Victims of clergy abuse sue Vatican, seeking names of thousands of abusers

Victims of clergy abuse sue Vatican, seeking names of thousands of abusers
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Five victims of clergy sexual abuse are suing the Vatican for the disclosure of thousands of predatory Catholic priests’ names, according to the Associated Press.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include three brothers who were abused by ex-priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct and child pornography in St. Paul, Minn.

Internal documents indicated local church leaders were aware of Wehmeyer’s history of sexual misconduct when it installed him to lead St. Paul’s Church of the Blessed Sacrament in 2009, and a 2014 internal memo expressed worries that then- St. Paul Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt’s judgment had been affected by his “social relationship” with Wehmeyer, the AP reported.

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In a statement Monday, attorney Jeff Anderson, who is representing the five plaintiffs, said the lawsuit will seek the release of 3,400 names alleged abusers, as well as any corresponding files and histories and “the identities of the top officials accused of sexual abuse worldwide, including the histories of each known only by the Vatican.”

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Last week, Pope Francis issued a new edict requiring all Catholic nuns and priests report any abuse or cover-ups thereof, mandating that all dioceses worldwide have a system in place to receive reports confidentially.

"We have said for years that priests must conform to certain strict rules, so why shouldn't bishops and others in the hierarchy do the same?" asked Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Vatican office for bishops. "It's not just a law, but a profound responsibility."