Vatican Releases Sex Abuse Files

Holy See denies accusations of cover-up of abusive priest in 1960s
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2011 7:48 AM CDT
Vatican Releases Sex Abuse Files
The Vatican took the unusual step of releasing internal files about a sex abuse case, in response to a lawsuit in the United States.   (©Navin75)

(Newser) – The Vatican attempted to rebut claims it has been covering up sexual abuse by a priest in the United States in the 1960s by releasing files of its internal investigation on the Internet yesterday, reports the Wall Street Journal. The alleged victim filed suit against the Vatican in a federal court in Portland, Ore., in 2002, claiming the Holy See transferred the priest from Ireland to the United States after receiving complaints of abuse in Ireland.

The court had ordered the Vatican to turn over documents related to the priest and its protocol for handling all abuse cases by tomorrow, spurring the Holy See to take the unusual step of publicly releasing files relating to the priest online. The Vatican's lawyer said the documents show that the Church dismissed the priest within weeks of learning about the abuse in 1966. "The Holy See was not involved in Ronan's transfers, including the transfer to Portland, and had no prior knowledge that Ronan posed a danger to minors," said the Church's lawyer. (Read more Roman Catholic Church stories.)

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