November 21, 2002
UK Cardinal says 'sorry' for priest abuser

Micheal Hill

From RTE News online
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has apologised for appointing Father Michael Hill as chaplain of London Gatwick Airport in 1985. The UK's senior Catholic cleric acknowledged that it was 'a mistake'.

Hill, 68, was sentenced today at the Old Bailey to five years imprisonment. He admitted carrying out six indecent assaults on three boys aged 10 to 14 from 1969 to 1987.

He was previously jailed in 1997 - but released in 2000 after serving part of a five-year sentence - after admitting nine offences of indecent assault, and one of gross indecency, on nine boys.

In s letter to The Times, the cardinal said: 'Inevitably, mistakes have been made in the past - but not for want of trying to take the right and best course of action.'

He flatly denied claims, made in the newspaper and on the BBC this week, that he had turned a blind eye to paedophilia, and that victims had been paid 'hush money' to keep quiet about their plight.

The cardinal wrote that he appointed Hill despite 'conflicting psychiatric reports'. 'I am deeply sorry for the damage he has done, and to the extent that my decision contributed to any of that damage,' he said.

Posted by paul at November 21, 2002 01:48 PM
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