FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: RICO To Be Used Against Catholic Bishops And Vatican In New Abuse Charges
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A class action suit has been launched against the Vatican and the American Catholic bishops, citing a federal anti-racketeering law known as RICO.
Six American survivors of child sexual assault filed a civil suit on November 13 against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Holy See. The plaintiffs are Timothy B. Lennon; Mark S. Belenchia; Alfred L. Antonsen, Jr.; Joseph Piscitelli; Shaun A. Docherty; and Mark Crawford. Suing for themselves and fellow victims, they have asked for a trial by jury.
The complainants are suing the Vatican both as a foreign state, as an “unincorporated organization,” and as the “head of an international religious organization.”  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/here-c...tican-us-b
(11-20-2018, 11:08 AM)Eric F Wrote: [ -> ]WASHINGTON, D.C., November 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A class action suit has been launched against the Vatican and the American Catholic bishops, citing a federal anti-racketeering law known as RICO.
Six American survivors of child sexual assault filed a civil suit on November 13 against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Holy See. The plaintiffs are Timothy B. Lennon; Mark S. Belenchia; Alfred L. Antonsen, Jr.; Joseph Piscitelli; Shaun A. Docherty; and Mark Crawford. Suing for themselves and fellow victims, they have asked for a trial by jury.
The complainants are suing the Vatican both as a foreign state, as an “unincorporated organization,” and as the “head of an international religious organization.”  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/here-c...tican-us-b

I think this would work for the bishops in the USA but I thought the vatican/Holy See had diplomatic immunity as a small country/state. I stand to be corrected though.
I imagine though they could seize assets of the Vatican and deny entry to anyone convicted.
Hopefully there will be a new ministry visiting corrupt Bishops in jail.
(11-20-2018, 11:25 AM)MyLady Wrote: [ -> ]I think this would work for the bishops in the USA but I thought the vatican/Holy See had diplomatic immunity as a small country/state. I stand to be corrected though.

Unfortunately for Francis, the defence the Vatican has successfully used up til now has been that the Bishops were independent actors. After his dictatorial move, preventing them from taking action in Baltimore, that won't fly any more. And whilst US courts can't do anything to Francis or Bishops resident in the Vatican, they might be able to do a lot more.

Here's an article from Breitbart that explains just how stupid Francis was in intervening in the USCCB meeting.

In ordering the U.S. bishops to abstain from voting on measures aimed at addressing clerical sex abuse, Pope Francis may have inadvertently performed the most consequential and costly act of his papacy.


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) intended to vote on two measures responding to the ongoing sex abuse crisis in its annual fall meeting, which concluded in Baltimore on Wednesday.

A last-minute intervention, however, from the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops instructed the USCCB to stand down and to await a meeting of global episcopal conference leadership convoked by Pope Francis for February.

The Vatican’s direct intervention into the bishops’ governance would seem to undermine the Holy See’s prime pillar of legal defense when charged with negligence in dealing with sex abuse, namely, the relative independence of Catholic dioceses from Vatican oversight.

When the 2010 suit O’Bryan vs. the Holy See sought to depose Pope Benedict XVI in a U.S. court, Vatican lawyer Jeffrey Lena employed a tightly reasoned argument before the U.S. district court in Kentucky, which hinged upon demonstrating that the Vatican was not responsible for the U.S. bishops’ policy on protecting children, and nor was it responsible for day-to-day operational policy.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer William McMurray believed that his case had class-action potential, hoping it could also benefit the thousands of victims of child sex abuse across the whole of the United States, seeking enormous sums in damages directly from Rome.

Ordinarily, under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, foreign governments have immunity from prosecution in U.S. courts. However, there are nine exceptions to this immunity, one of which is the so-called “tort exception” clause.

Two years before the Kentucky hearing, a federal appeals court had said that the case could proceed under the tort exemption to the 1976 act, if it could be demonstrated that U.S. bishops were following official Vatican policy.

This is what makes the Vatican’s eleventh-hour intervention in Baltimore so potentially momentous. It seems to willing wave aside the carefully crafted legal boundaries that the Vatican has energetically used to defend itself from international prosecution.

The failure of the U.S. bishops to challenge the order from the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops suggests that the bishops are indeed answerable to the Holy See on operational matters dealing with sex abuse policy.

This tacit admission will almost certainly have massive ramifications in future litigation.

Considering the rise in abuse claims facing the Church in the United States, it is difficult to imagine that the Vatican will not see a dramatic increase in legal actions, which could open the Holy See to billions of dollars in claims.

The O’Bryan action was withdrawn in 2011, in part because 243 abuse victims had already reached a direct settlement with the Archdiocese of Louisville and in part because of the precedent of earlier court rulings recognising the Holy See’s immunity from prosecution.

According to research compiled by Bishop-Accountability.org, to date 15 U.S. dioceses have been declared bankrupt following the post-Boston settlements, with post-1980s settlements totaling over $3 billion.

The Vatican’s apparent abandonment of a long-standing principle of legal defense has potentially game-changing consequences for the future.

The direct Vatican intervention in the U.S. bishops’ response to the sex abuse crisis could easily be the most consequential act of Pope Francis’ papacy, which is not precisely the legacy his followers would wish.
Will this sink the Church in the US?

It's going to make things more known in the news, and is going to have a huge negative impact on any ability to evangelize - what little there was left anyway.

There will be loss of current holdings I'd guess, but also loss of future revenue due to more leaving or staying and dissatisfied.

How long of a process will this be?

I remember hearing of the Church in Milwaukee hiding funds in a cemetery fund so abuse victims could not access it - can you get any lower?
I wonder how this will effect the traditional orders. I would presume they would be outside the jurisdiction here.
RICO?
.
Yes.  You know it and I know it and anyone with a brain knows it.
.
But you have to prove it.
.
I have no idea how this would work going after the Vatican since it is a Sovereign Nation, but the US Church, you bet, IF you can prove it in court.
(11-21-2018, 12:00 AM)MaryTN Wrote: [ -> ]RICO?
.
Yes.  You know it and I know it and anyone with a brain knows it.
.
But you have to prove it.
.
I have no idea how this would work going after the Vatican since it is a Sovereign Nation, but the US Church, you bet, IF you can prove it in court.

I don't think there will be much problem proving it in court given the masses of evidence that are being uncovered. 

As the article I posted pointed out, a sovereign nation's immunity does not protect them in certain cases and this might very well be one of those cases, thanks to Francis intervening in the USCCB meeting. If it is established that the Bishops are agents of the Vatican, and there is a guilty verdict, I don't want to think of the consequences. The US Government, of course, couldn't attach Church property outside the US, but to the best of my knowledge, in every jurisdiction in the US, the Ordinary of a Diocese is a corporation sole, and that corporation sole owns every Church in the Diocese with all of their  accoutrements. RICO fines are designed to destroy the criminal enterprise. You either pay up in cash, or property is seized and sold to pay the fines.
Perhaps the government could leave the local parishes alone and go after the property where the Bishops and Cardinals liveHuh??  Punish the perpetrators and not the rest of usHuh?  Lumpy mattresses in a prison cellHuh?    Wishful thinking, I know.
.
I don' know where these emoji's are coming from, sorry, I didn't do it.
Pages: 1 2