Before he last week released documents showing that an office led by Pope Benedict XVI halted a trial against a priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys, Jeff Anderson had already filed thousands of lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests and won more than $60 million for his clients. But the Minnesota lawyer has a bigger goal in mind. He wants to bring his career-long legal crusade against misconduct in the Roman Catholic Church right to the top.
What he'd really like, he tells the AP, would be to question Pope Benedict XVI under oath. Though that is extremely unlikely given that the pope is a head of state, documents Anderson unearthed have the potential to take the scandal that has plagued dioceses around the world and place it at the doorstep of Vatican leadership. "This is a tipping point," said Anderson, who hopes to use the unearthed documents to bolster a separate federal lawsuit against the Vatican itself.