(Rome) The Holy See refers to the immunity of Cardinal Ladaria, Prefect of the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.The Spanish bearer of the purple dignity was summoned by a court in the case of French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin.
Cardinal Luis Fancisco Ladaria Ferrer SJ did not comply with the summons issued by the French court.The court is handling the charges against Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the Archbishop of Lyon, who is accused of not having promptly brought in a priest of his diocese, who involving young male Pathfinders between 1986 and 1991.
The Vatican forbade the prefect from participating by referring to his immunity, AFP reported.The court of Lyon cited Cardinal Ladaria not only as a witness, but as a potential co-defendant.Reason for this is the statement of Cardinal Barbarin in the course of his defense, to have consulted Ladaria on the case of the priest.
Ladaria had recommended to the Archbishop of Lyon "to take the appropriate disciplinary measures of the Church, but to avoid a public scandal".
Recently, the summons was made for Cardinal Ladaria, who was sent by the French authorities to the Vatican.The Vatican responded by pointing out that Cardinal Ladaria's communication was "in the exercise of his sovereign duties" as an official of the Holy See.International law recognizes him "ratione materiae" criminal immunity, if he performs duties in the name of the sovereign.
The competent judicial authority of the Vatican therefore declared the French summons to be "inadmissible".