A federal US judge is asking the Vatican to cooperate in serving the Pope and two other top officials with court papers that stem from decades-old allegations of sexual abuse by a priest in Wisconsin.


The request is an incremental — and long shot — step in a lawsuit that accuses the officials of conspiring to keep the allegations against a Milwaukee priest quiet. The Vatican is not obliged to comply with the request.

Under similar circumstances the Vatican has made service difficult, time consuming and expensive by insisting, for example, that documentation be translated into Latin, one of the Vatican's official languages.

Mike Finnegan, the attorney representing the Chicago-based plaintiff, said Friday he's not holding out hope that the Vatican reverses course and begins to cooperate now. "Based on what they've done in other cases, I don't expect them to do the right thing," he said. "I expect more delay and obstruction."

FULL AP STORY FOLLOWS BELOW