"A lawyer representing a victim of priest abuse in a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic church said on Monday Vatican documents show the church hierarchy and the pope were ultimately responsible.
A lawyer for the church disagreed, saying the newly released documents show the Holy See was not involved in the offending priest's transfer from Ireland to Chicago and then to Portland, Oregon, where the victim was a minor in the 1960s.
In April, U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman in Oregon ordered the Vatican to produce documents in the case that alleged a cover-up of priest sex abuse.
At the time, the judge's order was termed a "historic step" by attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who sued the Holy See in Rome and U.S. archdioceses and church officials on behalf of an unnamed man in Oregon.
Anderson said on Monday an analysis of the 1,856 documents written in Latin, Italian and English showed the Vatican had direct control over the placement and laicization of Rev. Andrew Ronan, who left the priesthood in 1966 and died in 1992."