Thinking Anglicans

Vicarious liability: RC Diocese of Portsmouth loses appeal

Last November, we reported Court rules on RC priest/bishop relationship.

In the event, that decision was appealed by the RC Diocese of Portsmouth, and this week judgment was given in the appeal case. The panel of three appeal judges voted 2-1 against the diocese.

JGE v The Trustees of the Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust

The full text of the judgment can be found here (PDF).

A press statement by the diocese is over here (PDF).

Some press reports and comment:

Guardian Owen Bowcott Catholic church loses abuse liability appeal

Telegraph John Bingham Clerical abuse case ‘disastrous’ for charities, claims Church

Catholic Herald Mark Greaves Court rules that Diocese of Portsmouth is liable for clerical abuse and Alexander Lucie-Smith Yesterday’s Appeal Court ruling strikes me as a serious blow to religious freedom

Southern Daily Echo Diocese of Portsmouth loses appeal against liability for priests’ wrongdoings


  • Laurence Roberts says:

    ‘Let right be done.’

    (The Winslow Boy by )
    The refusal of the authorities of the RCC to take responsibility for their own ministers makes the RCC appear incredible, cynical and immoral. Especially as the RCC is so vocal and scathing in decrying relationships between adults who do consent. And all the while, going easy on the sexual exploitation of those who, by definition cannot consent.

    Most of all the neglect of those abused and their virtual absence from RC discussion of the matter.

    Morality and not Public Relations.

    And all the while Joseph Ratzinger at the helm – he who failed to act, when he could have.

    But it also raises the question in many hearts :

    “Can Christianity be credible ?”

  • Robert ian Willaims says:

    Don’t worry about us.. what about the Diocese of Chichester?

  • Lois Keen says:

    “Clerical abuse case disastrous for charities claims Church”
    What do they expect when they turn a blind eye to abuse? Witness Penn State.

  • Laurence Roberts says:

    Don’t worry about us.. what about the Diocese of Chichester?

    Posted by: Robert ian Willaims on Friday, 13 July 2012 at 11:25pm BST

    Yes ! Chichester Diocese is seeking to ‘discipline'( read abuse) the Revd David Page for (rightly)refusing to discuss his private life with a bishop, following his civil partnership.

    And while he is being put through it, for his adult relationship, unaddressed scandal involving a bishop, is left unresolved.

  • Laurence Roberts says:

    Further to my last post here is the reference

    This not about point-scoring but why do neither diocese seem to suffer the little children; nor care for them when they grow up to be hurting and perhaps angry adults ?

    This is what I fin most shocking and cause of disillusionment. The lack of care by dioceses and the cover-ups and cynicism, is as hard to take, or harder than the failure and weakness of individuals who abuse.

    Also a problem, I note among athletics, judo and other sporting bodies, whose coaches are not immune to abusing their young charges.

    Also in a previous post I failed to acknowledge Terence Rattigan as the author of The Wimslow Boy with its cri de coeur ‘Let right be done !’.

    This play is still relevant – re abuse (though not sexual), and how institutions and systems close rank against those who have been wronged by the powerful.


  • Richard Ashby says:

    Indeed, Robert, what about Chichester? That’s the question we are all asking.

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