A class-action suit filed from Kentucky in 2004 is attracting new attention:

The Holy See is trying to fend off the first U.S. case to reach the stage of determining whether victims actually have a claim against the Vatican itself for negligence for allegedly failing to alert police or the public about Roman Catholic priests who molested children. ... "They will not be able to depose the pope," said Joseph Dellapenna, a professor at Villanova University Law School an author of "Suing Foreign Governments and their Corporations." "But lower level officials could very well be deposed and there could be subpoenas for documents as part of discovery," he said.

If the Vatican's response continues in the same vein of the last week, they have no idea what's about to hit them. Hitch wants the Pope to face charges:

This grisly little man is not above or outside the law. He is the titular head of a small state. We know more and more of the names of the children who were victims and of the pederasts who were his pets. This is a crime under any law (as well as a sin), and crime demands not sickly private ceremonies of "repentance," or faux compensation by means of church-financed payoffs, but justice and punishment. The secular authorities have been feeble for too long but now some lawyers and prosecutors are starting to bestir themselves. I know some serious men of law who are discussing what to do if Benedict tries to make his proposed visit to Britain in the fall. It's enough. There has to be a reckoning, and it should start now.

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