Vatican Appeals Ruling in Sex Abuse Lawsuit

PORTLAND, Oregon, JUNE 9, 2006 ( The Vatican has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that the Holy See may be subject to a lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in 2002, claims the Vatican, the Archdiocese of Portland and the archbishop of Chicago conspired to protect Father Andrew Ronan, who died in 1970, despite a history of sex abuse allegations, moving him from Ireland to Chicago to Portland.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ruled Wednesday that there are exceptions to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, under which the Vatican is typically immune from the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.

Jeffrey Lena, the Vatican’s attorney, said a district court had agreed Thursday to send an appeal of the ruling.