US victim of pedophile priest drops appeal

A man pursuing the Vatican in US courts over sexual abuse suffered at the hands of a pedophile priest has withdrawn his appeal, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The man, who has maintained an anonymous identity and is originally from Oregon, argued that the Vatican, as the priest's employer, was responsible for his actions.

The case was dismissed by a federal court which found that the Vatican could not be considered the priest's direct employer.

The priest had been sent to Oregon by his religious order in the 1960s after sexual scandals in Ireland and Chicago. He was finally defrocked in 1966 and died in 1992.

The plaintiff, who said he was sexually abused in 1965, had taken the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The man had already won a separate settlement from the priest's order but dropped his case against the Vatican because of "weariness," his lawyer Jeff Anderson told AFP.

"After 11 and a half years, he had achieved what he wanted to, which is to open the door for others, and he was able to make a settlement" with the religious order, lawyer Jeff Anderson told AFP.

His client was handed a victory before the US Supreme Court in June 2010, when it ruled that the Vatican could be sued and could not hide behind immunity as a sovereign state.

"That was a victory for this survivor because this door had never been opened" Anderson said.

Vatican lawyer Jeffrey Lena said the event marked the "withdrawal of a lawsuit against the Holy See that never should have been filed in the first place."