Vatican says it will pay $1 billion to settle lawsuit over church-run orphanage
Rome, Italy — The Vatican announced Monday that it will spend $1.5 billion to resolve a lawsuit that accused it of selling children to sex traffickers and violating international law.
The settlement, announced by the Vatican’s public prosecutor, came after a yearlong investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor General.
The Vatican did not say how much money it would pay.
The court order requires the Vatican to pay the money back to the children who were sold.
The settlement includes restitution of the money to families who lost relatives, and the restitution of other damages, the court said.
The church’s decision to settle the lawsuit came as Vatican officials faced mounting pressure to publicly admit its failure to stop a mass-migration of children to Mexico, the most prominent example of its failure.
Last year, the Vatican had admitted to selling children, some of them orphaned as children, to traffickers.
It has since said the practice was not widespread and that the church had no knowledge of its existence.
But critics have pointed to the church’s continued failure to report the trafficking of children, and have said it has a responsibility to address the issue.
Some countries, including Britain and Sweden, have opened up to the U.N. Convention Against Trafficking in Persons to try to stem the tide of children being trafficked.
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