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The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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In a news story published in the 26 July 2014 edition of The Tablet headed “Church builds bridges with abuse survivors”, we referred to a High Court judgment which held that Portsmouth Diocese could be vicariously liable for alleged abuse by its priests.
The story wrongly stated that after the diocese appealed the original decision to the Court of Appeal in 2012 a ruling had been made that the diocese “was liable to pay compensation for both this case and alleged beatings inflicted by a nun”.
We accept that this statement is incorrect and that the Court of Appeal hearing and judgment were concerned only with the preliminary issue of vicarious liability. We further accept that the Court of Appeal did not decide that the diocese was liable to pay compensat ion to the claimant and that the diocese has not paid any compensation to the claimant. We understand that the claimant’s allegations were never adjudicated upon by the court and that she has discontinued her claim.
Accordingly, we apologise to Portsmouth Diocese for the inaccuracy in the story.