Asking pope for resolution ‘improper’

Asking pope for resolution ‘improper’

The Vatican said judicial inquiries directed to the pope as a head of state are “improper,” concerning a case filed by a man seeking to hold the Vatican liable for the actions of Guam’s former archbishop, Anthony Apuron.

The Vatican comment followed a federal judge ordering the Holy See’s counsel to report on whether Pope Francis could meet with all survivors of Guam clergy sexual assaults to help settle abuse claims.

Attorneys for the Vatican, led by California-based Jeffrey Lena, said the Holy See “has given no indication that it is currently inclined to settle the case at bar” or participate in similar lawsuits.

The plaintiff, known as ‘DM’, claims Apuron allegedly raped him when he was a minor student at Father Dueñas Memorial School from 1994-1995.

US District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood is currently weighing the Vatican’s motion to dismiss this particular case filed by DM.

Tydingco-Gatewood ordered the Holy See’s counsel to file a formal report indicating whether he conferred with the pope on specific questions before deciding whether to dismiss the case against the Vatican.

These include whether the Vatican is amenable to accepting service of process, and whether Pope Francis is inclined to meet with all the Guam plaintiffs – who were allegedly abused at the hands of clergy – to discuss a global settlement.

The Vatican said the court inquiries directed to Pope Francis as a head of state are “improper” under the doctrines of absolute immunity and personal inviolability.

“As a matter of international comity, a federal court should not be requesting information regarding Pope Francis’ ‘inclinations’ as to a particular legal controversy, any more than a foreign court should request such information from the President of the United States,” the Vatican legal team said in a 13 September court filing.

The Vatican legal team also said the court’s recent inquiries “inappropriately” enter into the sphere of the attorney-client relationship.

“In light of the attorney-client privilege, the Holy See respectfully declines to provide a response indicating whether counsel has conferred with the Holy See about two questions and, if so, what is the Holy See’s responses to the court’s questions,” the Vatican legal team said.


Guam Daily Post

Pacific Daily News

CathNews New Zealand

Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,