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Personal Injuries - Part 1

On Church Property or During Church Activities

Alabama
State:

• In a case of great significance to religious denominations and church agencies, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a Catholic order was not legally responsible for the actions of a priest who had entered an abortion clinic and injured a woman while destroying several pieces of equipment with a sledge hammer. The priest, a member of the Benedictine Society, had been appointed pastor of a local parish and "pro-life coordinator" for the Birmingham diocese by the bishop. The injured woman sued the Benedictine Society and the priest's immediate superior (an abbot), claiming that the priest was an "agent" of the society and accordingly that the society was legally responsible for his conduct. In particular, she argued that the priest "was a member of the society and, as such, was subject to [his abbot's] orders as it related to his 24-hour life as a monk, including the authority to recall ...

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Posted:
  • January 2, 1989

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