July 26, 2005

Alleged abuse victim seeks permission to sue church


The Supreme Court has been told the Catholic Church cannot be sued for the alleged actions of a priest because the priest had a contract with God, rather than the church.

John Andrew Ellis alleges that between 1975 and 1986 he was repeatedly abused by Aidan Duggan, who was an assistant priest at the Bass Hill parish, where Mr Ellis was an altar boy.

He is asking the court to extend the time in which he is allowed to take legal action, despite the death of Mr Duggan last year.

Mr Ellis' lawyer, David Begg, says his client is not disputing the argument by the church that Mr Duggan was not one of its employees.

"We ask the rhetorical question, is effectively the church immune from suit," he said.

Mr Ellis says he has only recently realised the impact of the alleged abuse.

Posted by kshaw at July 26, 2005 07:45 AM