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Law Firm Implicates Vatican, Pope in Abuse Case

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MIAMI — A South Florida law firm is implicating the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI in its handling of a priest accused of sexually abusing children.

Jessica Arbour, an attorney representing one of the alleged victims, says documents show the Vatican was aware of Rev. Ernesto Garcia-Rubio's misconduct as early as 1968.

Thirteen years later, Benedict became head of the Vatican office that received a petition from Garcia-Rubio seeking to leave the priesthood. Arbour says the paperwork was lost. Arbour says they do not have any evidence indicating children were abused during that time.

A lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of Miami, claiming it was negligent in its supervision and assignment of the reverend. Arbour says it may be amended to include the Vatican.

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