Church Sex Abuse: Should the Pope Pay?
In US cases, a move to hold the Vatican accountable
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 19, 2007 1:59 PM CDT
In this photo made available by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano Tuesday July 17, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI prays in the little Santa Barbara church in Danta di Cadore village, near Belluno, Italy,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two court cases involving abusive priests in Oregon and Kentucky have raised the possibility that the Vatican may be forced to pay damages to victims and allow its top officials to testify at US trials. Until now, the Holy See has been considered outside US jurisdiction, but lawyers argue that abusive priests should be seen as employees of the Vatican, Time reports.

Typically, a local archdiocese will accept responsibility in abuse cases and make the payout. That's what happened in the Los Angeles case settled last week for a record $660 million. But many say the Vatican should shoulder some responsibility for the way clergy are trained and the air of secrecy that often lets perpetrators go unpunished for long periods.