One lawyer behind many allegations of Catholic Church abuse

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN
April 26, 2010 4:20 p.m. EDT

Minnesota lawyer Jeff Anderson has driven American media coverage  of the Catholic Church abuse scandal.

Minnesota lawyer Jeff Anderson has driven American media coverage of the Catholic Church abuse scandal.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Anderson has driven American media coverage of the church abuse scandal
  • In 1983, he was one of the only lawyers in the country taking on such cases
  • He has been a key figure in bulk of settlements U.S. Catholic Church has paid out
  • Critics: Anderson’s work is aimed more at attracting publicity than getting justice

(CNN) — The last month has seen a blizzard of new sex abuse accusations against the Catholic Church from across the United States. Almost all of them — and the intense media attention they’ve garnered — can be traced to one man: a Minnesota lawyer named Jeff Anderson.

Last week, an alleged victim of priest abuse in Wisconsin announced a lawsuit against the Vatican itself. Anderson is representing the alleged victim.

A couple of days earlier, a Mexican man who alleged abuse by a priest years ago filed suit against Mexico’s top Catholic cleric in a U.S. court. The plaintiff is another Anderson client.

And throughout April, new documents have come to light suggesting that the current pope may have played down warnings about abusive priests in the United States. Those documents came from Anderson’s St. Paul, Minnesota, office.

For decades, Anderson has won settlements from Catholic archdioceses across the country for abuse victims and, more than any other attorney in the country, has driven American media coverage of the church abuse scandal.

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