SYDNEY (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald
November 27, 2020
By Chip Le Grand
Pope Francis has been named as a defendant in a Victorian Supreme Court damages claim by three Aboriginal men who were sexually assaulted as young boys by paedophile priest Michael Glennon after the Vatican knew of his crimes against children but did not defrock him.
It is the first known case in Australia in which victims of clerical sexual abuse have sought to hold the world’s most senior Catholic personally responsible for his church’s failure to take decisive action against predators in its ranks.
The three plaintiffs, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, all claim to have experienced significant, ongoing impacts from their childhood abuse including drug addiction, homelessness and unemployment.
They are seeking compensation and exemplary or punitive damages against Pope Francis, the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli for the inaction of their predecessors.
If successful it would represent the first time an Australian court has punished the church – as distinct from compensating victims of abuse – for its failure to protect children from paedophile priests.
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