(Reuters) – The Vatican has said it cannot be seen as a multinational business whose executives can be held ultimately responsible for the action of their subordinates, because dioceses around the world have their own legal status as employers.THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So the Vatican says it's not financially liable for sexual abuse committed by American priests. Indeed the Vatican is right, because the argument being put forward by the plaintiff is that priests are "employees" of the Vatican, and therefore, the Vatican operates as an "employer" and is therefore financially liable. This is pure poppycock of course. The Vatican doesn't pay any salaries outside of Rome, nor does the Vatican determine clerical assignments. All of this is done at the local level, by local bishops and their local bishop's conferences. The Vatican is right. It is not financially liable for any sexual abuse committed by any priest outside the walls of the Vatican city-state.
It has also said the pope, as head of a sovereign state recognized by more than 170 countries, has diplomatic immunity from prosecution in other countries.
Pope Benedict is struggling to control the damage a sexual abuse scandal has done to the Catholic Church's image. The crisis has hit the United States and several European countries, including his native Germany.
In his statement, Lena said the Vatican defense would show that Ronan could not be considered an employee of the Vatican.
"In our view, the indicia (signs) of employment are simply not present," Lena said.
"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," he said.
Lena said the Vatican was not even aware of Ronan's "very existence" until after the suit was file. Ronan was a member of the Friar Servants of Mary religious order....
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However, The Catholic Knight has a message for the Vatican, and I know there are some folks there who read this blog. My tracking software has tagged them on more than one occasion. My message to them is as follows...
Go ahead and offer the best legal defense you can because you are absolutely right, but don't expect to win because it won't matter. The United States legal system is corrupt, and the lawyers working this case have flooded the news media with negative stories about the Catholic Church. Public opinion has been so swayed against the Catholic Church in recent years that it will be virtually impossible to get a fair trial here. It is a trap that has been carefully planned and already sprung. So be prepared to lose in court, even though you are right, because justice is rarely ever attainable through the American legal system. If you don't believe me, just ask any law-abiding citizen of the United States. The best advice I can give you is to prepare a public relations campaign that is bigger than anything you've ever done before, because the damage this lawsuit will do to the Vatican's reputation will be far greater than any monetary value it can extort from your treasury.