May 09, 2005

Time a factor in priest abuse case

The Clarion-Ledger

By Jack Elliott Jr.
The Associated Press

The Mississippi Supreme Court says a statute-of-limitations problem may exist for three brothers suing the Catholic Diocese of Jackson over allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

The issue, however, wasn't addressed in the court's recent decision that the First Amendment does not prohibit lawsuits against the diocese over abuse claims.

The brothers filed a $48 million lawsuit in Hinds County Circuit Court in 2002. They claimed they were abused by a priest more than 30 years ago. The trial had been on hold while the Supreme Court considered the diocese's motion for dismissal.

The diocese, which is spread over 65 counties and serves 51,347 registered Catholics, said in a statement issued by attorney Stephen J. Carmody that the ruling didn't address the merits or validity of the claims by Kenneth, Thomas and Francis Morrison. The men say they were abused by the Rev. George Broussard when they were children in the 1970s.

Posted by kshaw at May 9, 2005 07:10 AM