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|Vatican asked Rice for help in sex case
By ERIC J. LYMAN
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
March 4, 2005
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to intervene on the behalf of the Holy
See during Rice's recent visit to Rome, a request that Rice declined.
common, but confirmation is unusual. The story of Sodano's request was
first brought to light by the National Catholic Reporter on Friday and
confirmed to United Press International by Vatican sources.
who is already slowed by severe arthritis and Parkinson's disease was
forced to cancel his meeting with Rice while in the hospital for breathing-
related problems. The aged pontiff left the hospital two days after that,
but re-entered on Feb. 24 and has been in intensive care since then after
speculation about who may be directing Vatican policy while John Paul recovers, and it gives a glimpse into how seriously the
Holy See is taking charges that could require it to pay millions in damages.
American court system in that it is the only one in which the Vatican is the lone defendant and the only one directly related to the
recent series of sex abuse scandals that have stained the reputation of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Kentucky dating back to 1928. It named the Holy See as the only defendant in the case, with attorney William McMurry issuing a
statement reading that "the financial responsibility should be shared, if not borne entirely, by the Vatican" because the Vatican
created the climate that allowed the alleged abuse to take place.
Sovereign Immunities Act does allow for suits against other countries though it makes them difficult -- and because U.S. courts
have historically erred on the side of the church in borderline cases because of first amendment grounds. Despite dozens of cases
filed against the Holy See in recent decades, no U.S. court has ever found the Vatican guilty of anything.
weaken, exposing the Vatican to potentially crippling settlements.
counsel from the U.S. government.
S. State Department generally avoids any issue that could endanger court autonomy and that it rarely acts as an advocate of a
foreign government against a domestic party absent a strong foreign policy interest.
sex abuse lawsuits, a figure that approaches the Vatican total patrimony of $770 million, a figure that includes 30 buildings in
Rome, around 1,700 apartments in the city, and cash investments.
though in those cases the Vatican is implicated along with local dioceses and specific individuals.
|Copyright 2005 News World Communications, Inc.
|Condoleeza Rice and Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano