that is exactly what it means and the usual way that it is applied. Incidently ever wonder why Dominoe's dropped its famous 30 minutes or less guarantee on delivery? Because many of its drivers were maniacs trying to get the pizza there on time and the company faced liability.
The central question is whether a person is acting IN THE SCOPE of their employment or agency. Driving on business, yes vicarious liability extends to the employer. Driving on your coffee break or taking a side route to pick up your dry cleaning are not within the scope of employment and no vicarious liability would attach.
Generally speaking, acts which are clearly outside the scope of employment and willful and intentional wrongdoing is typically not going to raise vicarious liability. Thus the highlighted text in the post above referencing the "molestation" and other serious wrongdoings are not likely to qualify or raise vicarious liability. these wrong doings are clearly outside the scope of the agency (or the "job" of being an Elder).
As for VPA this applies to individuals including Directors and officers of non-profit corporations but it is true, it doesn't apply to the ENTITY itself so in the case presented the Archdiocese itself apparently was found vicariously liable.
It will be interesting to see if the judgment holds up on appeal.
With regard to the "Coughln" case. The ONLY references that Google turns up are those few provided by Cultawarness or whatever. I couldn't even find any archived news reports on her death with purportedly occurred on Oct 8, 1998. Apparently the case was settled in 2002 which may be part of the reason, but still there ought to be some record of the settlement being noted or the case being filed but I didn't turn up anything in the Connecticut Superior Ct website.
I would be interested to know if anyone else turns up anything.