Pressure continues to mount on the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI amid allegations that he failed to act on warnings of child sex abuse inside the Catholic Church.
One case involves claims that 200 deaf boys were abused in the 1950s and 1960s in the US when Benedict was known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Lawyers there want the 82-year-old pontiff to testify in court in a bid to prove the Vatican was negligent.
That bid could be doomed to fail as the Vatican is recognised as a sovereign state with the pope as its head, granting him diplomatic immunity.
The US lawyers’ efforts come as reports emerged of widespread abuse in Austrian Catholic institutions, prompting Cardinal Cristoph Schoenborn to open an investigation.
The Archbishop of Vienna told worshippers on Wednesday that the Catholic Church as a whole must accept its guilt in a mass dedicated entirely to the theme of abuse.