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Church News

Former Catholic priest awarded almost half a million pounds in sexual abuse case

by Sophie Drew

A former Catholic priest has been awarded almost half a million pounds after being sexually abused by a senior cleric as a teenager.

The abuse took place at a residential school in Scotland during the 1970s, between the ages of 14 and 16.

The man - who cannot be named - sued The Bishop's Conference of Scotland for £2.25m after attacks from his "spiritual director" left him "a tortured soul." 

He was not given the full amount - instead, he was awarded £445,000 for consequential loss, pain and suffering. 

After his studies, he went on to join the priesthood before leaving and getting married. 

The Bishop's Conference of Scotland has admitted to fault relating to the abuse. 

The case was heard by Lord Clark, who ended the proceedings by saying: "For many years the pursuer (the ex-priest) carried out his role as a priest in an effective and well-respected manner.
"However, as a teenager in secondary education working towards being a priest he had been subjected to vile sexual abuse by his spiritual director. This trauma has tormented him for many years."

The judge added: "His personality, his ability to function and indeed his life were impaired by it. He did what he could to block from his mind the memories and effects of the abuse, but there came a point in time when he could no longer do so.

"As a perhaps obvious consequence, remaining in his role as a priest became burdened with intolerable difficulties. The loss he sustained and continues to suffer can never adequately be addressed by an award of damages," Lord Clark said in a written judgement."

Premier Christian Radio has reached out to The Bishop's Conference of Scotland for further comment. 

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