Published May 26, 2010
The Obama administration reportedly has sided with the Vatican in a case involving a man who says he was sexually abused decades ago by a priest from Oregon.
AFP reported that the solicitor general's office submitted a brief to the Supreme Court supporting the Vatican's claim that it should be immune from litigation connected with sex abuse cases against U.S. priests.
The office, headed by Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, argued that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals -- which lifted the Vatican's immunity in the Oregon priest case -- should not have treated the case as an exception to a 1976 federal law that limits when foreign countries can face charges in the U.S. judicial system.
The Vatican is seeking an appeal, and the solicitor general's office reportedly urged the Supreme Court to consider throwing out the lower court ruling.
The plaintiff in the case claims the Vatican should be held accountable for transferring the priest to Oregon after he was accused of abusing children in Ireland and then Chicago. The priest in the case died nearly 20 years ago.