A California man who says he was sexually abused by a priest decades ago is suing the Vatican, seeking the release of the names of all offenders within the church worldwide.

Manny Vega, a 52-year-old former police officer and Marine, said Thursday that he’s fighting for the truth for himself and other victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests.

“We were raped,” Vega said. “It happened to me, it happened to my friends, and it happens to children all across the world, and it continues to happen at the hands of the Catholic church, whose inaction continues to damage children.”

Vega’s lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in California, accuses the Vatican of placing the Rev. Fidencio Silva-Flores in a position of power at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Oxnard, west of Los Angeles, and says it should have known he posed a danger to children.

The lawsuit alleges that Silva-Flores sexually abused Vega between 1979 and 1984. Silva-Flores was charged with 25 counts of molestation in 2003, but the case was dismissed because of the amount of time that had passed.

Although Vega reached a settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2007, that doesn’t release the Vatican from responsibility, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit doesn’t seek monetary damages, but rather an order for the Vatican to release the names of abusers in more than 3,400 credible cases.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.