Local law firms file class action suit against Catholic Bishops accused of sexual abuse

Pope Francis arrives for a meeting with 138 new bishops from around the world at the Vatican Sept. 18. The pope encouraged bishops to be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano) See POPE-BISHOPS Sept. 18, 2014.

"On November 13, 2018, Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell of Beaumont, TX filed a national class action lawsuit against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and HOLY SEE.

Six individuals who are said to be victims of the endemic, systemic, rampant and pervasive rape and sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic Church cardinals, bishops, monsignors, priests, sisters, lay leaders, members of Catholic religious orders, educators, and other personnel, members, agents and representatives while serving in active ministry—with the knowledge of the Defendants.

The allegations in the complaint are that rather than safeguarding and protecting the Class Members— most of whom were minor children at the time—Defendants protected the abusive Clergy, took extraordinary measures to conceal their wrongful conduct, moved them from parish to parish, without warning church members or the general public, thereby further facilitating their predatory practices, failed and refused to report the abusive Clergy to law enforcement or other responsible authorities as required by law in every state, and— incredibly—in some instances, even promoted the abusive Clergy. Defendants’ wrongful acts are ongoing and continuous.

Toups, Coffman, Whatley & Quillen believe that the cover-up by the Catholic Church resulted in the abuse continuing and becoming an endemic, systemic, rampant and pervasive issue causing harm to tens of thousands of victims throughout the United States and that the acts of the local clergy in the United States fall under the responsibility of the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy See, per the “Command Responsibility Doctrine” as well as other legal theories.

The lawsuit was filed by Mitchell A. Toups of Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell, L.L.P.; Richard L. Coffman, of The Coffman Law Firm (both of Beaumont, Texas), and Joe R. Whatley, Jr., and Henry C. Quillen of Whatley Kallas, LLP, of New York City."

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