July 01, 2005

Paedophile priest costs the Catholic Church 1m for a decade of sex abuse against boys


By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 01/07/2005)

A man who was psychologically damaged by a decade of sexual abuse at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest was awarded compensation of more than 600,000 yesterday.

The award, the first of its kind to be set by a High Court judge, was the largest so far in Britain and could open the floodgates to fresh claims totalling millions of pounds.

It represents a serious setback to the Catholic church's efforts to recover from a series of abuse scandals that culminated in calls for the resignation of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor three years ago.

The 35-year-old man, who now suffers from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, was abused between the ages of seven and 18 by Fr Christopher Clonan, his parish priest at Christ The King in Coventry.

The systematic abuse occurred between 1977 and 1988 but the man, known as A, told no one about it until 1992, after which his life "fell apart", the court heard.

Posted by kshaw at July 1, 2005 07:41 AM