Judge Lee Rosenthal ruled on December 22 that the Pope is immune from lawsuit, as a head of state. His ruling came after the US Justice Department filed a notice that including Pope Benedict in the lawsuit would be "incompatible with the United States' foreign-policy interests."
The Pope had been named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by plaintiffs who said they had been abused by priests in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese. Daniel Shea, the plaintiffs' lawyer, argued that Pope Benedict was involved in a cover-up of the abuse.
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