Victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy are suing Pope Francis, claiming he and senior Vatican officials knew that a number of priests molested children but kept the revelation a secret, the New York Post reported on Tuesday.
The class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, brought by seven victims of abuse. The sole defendant named in the suit is the Holy See, the governing body of the entire Catholic Church, at whose head is the Pope.
“The Holy See has known for centuries that Catholic priests were using their positions and roles in Catholic parishes and schools to sexually molest children,” the suit alleges.
Pope Francis on Tuesday ended the policy of “pontifical secrecy” to guard information on sexual abuse cases. Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s leading investigator of sex abuse crimes, called the move an “epochal decision” that will facilitate greater communication between civil law enforcement and church investigators.
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