Holy See’s lawyer: Dismissed lawsuit in US “never should have been filed”



2013-08-06 Vatican Radio


(Vatican Radio) The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed the Plaintiff’s appeal in the Oregon federal case of John V. Doe v Holy See on Monday, bringing to an end the litigation which began in 2002. The case involved an alleged case of the sexual abuse of a minor by a priest in Oregon in 1965.

Jeffrey S. Lena, Counsel for the Holy See, published the entire documentation held by the Vatican concerning the case in 2011. This showed that the Holy See was only informed of the misconduct a year after the abuse was reported, and the priest was then laicized within weeks.

In response to the latest development, Lena pointed out “the dismissal – which was not the result of any settlement or other payment by the Holy See – was entered at the voluntary request of the Plaintiff’s own lawyers, who were faced with an impending deadline to reply to the Holy See’s appellate briefing in the case,” and said the lawsuit “never should have been filed in the first place.”

Please find the full statement by Jeffrey S. Lena below

STATEMENT OF JEFFREY S. LENA, COUNSEL FOR THE HOLY SEE
REGARDING WITHDRAWAL OF PLAINTIFF’S APPEAL IN
JOHN V. DOE v. HOLY SEE

On August 5, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed Plaintiff’s appeal in the Oregon federal case of John V. Doe v Holy See, thereby definitively drawing to a close litigation commenced with media fanfare in 2002. The dismissal – which was not the result of any settlement or other payment by the Holy See – was entered at the voluntary request of the Plaintiff’s own lawyers, who were faced with an impending deadline to reply to the Holy See’s appellate briefing in the case.

John V. Doe is the third case of its kind against the Holy See to disintegrate in the face of legal and factual challenge. O’Bryan v. Holy See, filed in a Kentucky federal court in 2004, was withdrawn by the plaintiffs’ counsel in 2010 in the face of the Holy See’s pending motion to dismiss. John Doe 16 v. Holy See – a case filed in a Wisconsin federal court in 2010 in a circus-like media atmosphere – was withdrawn under similar circumstances.

Like O’Bryan and John Doe 16, the John V. Doe case was based on factual misstatements and fallacious syllogisms that misled the public for years. But it has ended with the unceremonious withdrawal of a lawsuit against the Holy See that never should have been filed in the first place.

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