The Vatican has won a major victory in an Oregon federal courtroom, where a judge ruled the Holy See is not the employer of molester priests.
The ruling Monday by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman ends a six-year question in the decade-old case and could shield the Vatican from possible monetary damages.
The original lawsuit was filed in 2002 by a Seattle-area man who claimed the Rev. Andrew Ronan repeatedly molested him in the late 1960s.
Mosman made a previous decision strictly on legal theory and determined that if all the facts in the case were true, the Vatican would indeed be Ronan's employer.
But on Monday, Mosman said he looked at the facts in the case and made his decision.
Plaintiff's attorney Jeff Anderson says he will appeal the decision.