Ex-priest receives damages from Church for child abuse

PS455,000 damages were awarded to a former priest who was abused by a senior Catholic cleric as a teenager.

Ex-priest receives damages from Church for child abuse

PS455,000 damages were awarded to a former priest who was abused by a senior Catholic cleric as a teenager.

The victim, who cannot be identified, was abused in a residential school in Scotland during the 1970s.

Between the ages 14 and 16, his attacker was his spiritual director.

The victim joined the priesthood, but was "tortured", according to the Court of Session.

Later, he was married and went through the formal process of leaving the priesthood.

The man sued The Bishop's Conference of Scotland over PS2.25m.

It acknowledged that sexual abuse had occurred and took responsibility for any damage or loss caused by it.

Lord Clark heard the case and said that the ex-priest, the pursuer, had been a priest for many years in an efficient and respected manner.

"But, as a teenager working towards becoming a priest, he was subject to vile sexual abuse from his spiritual director. He has suffered from this trauma for many years."

The judge stated that the abuse had affected his personality, ability to function, and even his life. Although he tried to erase the effects and memories of the abuse from his mind, he eventually stopped being able to do so.

"As an obvious consequence, he was forced to resign from his priesthood. This made it difficult for him to continue in his duties. "The loss he suffered and continues to suffer cannot be adequately addressed by an award for damages," Lord Clark stated in a written judgment.

Judge said that the victim did not receive sympathy or any kind of engagement from the Church.

"He realized that the effects of the abuse and its devastating effects on his life would continue if the priest he was remained in the priesthood, but the continual torment could at most to some degree be relieved by laicising (leaving priesthood).

The man was awarded damages of PS445,000 for the consequential loss he suffered as a result of his priesthood and pain and suffering.

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