Sexual abuse victims sue to open Vatican archives

Five Americans who were sexually molested by Catholic priests will sue the Vatican to get the names and details of priests involved in abuse, an attorney for the group said on Monday.

The lawsuit in a U.S. federal court, which will be formally announced in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota on Tuesday, aims to compel the Vatican to open its archives and “release all the identities of thousands of offenders known exclusively by the Vatican and held in strict secrecy,” lawyer Jeff Anderson said in a statement. The petition also asks for the offenders’ “files and pertinent histories.”

The lawsuit comes after Pope Francis announced this month that every Catholic diocese would have to come up with a plan for reporting abuse.

The measure was expected to bring countless new cases of molestation to light. But it has not satisfied victims’ groups because it doesn’t compel reporting of abuses made in confession nor does it force dioceses to tell authorities when abuses are reported.


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