Vatican could face flood of torture-related abuse lawsuits

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St. Peter's Basilica in early morning light.

Photo courtesy of Andreas Tille, via Wikimedia Commons

St. Peter's Basilica in early morning light.

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican's ambassador to U.N. agencies in Geneva sought to limit the Holy See’s legal responsibility for the abuse scandal, implying that the church's jurisdiction did not extend to dioceses and churches around the world.

  • Marie

    As your colleague Mr. Gibson so eloquently said via his (what else 🙂 Twitter handle: Um, no.

    Also, good grief.

  • Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

    As a physician who is Catholic and who has met many who have been sexually abused by priests, I am grateful that Cardinal O’Malley admits that the church leaders do not see clergy sexual abuse as a problem. This is what comes of having a childless and celibate clergy whose lives are centered on themselves. The seminaries have trained them to be above everyone else as princes of the church, whereas Jesus chose to be a servant of the people. The clergy control by the smoke and mirrors of ritual, and ignore the fundamental command of Jesus to protect the innocence of children and the words of Jesus that it is the truth that will set the church free.

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  • Atheist Max

    @Dr. Rosemary,

    “The clergy … ignore the fundamental command of Jesus to protect the innocence of children”

    Where is that written?
    Jesus admonished the Pharisees for not stoning unruly children to death.

    Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’(Matthew 15:3)

    The Vatican should be closed and turned into a museum. Half of its clergy should be tried for coverups and aiding and abetting criminals.
    Archbishop Bernie Law should be in prison.

  • Leo

    Atheist Max, Read the Gospels because Jesus said that anyone who harms children should have a milestone put around his neck and tossed into the sea.
    Whether this statement is literal or not, it certainly is evocative that Jesus found harming children to be of greatest repugnance and deserving punishment.

    Also, your citation is dubious and self-serving.

  • Pat

    Actually, most child abuse happens in cohabitating situations, public school settings, divorced families, protestant churches, etc., by men, or women, who are already having consensual sex with an adult, married or otherwise, but prefers to abuse a child also. Celibacy has nothing to do with child abuse. If that were true, all virgins and people who choose to live celibate would be, according to what you just stated, self centered and looking to hurt others.

  • Atheist Max


    The problem with “Reading the Gospel” is that it is a multiple choice result:

    “I and the Lord are ONE.”
    The Lord commands “death to unruly children”
    The Lord says kill those (drown with “a millstone”) who hurt children.
    The Lord commands abortions (hosea)

    Religion is simply ridiculous.

    And yes, the Catholic Church should cease to exist. It is a criminal organization in more ways than can be counted.

  • marg

    Right on! Finally a voice or reason.

  • Marg

    Dr. McHugh
    Did you know that 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia while 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of the same crime of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.

    My question: why is there no public outcry against the 10% of the Protestant ministers who by the way are not celibate yet are guilty of sexually abusing children???????

  • Manny

    “[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem?….The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 TIMES the abuse by priests.”–Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft. See: “Has Media Ignored Sex Abuse In School?”,

  • Gallibus

    What about the spiritual damage done to children by teaching them heresy? Bring out the millstones – but there must be millions of them ……

  • Gallibus

    Tell that to the Lord!

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  • John D

    Hey Rosie! A physician or a PETA-veterinarian? Also, tell us, when did the Masons start admitting women to the lodge? You’re so full of what makes the grass grow green that your medical degree should be revoked. If my 75 year old, three legged hamster had a seizure I wouldn’t send it to you! BTW, you are no Catholic despite your Irish name lady…

  • John D

    Hey Max, you Jews should stay the hell out of Catholic matters!! It’s you and the ACLU commie scum who have just about destroyed Western Christian civilization. If the world had any sanity left, atheists (mostly non practicing Jews) would be sent into large scale mental institutions where you wouldn’t have to worry about hurting yourselves!

  • Dr Rosemary it just goes to show, you can have all kinds of degrees an still be as STUPID as a rock like you,celibacy has nothing to do with child molestation,if you would only look at the research done an it finds public school teachers a single woman who has kids an she has a boyfriend he abuses her kids,protestant clergy,so Dr Rosemary educate your self an quit being so stupid about a situation you don’t know nothing about.

  • Atheist Max

    I was a Catholic for 44 years. Raised my kids in the church, and taught Sunday school for 3 summers in a row.

    Religion is ruining everything. Absolutely despicable.
    Listen to you religiously generated hatred toward Jews. You have no reason to be so afraid of them, but they scare you.

    Don’t be scared. You were raised to believe Jesus was real – maybe by Sunday School teachers like me. So I’ll take the fair amount of blame.

    But it is despicable – beyond horrible – to continue believing something as divisive, hateful, and cancerous as Christianity. The evidence has shown the whole thing to be a mirage.

    By the way, you need psychological help as a result of your Christian upbringing. Get some.

  • Joanne

    Why do you have to act ignorant and put the doctor down? She was stating what her experience has been. It is true many children were abused by priests and it is true the Catholic Church tried to cover it up. Somehow, I think Jesus would stand with those who were abused and expect all churches to do so too. I think we need to quit pointing fingers and admit the Churches really chose the wrong path to take. Instead of being truly Christian and not try and get out of their responsibilities to the victims, they chose to lie about the whole sordid mess. How is that Christ like? thus we need as a people and as a church do what Jesus would want us to do….be on the side of the victims and make every effort to help these victims any and all treatment and assistant they would need throughout their lives. Quit pointing fingers at everyone else and accept your own responsibilities!

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  • The bible was writted in an age when there was less security , now in the sky is hidden camaras that see where you can not ….you cant even barrie a body without big brother seeing you…. It makes no sence why you would think you would have to hide yourself from such accusation… big brother is watching you and you problbly dont evan realize it,,,,, just a reminder!!! that they already know weather you a re telling the truth or not!!!!!!THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICA leading the future in the technology and the leading county of seperation of church and state… has a very nice greeting but once inside it could become very dangerious…..just gotta love big brother