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Pope, Vatican sued in sex abuse case

Pope, Vatican sued in sex abuse case
Pope Benedict XVI conducts the Papal Mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem, West Bank, May 13, 2009. UPI/Debbie Hill | License Photo

MILWAUKEE, April 23 (UPI) -- A Milwaukee attorney filed suit against Pope Benedict and the Vatican for failing to take action against a priest who abused deaf students in Wisconsin.

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson said his client, who was identified in the suit only as John Doe, 16, wrote to the Vatican, saying the Rev. Lawrence Murphy had molested him at St. Francis School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wis., but received no response.

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"That letter from a deaf man fell on deaf ears," Anderson told ABC. He said his client does not want compensation but rather wants the church to take action.

The suit names the pope, the Vatican, cardinals and other church officials.

Murphy's accusers have released documents indicating the Vatican has been aware of Murphy's actions since at least 1996. Murphy confessed to the molestations during a secret Vatican trial, ABC said.

An attorney for the Vatican called the suit meritless.

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