In the legal decision last week, Superior Court Judge Grant Miller rejected arguments by the Legionaries and its affiliated organizations to dismiss the suit in its entirety.
Miller dismissed counts in the suit that claimed that the Legionaries knew or should have known of Maciel's abuse. But the judge let stand counts in which Gonzalez claims that negligence by the order contributed to his abuse by Maciel.
New Haven lawyer Joel Faxon, who represents Gonzalez, said that he will issue subpoenas for senior Vatican officials in an effort to support the negligence case.
The suit claims that Maciel's sexual abuse of children was widely known in the church for decades, beginning in the 1940s and '50s, but was not stopped.
In 1976 alone, according to the suit, the Legionaries' national director accused Maciel by letter of abusing 20 seminarians, and a U.S. bishop reported Maciel to the Vatican and Pope Paul VI, but no action was taken. Another complaint was made to the Vatican two years later, according to the suit, but there was no response.
Craig Raabe, the lawyer representing the Legionaries, had no immediate response Wednesday to the decision in court. Previously, the Legionaries have declined to discuss the suit.