Class action against RC Church alleges racketeering and corruption

Class action against RC Church alleges racketeering and corruption November 17, 2018

The Vatican and American bishops have been hit by a class action lawsuit which sites  a federal anti-racketeering law known as RICO.

The cction was brought against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Holy See by six plaintiffs who are suing on their own behalf and fellow victims of Catholic clerical abuse.

The Vatican is being targeted as as a foreign state, an “unincorporated organization,” and as the “head of an international religious organization.”

The preamble to the case includes an overview of the ongoing sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church, noting all classes of people who have been mentioned in connection with the scandal.

The complaint reads:

This case is about the endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse of Plaintiffs and Class Members perpetrated by Roman Catholic Church cardinals, bishops, monsignors, priests, sisters, lay leaders, members of Catholic religious orders, educators, and other of Defendants’ personnel, members, agents, and representatives … while serving in active ministry – with the knowledge of Defendants

The plaintiffs’ first charge says:

Rather than safeguarding and protecting Plaintiffs and Class Members – who were minor children at the time – Defendants protected the abusive Clergy, took extraordinary measures to conceal their wrongful conduct, moved them from parish to parish, without warning church members or the general public, thereby further facilitating their predatory practices, failed and refused to report the abusive Clergy to law enforcement or other responsible authorities as required by law, and – incredibly – even promoted the abusive Clergy. Defendants’ wrongful acts are ongoing and continuous.

Abuse? Where? Pope Francis Image via YouTube.

The document then cites the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

The lawsuit was filed at US  District Court in Washington, DC on November 13 by attorneys Mitchell Toups, Richard Coffman, Joe Whatley Jr., and Henry Quillen acting for plaintiffs are Timothy B Lennon; Mark S Belenchia, Alfred L. Antonsen, Jr,  Joseph Piscitelli,  Shaun A Docherty and Mark Crawford. They have asked for a trial by jury.

The victims are hoping to win:

Compensatory damages, economic damages, punitive damages, RICO treble damages, medical monitoring, pre- and post-judgment interest, and attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, and court costs.

They are also hoping that their actions will force the Holy See and the USCCB to:

Comply with various state statutes requiring them to report the abusive Clergy to law enforcement or other responsible authorities, terminate the abusive Clergy, identify the abusive Clergy to the general public so that parents may protect their children going forward, release documents evidencing such Clergy abuse to achieve transparency, and such other relief the Court deems just and proper.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Broga

    The Devil made them do it. They are very sorry and will behave in future.

  • larry parker
  • persephone

    They regularly moved pedophiles to Central and South America to work at schools and orphanages there. The abuses there are horrific.

  • otrame

    It’s about damned time.

  • Some guy

    Cue Bildo in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Blah blah anti-Catholic bigots! Blah blah whatabout fetus lives? Blah blah homosexual menace!

  • Some guy

    Ah, there he is now.

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    Do you think that covering up sexual abuse causes abortions? Do you think that people can’t be against both abortion and sexual abuse? Because, otherwise, I don’t see that what you are saying makes any sense.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Can someone explain why they are hoping to win “medical monitoring” ?

    Who would be monitoring whom? I don’t get it.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    I think that sarcasm sometimes causes confusion.

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    Thank you for your tactful explanation. I’m afraid that I am very literal-minded, which is one reason why my Christian friends’ urging to be a Christian without taking the Bible literally doesn’t work; they don’t understand why not believing in god is a deal breaker. That’s why I try to remember to use /s. My understanding of humor and symbolism is erratic.

    I suppose that I don’t take it as sarcasm because my I’m-no-longer-a-Catholic friend keeps lecturing me on the superiority of Catholicism. I am not quite sure whether she thinks it’s the one true church or just better than those wretched Protestants. Anyway, she was lecturing me one day on their superior morality; instead of just listening while she said her piece, I got real close to yelling at her, that given the sexual assault scandal, the financial scandal, and the fact that I oppose some of their teachings anyway, I think their moral compass is skewed and I am not taking moral advice from them. And yes, non-Catholics who don’t agree with church teachings are being offensive and persecuting Catholics. She is allowed to criticize, however, when she wants to show that she doesn’t bow to authority.

    She was completely shocked. Unfortunately, she has simply stepped up her arguments. Apparently white Catholics are the only whites in the United States who are not racists. This is why we should all rejoice that the Democratic Party no longer has any use for whites. (No, she was not being sarcastic.) I have finally gotten it across to her that being white, and not a Catholic, which is supposedly true of her, and is certainly true of the Clintons, Bernie Sanders, etc, I find that offensive and she would be well advised not to keep saying that. I also told her to kiss winning any presidential elections good-bye.

    I did tell her that I won’t vote Republican, but if it would make her feel better, I could stop voting at all./s Not really of course.

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    Maybe they mean psychological monitoring for traumatized survivors?

  • TheBookOfDavid

    It’s not supposed to make sense, so much as mock Donahue with a slight exaggeration of his predictable tactic of whataboutism and blame redirection. The sarcasm is laid on thick enough that I felt safe to dispense with the tag.

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    Not, I fear, with someone as literal-minded as I am. Of course, if my I’m-not-a-Catholic-anymore friend would stop looking puzzled when she lectures me on the wonderful morals of the Catholic church, and is puzzled, or annoyed, when I bring up the sex scandals, the financial scandals, and the teachings that she claims she doesn’t agree with either, I might still have more of a sense of humor on such subjects.

    I’ll try to remember your name, and keep your style in mind!

  • Daffodil

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I love that they are requesting a jury trial. Make them sit there and face examination! My only concern is that this might dampen the zeal for individual diocese to be prosecuted. I want as many lawsuits as possible with as much money bleeding out of that criminal organization as possible.

  • David Peebles

    Cites, not sites.

  • Mythblaster

    You beat me to it David. Makes me wonder if the author ever set his sights on cites or sites? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bf8c9abe1d46ad1c1bd6c7c2588d53066db27d5ad5894b53976210a74a78d79.gif

  • TheBookOfDavid

    When in doubt over whether a particular comment is snark or sincerely dreadful, it never hurts to click their profile link. My posting history is open to the public.

  • Some guy

    That was my guess, too.

  • tjallen54

    Maybe post-rape medical monitoring for pregnancies, STDs, viruses, and other microbes?