A federal U.S. judge is asking the Vatican to cooperate in serving the pope and two other top officials with court papers that stem from decades-old allegations of sexual abuse by a priest in Wisconsin.

The request is an incremental step in a lawsuit that accuses the officials of conspiring to keep the allegations against the Milwaukee priest quiet. The Vatican is not obliged to comply with the request.

When faced with similar requests the Vatican has made service difficult, time-consuming and expensive by insisting, for example, that documentation be translated into Latin, one of the Vatican’s official languages.

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