Zo nu eerst een Bavaria. Tijd dat mannen weer mannen worden.
News reports last week suggested that a U.S. district court in Oregon had
opened the door to legal action against the Holy See in a case related to the
sexual abuse of minors. If that ruling were to hold up, it would mark an
important blow to the immunity the Holy See generally enjoys as a sovereign
entity under international law.
In fact, legal experts stress this was merely a preliminary decision, and that we're a long way away from any American
court actually agreeing to hear a lawsuit seeking damages against the Vatican.
Nonetheless, the Oregon ruling raises anew what some Vatican officials
have long regarded as a nightmare scenario -- the specter of American courts assessing massive financial penalties against the Holy See.
Such concern was behind a request made by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the most powerful Vatican official after the pope himself, to the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in a Feb. 8, 2005, meeting.
Sodano asked Rice for an intervention by the State Department in a sex abuse lawsuit in Kentucky, where the Holy See had been named as a defendant.
What Sodano wanted was for the State Department to assert the Holy See's immunity from liability as a sovereign state, something the State Department has done before when the Holy See has been sued. In the end, the Kentucky court upheld the Holy See's sovereign status, as American courts invariably have up to this point.
Sources told NCR this week that in subsequent meetings with American officials, Sodano has repeatedly expressed consternation over lawsuits against the Holy See in American courts.
Until the 20th century, foreign states enjoyed more or less blanket immunity from legal action under American law. As states came to engage in a variety of commercial activities, however, and as the presence of foreign agents
in the United States increased, a theory of "restrictive immunity" began to emerge, which held that states should not enjoy immunity when engaged in non-sovereign activity, meaning the kind of activity that private firms or individuals could also perform.
In 1976, Congress adopted the "Foreign
Sovereign Immunities Act," which codified this restrictive principle. It reflected a distinction between de jure imperii, referring to governmental activities for which immunity remains intact, and de jure gestionis, meaning commercial or private activity for which states can be sued like anybody else.
For example, American courts will now hear cases against foreign
governments under two "commercial activity" exceptions, such as a case in which
a state-operated enterprise has defaulted on a contract, or wrongfully deprived
someone of their property.
There's also a "tort exception," to cover a case in which an agent of a foreign state causes harm to someone in a private capacity, such as running into their car. The mere fact of being a foreign agent, the theory runs, should not get that person off the hook for paying for the damages.
In the wake of the sexual abuse scandals in the United States, attorneys have tried repeatedly to invoke these exceptions to name the Holy See as a defendant. Some have argued that the Vatican is engaged in "commercial activity" in the United States, since some portion of American collections end up in Rome; others have argued that clerics are "agents" of the Vatican, and hence the Vatican is liable for their misconduct under the tort exception.
The Oregon case concerns an Irish priest named Fr. Andrew Ronan of the
Friar Servants of Mary, who died in 1992.
The lawsuit alleges that Ronan engaged in sexual abuse in the 1950s while serving in an Irish priory, and was then transferred to St. Philip's High School in Chicago, run by the Friar Servants, where he again abused youths in 1963-64. In 1965, Ronan was moved again to St. Albert's Church in Portland, Oregon, where the suit alleges that he abused the plaintiff, identified only as "John Doe."
The lawsuit names the Portland archdiocese, its archbishop, the archbishop of Chicago, and the Order of the Friar Servants of Mary, along with the Holy See, as defendants.
In effect, the lawsuit argues that Ronan was an "agent or employee" of the Holy See, and hence that the Holy See is responsible for damages arising from the sexual abuse he is alleged to have committed. Judge Michael Mosman of the Oregon court held that while the commercial activity exceptions did not apply in his case, there could be a basis for proceeding under the tort exception. The court did not make any finding as to facts, and left open the question as to the next step.
Berkeley-based attorney Jeffrey Lena, who has represented the Holy See in most such cases, has filed a notice of appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. In various press interviews, Lena also said that other barriers to jurisdiction, such as First Amendment issues, have not even been reached, as well as purely legal questions such as the statute of limitations.
Most legal experts say it's a long shot that the court will eventually take jurisdiction, among other things because it's a stretch to argue that every Catholic priest, brother and sister in the world is an "agent" of the Vatican.
(That would suggest a corps of more than 1.2 million Vatican "agents" in every nook and cranny of the planet).
Normally an "agent" or "employee" is defined as someone whose day-to-day activities are directed by the employer, who is supervised by the employer, and whose paycheck is signed by the employer.
It would be difficult, experts say, to show that such was the case with Ronan.
Further, it would have to be shown that the "sovereign," meaning the Holy See, caused the abuse in Oregon to take place, or that it knew of the abuse and failed to stop it.
One would have to prove that someone in the Vatican tracked Ronan's affairs, and hence in theory should have known what he was up to.
Aside from the Oregon and Kentucky cases, there's one other lawsuit currently making its way through American courts that seeks to establish jurisdiction over an agency of the Holy See -- the Institute for the Works of Religion, popularly known as the "Vatican Bank." Alperin v. Vatican Bank deals with the Vatican's alleged role in recycling loot stolen by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime in Croatia during World War II (the Franciscan Order is also named as a defendant).
To date, the wall of sovereign immunity in American courts has held up where the Vatican is concerned.
As with floods and hurricanes, however, the problem with lawsuits is that it only takes one.
En dát zijn dus verdacht interessante vragen over die RKK en het Vaticaan c.q. die Heilige Vader!
Zeker niet pas op tafel gelegd door slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik.
Daar zo'n 1000 jaar Europeese geschiedenis eens op nakijkend onder het kopje investituurstrijd zou getuigen van een heel wat volwassener omgaan met waar men zegt voor te staan dan al die dociele infantiele ontkenning
waardoor directe slachtoffers opnieuw slachtoffer gemaakt kunnen worden zoals de rest van die kerk dat is.
rorate:Forum: Actuele zaken. Geplaatst op 17/6 '06 6:59u. Onderwerp:
Franse priester met 20.000 pedofiele foto’s aangehouden (posts: 16, views:
Kan het niet zijn dat deze priester juist tegen pedofilie zou zijn, en een
dossier aan het aanleggen was om dit euvel aan de kaak te stellen?
Vaticaan II !
Afgedwongen door misbruikte kinderen........ in plaats van koningen, prinsen en mijters met hun clientela's.
En de vraag: wat geloof jij?
Paus ontvangt Britse premier Blair in privé-audiëntie
Overleg over interreligieuze dialoog
Geplaatst op 3/6 '06 om 13:37u Door Theo Borgermans (Bron: ANSA)
VATICAANSTAD (RKnieuws.net) - Paus Benedictus XVI heeft zaterdagmorgen de Britse premier Tony Blair in privé-audiëntie ontvangen. Dat heeft het Italiaanse persagentschap ANSA gemeld.
Tony Blair, anglicaan, was vergezeld van Cherie, zijn katholieke vrouw, en zijn kinderen.
Tijdens het onderhoud werd er gesproken over de interreligieuze dialoog en vooral over de dialoog met de gematigde islam, zo liet het Vaticaan weten.
Downing Street had eerder laten weten dat Blair bij de paus ging aandringen op de noodzaak dat de religieuze leiders gezamenlijk strijden tegen het extremisme en het terrorisme.
Na het onderhoud met de paus was er een ontmoeting met de Vaticaanse staatssecretaris kardinaal Sodano voorzien.
Het laatste bezoek van de Britse premier aan het Vaticaan dateert van 22 februari 2003. Blair had er toen een ontmoeting met Johannes Paulus II. (tb)
Paus krijgt van Hans Blix rapport massa-vernietingswapens
’Benedictus XVI kan als morele autoriteit grote rol spelen’
Geplaatst op 14/6 '06 om 15:28u Door Theo Borgermans
VATICAANSTAD (RKnieuws.net) - Naar aanleiding van de algemene audiëntie van de paus woensdag heeft Hans Blix, oud hoofd van de VN-inspecteurs in Irak, paus Benedictus XVI zijn rapport gegeven over de massa-vernietigingswapens.
Bij zijn aankomst in Rome dinsdag onderstreepte Blix de rol die de leider van de katholieke Kerk kan spelen "als morele autoriteit erkend door gans de wereld" ter vermindering van het aantal massa-vernietigingswapens.
Blix kondigde ook aan dat hij zijn rapport zal bezorgen aan de Wereldraad van Kerken ih Genève.
Het rapport kwam er op verzoek van Zweden. Het betreurt dat de internationale inspanningen voor de nucleaire ontwapening zijn verminderd. Het rapport bevat onder meer 60 concrete aanbevelingen. (tb)
Hier zijn géén massa-vernietigings wapens,
Dus nu lieve kindertjes: oogjes dicht en snaveltjes toe!
Fijn, dat je met Rexona het beest weer in jezelf los laat......