National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Sex abuse suit against Holy See dismssed

 |  NCR Today

The 13-year-old effort by a Seattle man to hold the Vatican responsible for priest abuse ended Monday, according to a report from Vatican Radio. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal in John V. Doe vs. Holy See after years of wrangling over the legality of suing the Vatican and whether it acts as the employer of U.S. priests.

The suit involved a man now in his 60s who accused the late Fr. Andrew Ronan of molesting him when he was a child in Oregon in 1965. The plaintiff tried to place the blame on the Vatican, saying that as Ronan’s employer, it was ultimately responsible for his actions. U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman in Portland ruled last year that the Vatican was not Ronan’s employer and not liable in the case.

The suit made headlines two years ago because it forced the Vatican to release more than 70 documents detailing Ronan’s career as a priest with the Servite order. He was laicized in 1966.

NCR's new eBook, Pope Francis at 100 Days: The World's Parish Priest, is on sale now.
Learn more!

NCR Comment code:

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Sisters' Stories; read more

NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

August 2-15, 2013


Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.