Church pays victims of paedophile priest

The Roman Catholic Church has paid compensation to victims of a paedophile priest who was allowed to carry on working in the priesthood despite concerns about his behaviour.

The Roman Catholic Church has paid compensation to victims of a paedophile priest who was allowed to carry on working in the priesthood despite concerns about his behaviour.

The payments were made to victims of Father Michael Hill, who was jailed for five years in 1997 for ten sex attacks on altar boys and other children.

The new Archbishop of Westminster today insisted he had not acted irresponsibly by allowing the paedophile to work as a priest.

Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor defended his decision to give Hill a job as a chaplain despite warnings about him from parents.

In 1985, the Archbishop - who was then Bishop of Arundel in West Sussex - allowed the priest back to work after earlier revoking his licence to work in a parish.

Hill was later made chaplain at Gatwick Airport, where he would have less contact with children.

But he abused a boy with learning difficulties he met at the chapel after the boy missed a flight.

The compensation payments were made after some of Hill's victims decided to sue the church over the way it handled the case.

The Rt Rev Murphy-O'Connor said today: "It is true to say that if the strict procedures for child protection that are now in place had been in operation in 1985, then (Father Hill's) situation would have been handled differently.

"I maintain that with the facts then known to me, the decisions made at that time in his regard were not irresponsible."

The Archbishop has now agreed that boys abused by the priest should receive compensation, though the church is not prepared to discuss how much.

The Diocese of Arundel and Brighton today issued a statement which said: "In 1983, after concerns had been raised with diocesan clergy and Bishop Murphy-O'Connor, Father Michael Hill was removed from his parish in Heathfield (in East Sussex) for professional assessment and later therapy.

"In the light of advice received, following that treatment, Bishop Murphy-O'Connor withdrew Father Hill's licence to work in a parish.

"In 1985, based on the professional advice which had been given - and which had included as one option that Father Hill work in a limited pastoral capacity - he was then offered an industrial chaplaincy.

"The Diocese of Arundel and Brighton has paid compensation to certain individuals who were victims of Father Michael Hill, who was convicted in 1997 of offences relating to the abuse of young persons in the diocese.

"The diocesan trustees concluded the settlement of a compensation claim on a voluntary basis so as to save the claimants having to undergo the ordeal of giving evidence before a civil court.

"It should be noted that a voluntary agreement is not an admission of liability on the part of the diocese or the then bishop.

"The names of the individuals and the details of the settlement agreed with them will remain confidential.

"The diocesan trustees also wish to convey to the individuals concerned and their families their deepest sympathy for what they had to endure as a result of Father Hill's offences."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
news

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
News
London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head
news

Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Travel
travel

...and the perfect time to visit them

Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Life and Style
tech

Try putting that one on your Christmas list
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Lecturer - Construction

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Construction Lecturer needed for a Col...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job ? This is a new post...

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week