Catholic church pressuring alleged victims of dead paedophile priests to accept ‘paltry’ payouts

The Catholic church has adopted an increasingly aggressive approach to alleged victims of now-dead paedophile priests, using recent rulings to pressure survivors to accept “paltry amounts” or risk having their claims permanently blocked, lawyers say.

Arnold Thomas & Becker, which is pursuing claims on behalf of more than 700 abuse victims, said defendants – particularly the church – were now frequently threatening to seek stays in such cases.

“We have absolutely seen a change in the behaviour of defendants since these rulings were delivered, in particular the Catholic church,” Kim Price, the head of the firm’s abuse team, said.

“Defendants now frequently threaten to stay a claim on the basis that they cannot have a ‘fair trial’ because of the delay taken by a survivor to come forward.

“Including, astoundingly, cases where the alleged paedophile has multiple victims. The threat usually relates to the perpetrator being deceased and unable to assist the defendant with their investigations or defence.”

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