California Man Suing Vatican Says He’s Fighting for Truth

Plaintiff and survivor Manuel Vega (L) speaks as attorney Jeff Anderson (R) holds up a priest report, in front of a photo of US bishops meeting the Pope, during a news conference to announce the filing of a federal lawsuit against the Vatican, in Los Angeles on October 4, 2018. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California man suing the Vatican to release the names of all sexually abusive priests worldwide says he’s fighting for the truth for victims.

Manny Vega of Oxnard said at a news conference Thursday that priests raped him and countless other children across the world, and that abuse and a culture of secrecy are still rampant within the Catholic church.

Vega’s lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in California seeks to have the Vatican ordered to release the names of all priests accused of abuse and to turn over the names of those found guilty to law enforcement. It doesn’t seek monetary damages.

Jeffrey Lena, the Vatican’s U.S. lawyer, declined to comment.

Vega reached a settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2007, but his lawsuit says that doesn’t release the Vatican from responsibility. One of his lawyers has tried unsuccessfully to sue the government of the Catholic Church in U.S. courts before.