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California Man Sues Vatican Over Pedophile Priest Sex Abuse

The accuser arrived at a settlement with the Archdiocese in Los Angeles

 on 5th October 2018 @ 8.04pm
the accuser arrived at a settlement with the archdiocese in los angeles © press
The accuser arrived at a settlement with the Archdiocese in Los Angeles

A California man is suing the Vatican over claims he was sexually abused by a priest over a five-year period and is seeking the names of all pedophile priests within the Church worldwide. 

The accuser, who is now aged 52, arrived at a settlement with the Archdiocese in Los Angeles in 2007, but his lawyers say that doesn't release the Vatican from responsibility.

The lawsuit which accuses the Vatican of placing Father Fidencio Silva-Flores in a position of authority at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Oxnard west of Los Angeles states he should have known he was a danger to children.

“The problem is at the top, and until the problem is addressed at the top, it will continue,” Jeff Anderson, the accuser’s attorney, declared in a statement before a news conference declaring the lawsuit.

california man sues vatican over pedophile priest sex abuse © press

According to CruxNow: Jeffrey Lena, the Vatican’s U.S. lawyer, refused to comment.

The lawsuit alleges Silva-Flores sexually molested the accuser when he was a teenager between 1979 and 1984.

Silva-Flores was charged with 25 counts of molestation in 2003, but the charges were later dropped because of the amount of time that had passed.

Anderson and other lawyers have tried to sue the Holy See - the government of the Catholic Church - in U.S. courts before.

But the Vatican has successfully blocked the litigation from reaching a verdict in part by arguing that it’s immune as a foreign sovereign and that priests aren’t representatives of the Vatican.

Anderson’s last major effort alleging Vatican liability for the abuse of a priest was ultimately dismissed in federal court in Oregon in 2013.

california man sues vatican over pedophile priest sex abuse © press

The new lawsuit comes amid renewed outrage in the U.S. over sex abuse and decades of cover-up by the Catholic hierarchy.

A Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing decades of abuse, as well as allegations that a leading U.S. ex-cardinal was himself an abuser, have generated a crisis of confidence in the U.S. and Vatican control.

Anderson is now arguing that the California court has jurisdiction over the Holy See because the alleged abuse happened in the state.

The lawsuit is inquiring an order for the Vatican to release the names of abusers in what Anderson said is more than 3,400 credible cases and for the names of anyone found guilty of sexual wrongdoing to be turned over to law enforcement.

“Defendant Holy See’s practices of retaining, hiding and concealing evidence of crimes of its agents and former agents have endangered numerous children and continued to put children in peril,” the lawsuit said.

For years, advocates for victims have been demanding the Vatican release files about sadistic priests.

The Vatican in 2001 ordered dioceses around the world to send all their cases to Rome to be reviewed, meaning it has a fairly extensive set of files about specific cases and what was done about them.

The Vatican has refused to release the documents.

READ MORE: The Vatican Knew Of Abusive Cardinal In Early 2000s, Letter Reveals

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