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Priest Seduces Married Woman

Court dismissed husband's lawsuit.

Key point. Many states have repealed laws that once permitted a person whose spouse was seduced by another individual to sue for "alienation of affections." Husbands whose wives are seduced by clergy may be barred from suing for damages in such states.

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a man could not sue a priest and bishop as a result of the priest's seduction of his wife. A couple were married in 1972. Five children were born to the marriage. In 1986, the wife (Susan) became employed with the local Roman Catholic Diocese. In 1988, a new priest arrived at the Diocese. The priest was placed in charge of the Diocese Marriage Tribunal, having authority over Catholic marriages in the Diocese. Shortly after his assumed his new duties, he began spending his days off with Susan, taking all day trips out of town with her, and staying at her residence several nights a week until late ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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  • January 1, 1997

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