Roman Catholic Church "Enabled" Child Abuse at Californian High School

Herald Sun
June 30, 2010

A LAWSUIT filed in California has accused the Roman Catholic Church of enabling a priest to abuse a child at a high school in the 1960s.

The suit filed in California's state court claims that the victim was abused repeatedly by the school's dean of students, named as Father Titian Miani, who has already been previously accused of abuse.

The move comes after the US Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a Vatican appeal to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the Holy See of concealing alleged sexual abuse by a different Roman Catholic priest in Chicago and Ireland.

The lawsuit accused the Vatican, the Salesian Society -- which ordained Father Miani -- and the high school of fraud for negligently allowing Miani to work at the school despite being aware of his involvement in abuse in Italy and Canada.

At a press conference to announce the lawsuit, attorney Jeffrey Anderson said Father Miani had been allowed to "roam the landscape" of schools and parishes despite senior officials knowing of his crimes.

"The reason Miani has been allowed to remain as a priest and was moved from continent to continent, from country to country, and parish to parish is because the Vatican and the Vatican officials have chosen to protect him and their reputation," Anderson said.

The plaintiff alleges the Salesians and the Vatican conspired to transfer Father Miani to six locations on three continents to cover up his abuse. The suit alleges senior Catholic officials in the Vatican as well as the Salesian Society and its Californian provincial chapter were engaged in the cover-up.

The case is but one of numerous paedophilia scandals to rock the Roman Catholic Church over recent years in a number of countries including Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Germany and the United States.

Monday's Supreme Court move concerned a lawsuit filed in 2002 by an alleged victim of Reverend Andrew Ronan, claiming the Vatican and senior US church officials conspired to shield the priest from allegations of sexual abuse by transferring him from one diocese to another -- where he abused more children.

The Portland lawsuit alleged that Ronan molested a victim in the 1960s while the priest was working at St. Albert's Church in Portland, Oregon.

The abuse occurred, according to the lawsuit, years after Rev. Ronan began abusing children in the 1950s in Armagh, Ireland, and in Chicago, where he admitted his abuse to church officials.


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