On the last day of its term Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined review of a Vatican appeal to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses the Holy See of covering up alleged sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic priest.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Vatican had petitioned the high court to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the Vatican, as a sovereign state, enjoys immunity from the laws of another country.
“The lawsuit, filed by one of the priest's alleged victims in 2002, accuses the Vatican and U.S. church officials of shielding the Rev. Andrew Ronan from allegations of sexual abuse by transferring the priest from one diocese to another—a practice that the complaint says allowed the priest to dodge his accusers and abuse more children,” reports the Journal. “The lawsuit contends the Vatican is liable because it acted as the priest's employer.”
The case, Holy See v. John Doe, 09-1, may now return to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon for review.