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Attorney says Vatican withholding documents related to Oregon abuse cover up case.

The AP (8/22) reported the attorney representing an a man alleging sexual abuse by an Oregon priest "said Monday that the Vatican failed to produce all court-ordered documents in the case, and that papers it did turn over show how the Vatican exercises firm control over the placement and removal of offending priests." If Jeffrey Anderson can establish an "employment relationship" between the Vatican and the late Rev. Andrew Ronan, he "could trigger an exception to a federal law that usually bars lawsuits against foreign sovereign entities such as the Vatican." Vatican attorney Jeffrey Lena said all relevant documents had been released, and prove "the Vatican was unaware of the allegations against Ronan until church officials in the US asked for permission to remove him from his priestly duties."

        That request, Reuters (8/22, Bailey, Stern) reported, came in 1966 from Ronan, asking the Holy See to remove him. The documents also contain a letter dated the same year from a Provincial Minister to the Prior General in Italy asking for Ronan's request to be granted, allowing him to "leave quietly and without any open scandal."