RedTracker| The Supreme Court yesterday refused to review the decision of a federal judge and federal appeals court that a lawsuit can proceed against the Vatican. The core issue is whether the Vatican, a foreign sovereign nation, can be forced to pay damages to a US citizen for the crimes of an employee.
The Vatican argues that priests aren’t employees of the Holy Sea and report to a bishop, who is also not an employee of Rome.
Foreign nations are generally immune from lawsuits. But under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Congress said a foreign nation can be sued in a US court if the harmful act was carried out by an official or employee of the foreign state “while acting within the scope of his office or employment.” via Christian Science Monitor
While sex abuse isn’t part of the job description of any clergy person, lawyers argue that in sex abuse cases, priests and bishops are trading on the trust and confidentiality of their position to gain sexual favors with the abused.
This Supreme Court decision not to review the case has major implications for sex abuse cases in America.