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Federal Judge Asks Vatican to Help in WI Lawsuit


MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A federal judge has asked the Vatican to cooperate in serving legal papers to the pope and two other Catholic officials in connection with a Wisconsin lawsuit.

Terry Kohut sued Pope Benedict and the Vatican in April. He accuses them of looking the other way while he and 200 other boys at a suburban Milwaukee school for the deaf were molested by the late Father Lawrence Murphy in the 1970’s.

Federal Judge Rudolph Randa signed a request to have the Vatican serve the legal papers. But the Vatican is not required to do it – and attorneys say the church has not cooperated with similar requests in other legal cases.

The judge’s order was signed last weekend, and it was released Friday by the Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests. Kohut’s lawsuit said the pope and other top church leaders knew about Murphy’s crimes and tried to cover them up.

Court records released in March showed that the Vatican failed to defrock Murphy after Milwaukee church leaders asked them twice to do so, and Benedict and a top deputy called off a church trial in the case.