Monday, May 13, 2002
I heard on the radio that one of the Bishops, I forget which one, who is being civilly sued for not protecting children from sexual abuse has asserted that priests are essentially self-employed individuals. This is significant, in that one of the elements that must be proven to hold a person liable for negligence is that the person had a duty. If in fact priests are self-employed, then it cannot be said that the Bishops have a legal duty to protect anyone from the conduct of any priest. The problem I see, however, with attacking the duty aspect of negligence here is that Bishops do have a fair amount of control of where a priest is assigned.