US sex abuse lawsuit against Vatican dismissed

February 11, 2012 - 9:45 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Lawyers for a man who was sexually abused decades ago by a priest at a Wisconsin school for the deaf have withdrawn their lawsuit naming Pope Benedict XVI and other top Vatican officials as defendants.

Attorney Jeff Anderson filed the lawsuit in 2010. He claimed former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and his deputies knew about allegations of sexual abuse at the school and protected the priest from punishment.

Anderson's firm withdrew the case Friday in Milwaukee. He explains the action by saying the main thing he was seeking was information and accountability, and he's already received 30,000 pages of revealing documents through bankruptcy proceedings of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Vatican attorney Jeffrey Lena calls the explanation "ridiculous." He says the withdrawal is confirmation the lawsuit should never have been filed.