Vatican details U.S. sex abuse defense

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Monday will make its most detailed defense yet against claims that it is liable for U.S. bishops who allowed priests to molest children, saying bishops are not its employees and that a 1962 Vatican document did not require them to keep quiet, The Associated Press has learned.

The Vatican will make the arguments in a motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds filed in Louisville, Kentucky, but it could affect other efforts to sue the Holy See.

The Vatican’s U.S. attorney, Jeffrey Lena, said it will include a response to claims that the 1962 document “Crimen Sollicitationis” Latin for “crimes of solicitation” barred bishops from reporting abuse to police.  Lena said Sunday there is no evidence the document was even known to the archdiocese in question much less used and that regardless it didn’t mandate that bishops not report abusive priests.

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