Catholic Church refused appeal over sex abuse

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A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest is set to sue the Roman Catholic Church after it was refused a last chance to reverse a ruling holding it responsible.

The church argued it could not be held liable as no formal employment relationship with its clergy existed.

It lost a High Court case in 2011 and has now been refused permission to take the appeal to the Supreme Court.

The woman said she was abused by a priest of the Portsmouth Diocese.

Lawyers for the claimant, who is set to pursue a civil case, said it was the first time a court had been asked to rule on whether the "relationship between a Catholic priest and his bishop is akin to an employment relationship".

They believe it could become a test case for further claims.

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