Attorney: Documents show Vatican controls priests

August 22, 2011 - 12:15 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An attorney for a man who says he was sexually abused by an Oregon priest in the 1960s says newly released Vatican documents show the Holy See controls placement and removal of offending priests.

Jeffrey Anderson acknowledged Monday there's "no single smoking revelation" in more than 1,800 pages of documents he received Friday. But he said they show the Vatican is in control.

Anderson is trying to persuade a judge the Vatican effectively was the late Rev. Andrew Ronan's employer and was responsible for his assignments. Proving an employee relationship could allow an exception to a federal law that generally prohibits lawsuits against foreign sovereign entities such as the Vatican.

Vatican attorney Jeffrey Lena says it's premature for Anderson to draw conclusions considering many of the documents are in Latin.