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U.S. clergy sex abuse case against Vatican dropped

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CHICAGO — A civil lawsuit launched in the United States seeking to tie the Vatican and the Pope to an alleged decades-long cover-up of clergy sex abuse has been dropped, the plaintiff’s lawyer said.

The suit was filed in 2010 on behalf of an unnamed victim of an alleged serial pedophile priest called Father Lawrence Murphy, who is accused of molesting up to 200 boys at a school for the deaf in Wisconsin.

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It came a month after the victim’s lawyer released documents showing that Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was made aware of the allegations against Murphy in 1996 but took no action.

Jeffrey Anderson said that while Murphy’s abuse was reported to the archbishop in the 1950’s and to local law enforcement in 1974, he remained a priest in good standing until his death in 1998.

Already under pressure from a slew of scandals spreading across Europe, the Vatican vigorously defended the pope, arguing that Ratzinger’s office chose not to begin defrocking proceedings against Murphy due to his ill health and seclusion.

Anderson, who has filed hundreds of cases on behalf of victims of child sex abuse, said at the time that the purpose of the lawsuit was to gain access to the Vatican’s secret files and expose its allegedly systematic protection of abusive clergy worldwide.

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The plaintiff decided to drop the case after a judge in a related case ruled on Thursday that Murphy’s victims will still be able to seek damages from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee even though it has sought bankruptcy protection, Anderson said.

“Based on our experience in other cases, the road to justice through Rome is a long and arduous one that can go on for decades,” Anderson said in a statement after the case was withdrawn late Friday.

“With the development in the bankruptcy case yesterday, the road to justice and healing for this survivor becomes much shorter, and we understand that.”

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Jeffrey Lena, who represents the Vatican in American litigation, said the dismissal of the case was long overdue and slammed Anderson for “profoundly and unnecessarily” misleading the public by promulgating the “outworn and discredited claim” of a vast cover-up.

“A case like this one against the Holy See, which was held together by no more than a mendacious web of allegations of international conspiracy, amounted to a misuse of judicial process and a waste of judicial resources,” Lena said in a statement.

“Mythology about the Catholic Church to the contrary, the Holy See is not responsible for the supervision of the more than 400,000 priests around the world.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Wall Street Journal drops a truth-bomb on Trump over his market-destroying trade war: ‘Everyone loses’

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In yet another blast from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors looked back at Friday's stock market free fall and pointed the finger directly at President Donald Trump and his "trade-war general" Peter Navarro for being the main culprits.

After Friday's disastrous stock market session that took a major downturn due to the escalation of the trade war -- with China and Trump ordering billions of dollars in new tariffs -- the Journal pointed out that there will be no winners.

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G7 off to a rough start as Trump aides slam host Macron’s agenda

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With President Donald Trump at the latest G7 summit, all eyes are on the interactions between him and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two world leaders started off amicably, exchanging pleasantries, but behind the scenes, things have grown contentious.

According to Politico, Trump officials are railing against Macron, accusing him of trying to "fracture" the summit by steering the negotiations away from trade and into areas like climate change.

This development comes after Trump harshly criticized Macron for enacting a tax on digital services, which could increase costs for American tech companies like Google and Facebook. Trump threatened that if France does not suspend its "unfair" digital tax, "we'll be taxing their wine like they've never seen before." It is a threat that Trump has made repeatedly over the last few weeks whenever he has gotten angry at France.

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A likely recession could doom Trump

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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