British clergy who abuse their position of trust to sexually exploit young people could face jail under proposals to be considered by the government.
    The Home Office confirmed it would examine a plan to amend the Sexual Offences Bill to include the clergy, as well as teachers and care workers, under the new offence of abuse of trust.
    The move follows the admission of Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, that he made a mistake by allowing a paedophile priest, Fr Michael Hill, to return to work as a chaplain.
    The Independent on Sunday reports that Conservative peer Baroness Young intends to table the amendment to the Bill, bringing the clergy within the scope of the abuse of trust offence.
    Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor was severely criticised last week for allowing Hill to continue working as a priest, despite warnings he would re-offend. He told BBC News he "regretted exceedingly what happened" - namely that after he allowed Hill back to work in 1985 after suspending him as a priest, Hill went on to indecently assault more altar boys and was jailed in 1997.
27 July 00

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