THE VATICAN’S US lawyer has said a federal lawsuit accusing Pope Benedict XVI of covering up sexual abuse by a priest at a Milwaukee Catholic school has no merit.
Vatican attorney Jeffrey Lena said: “While legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them. Instead, the lawsuit represents an attempt to use tragic events as a platform for a broader attack.” The lawsuit was filed last week in the district court in Milwaukee by an unnamed man who claimed he was molested by Fr Lawrence Murphy while a student at St John’s School for the Deaf. The plaintiff is represented by Minnesota attorney Jeff Anderson, who has filed thousands of abuse lawsuits against priests and representatives of the Church. Fr Murphy worked at the school for the deaf from 1950 to 1974. In the early 1970s, several allegations of sex abuse against the priest were made to the authorities.