Jeffrey Lena, the California-based attorney who represents the Vatican in American litigation, issued this statement following the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court would not hear an appeal from the Holy See.
The Vatican was asking the federal court to stop a law suit filed in Oregon that accuses the Vatican of transferring a priest from city to city despite repeated accusations of sexual abuse.
"We will, of course, point out to the district court that the priest in question is not an employee of the Holy See, and that, therefore, the district court does not have jurisdiction over the case.
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"In our view the indicia of employment simply are not present. The Holy See does not pay the salary of the priest, or benefits of the priest, or exercise day-to-day control over the priest, and ANY of the other factors indicating the presence of an employment relationship. This is a priest of the Order Friar Servants of Mary. His very existence was unknown to the Holy See until after all the events in question."
Statements from the attorneys representing people who alleged abuse by Fr. Andrew Ronan were posted earlier to the NCR Today blog: US Supreme Court denies Vatican petition