On what grounds can a priest and/or Catholic diocese be liable for sexual abuse that occurred in the past?
A priest can be personally liable under state laws pertaining to sexual abuse of children for committing such abuse, as well as liable in his capacity as a priest and/or church employee. An individual priest may also be liable for failing to supervise, report, or otherwise discipline a priest who has committed sexual abuse with minors. Likewise, a Catholic diocese or the Catholic church as a whole may be liable for a priest’s sexual abuse of minors if it is aware of the abuse but fails to adequately remove the priest or take other steps to remedy the situation.
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