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Repetition of Slander re Archbishop of Cashel - Irish Independent, June/July 2010


Irish Independent, 31 July 2010

In a story headlined 'Pope could be sued after US rejects immunity for Vatican', in the edition of June 29, it was reported that Californian attorneys Manley & Stewart are suing the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emily. We wish to clarify that this case was dismissed in August 2009.

The Catholic Communications Office has also asked us to point out that Oliver O'Grady, who was convicted of child sex abuse while serving as a priest in California, was laicised in 2000.

Vatican can be sued over abuse -- US supreme court

Judges reject immunity plea in Irish priest case

Irish Independent, June 29 2010 by John Cooney

AMERICA's highest court has cleared the way for a lawsuit against Pope Benedict by refusing to entertain Vatican immunity in a case involving an Irish priest.

The Government is studying the landmark decision by the US Supreme Court, which could have major implications for Ireland's relations with the Vatican in the cover-up of paedophile clerics.

In Washington, the supreme court refused to consider whether the Vatican enjoyed legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the US, thereby allowing a lawsuit filed in 2002 to proceed.

This decision could set a precedent for Irish courts to give the go-ahead to hear claims against priests ordained in Ireland but who served in the US.

Until now, the Government and Irish courts have dismissed clerical child abuse claims on the grounds that the Holy See is an independent state with diplomatic immunity recognised by Ireland.

Previous attempts to make the Papal Nuncio in Dublin appear in the High Court to answer charges of collusion with paedophile cleric Sean Fortune in the scandal-hit diocese of Ferns were declared inadmissible.

This special status of the Vatican caused uproar last year when the Murphy Report into the cover-ups in the archdiocese of Dublin complained bitterly that neither the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, nor the Papal Nuncio in Dublin, answered its queries for files.

The Washington decision could also give impetus to a case being taken by Patrick Wall, a senior attorney with Manly & Stewart, Newport Beach, California, who is suing notorious Tipperary-ordained cleric, Fr Oliver O'Grady.

Mr Wall is also suing the Archbishop of Thurles, Dr Dermot Clifford, claiming the archdioceses ordained O'Grady while knowing he was a paedophile.

The lawsuit in Washington yesterday was filed by a plaintiff identified only as 'John Doe', claiming he was sexually abused on several occasions in the mid-1960s when he was 15 or 16 by an Irish Catholic priest named Father Andrew Ronan.


According to court documents, Fr Ronan molested boys in the mid-1950s as a priest in Ireland and later in Chicago before his transfer to a church in Portland, Oregon, where he allegedly abused the victim who filed the lawsuit. Fr Ronan died in 1992.

The suit claims there was an international conspiracy on the part of church leaders to move Fr Ronan from Ireland after he allegedly sexually abused a boy while he was working at a seminary in Benburb, Co Tyrone, which is Cardinal Sean Brady's archdiocese of Armagh.

The victim's Minnesota based lawyer, Michael Finnegan, described the Supreme Court decision as "absolutely huge" and said he was very confident that his firm, Anderson Advocates, would be able to prove the case in court.