UK court: Catholic Church liable for priest wrongs

By the Associated Press | November 8, 2011 | 6:30 AM EST

LONDON (AP) — A British court has ruled that the Catholic Church can be held liable for wrongs committed by priests.

Tuesday's ruling came in the case of a 47-year-old woman who says she was sexually assaulted by a priest when she was a child. The woman, whose identity is protected by a court order, is pursuing a claim for damages.

The Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust, the defendant in the case, was granted leave to appeal.

Justice Alistair MacDuff said the case raises "an issue of wide general importance in respect of claims against the Catholic Church."