan, said he was assaulted throughout the 1970s by a priest whose actions were documented in secret by the church. Image Credit: Flickr

Five Americans who say they were sexually molested by Catholic priests have filed a lawsuit against the Vatican to compel the church to open its archives and hand over the names and details of abusive clergy. The plaintiffs "were harmed as a result of the Defendant Holy See's practice and policy of not reporting suspected child abuse to law enforcement officials," stated the lawsuit filed on Tuesday in US federal court in the state of Minnesota.

"Holy See's practices of retaining, hiding, and concealing evidence of crimes of its agents and former agents have endangered numerous children and continues to put children in peril," it added. Stephen Hoffman, one of three brothers who are plaintiffs for the case, said at a press conference the suit's intention is to "let something like this never happen anymore." "I don't want anyone to go through what I and my brothers went through... I just want the Vatican to do what's right," he said.

Hoffman and his brothers Luke and Benedict say they were molested by Curtis Wehmeyer, a Catholic priest arrested in 2012 and sentenced to five years in prison after the siblings' mother reported the case, sparking a scandal that caused the resignation of an archbishop in 2015. Another plaintiff, 51-year-old Jim Keenan, said he was assaulted throughout the 1970s by a priest whose actions were documented in secret by the church.

"I come forward today to sue the Pope and the Vatican because it needs to stop. They are not above us," he told reporters. The fifth plaintiff, Manuel Vega, said he was one of 30 victims of a Mexican priest who he believes returned to his home country after being accused of abuse in the US.

"He is nowhere to be found," the 53-year-old said. "From what I heard, he is somewhere in Mexico, or in Spain, still practising, still dangerous." The lawsuit comes after Pope Francis announced this month that every Catholic diocese would have to come up with a plan for reporting abuse, a measure expected to bring countless new cases of molestation to light. The Catholic church is struggling to deal with a global epidemic of sexual assault by priests, in particular of minors. Much of the abuse has gone on for decades.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

'Power to the people': Floyd's brother talks at NYC memorial

New Yorkers stayed on the streets of New York City Thursday for another day of protests spurred by the death of George Floyd, including at a memorial service at the site where police used batons against demonstrators who were out past the c...

Australia's most populous state files suit to stop Black Lives Matter protest

Australias most populous state has lodged a legal application to stop a Black Lives Matter protest occurring in Sydney, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday.Thousands of people have pledged to attend a protest organised in Sydney...

Golf-European Tour

Colin Montgomerie has welcomed the return of golfs European Tour in July amid the COVID-19 pandemic but says he feels sorry for younger players due to the less lucrative schedule. Golfs calendar has been decimated by the novel coronavirus o...

WRAPUP 9-'Get your knee off our necks,' activist Sharpton tells George Floyd memorial

Prominent civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton told mourners on Thursday George Floyds fatal encounter with police and the nationwide protests his death ignited marked a reckoning for America over race and justice, demanding, Get your...

Give Feedback