The Vatican seems to want to have it both ways. It wants to tell everybody what to do, especially all Catholics, especially especially all priests. It wants to tell everybody what to do about abortion and condoms and assisted suicide. It wants to tell all Catholics what to do about that only more so, and on pain of excommunication. It wants to tell priests not to marry or have sex with women (children are ok) or go to the police when they know a colleague has been raping children. It wants to be the boss of everyone. But – then when people get angry about what its priests have been getting up to, it wants to say no no that is nothing to do with us, we don’t employ these priests, you cannot haul us into court and make us give you money like any peasant.
Jeffrey Lena, the American attorney for the Holy See, argued the Vatican is not responsible for individual priests in dioceses, saying the existence of the priest in the case “was unknown to the Holy See until after all the events in question.”…”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,” Lena said.
It tells the priest what to do, and what not to do; it issues rules, it consigns people to hell…but then when the bailiff shows up at the door, suddenly the priest is way off in the distance where the Holy See can’t even see it.
According to the lawsuit, Ronan, who belonged to a religious order, began abusing boys in the mid-1950s as a priest in the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland. He was transferred to Chicago, where he allegedly admitted abusing three boys at St. Philip’s High School.
Ronan was later moved to a parish in Portland, Ore., where he was accused of abusing the person who filed the lawsuit now under appeal. He was removed from the priesthood in 1966, according to the Archdiocese of Portland…
Which of course is entirely independent from the Holy See.