Vatican: Pope Has Immunity in Abuse Cases
Posted on Apr 1, 2010
On Thursday, the Vatican’s top legal official pointed out that Pope Benedict XVI won’t be implicated in any of the sex abuse cases currently under investigation, as he is technically a head of state. Also, the Vatican would like The New York Times to “reconsider its attack mode” regarding the pope.
Reuters via Yahoo News:
Dalla Torre outlined the Vatican’s strategy to defend the pope from being forced to testify in several lawsuits concerning sexual abuse which are currently moving through the U.S. legal system.
“The pope is certainly a head of state, who has the same juridical status as all heads of state,” he said, arguing he therefore had immunity from foreign courts.
Lawyers representing victims of sexual abuse by priests in several cases in the United States have said they would want the pope to testify in an attempt to try to prove the Vatican was negligent.
But the pope is protected by diplomatic immunity because more than 170 countries, including the United States, have diplomatic relations with the Vatican. They recognize it as a sovereign state and the pope as its sovereign head.
AP / Silvia Izquierdo