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• Can a diocese and bishop be sued for damages resulting from the alleged sexual molestation of minors by a Catholic priest? That was the issue before a Washington state appeals court in a recent case. In 1984, a Catholic diocese in Louisiana suspended a priest from performing his "priestly duties" after he admitted to sexual misconduct with minors. The priest was asked to leave the diocese and he eventually was admitted (with the approval of the diocese) to the Jesuit House in Spokane, Washington. A representative of the Louisiana diocese noted that "because of the nature of the complaints, we did not want to take any chances of him just running free. We had no police control over him. We could not lock him up or anything like that. So, we had to leave him in a place where he could have some supervision and a place to stay." Just prior to the priest's discharge from the Jesuit House, ...

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  • May 1, 1989

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