Monday, July 08, 2024

Canadian archdiocese to pay $104 million to sex abuse victims

The Catholic Church is to pay 104 million Canadian dollars ($76 million) to hundreds of victims of sexual abuse from eastern Canada, according to a statement released Friday.

In 2020 the Archdiocese of St. John was found liable for one of Canada’s largest child sex abuse scandals, at Mount Cashel Orphanage, a now-defunct boy’s orphanage in Newfoundland and Labrador province.

The court found sexual abuse was perpetrated by priests and other church officials at the orphanage starting in 1940 and continued over the course of several decades.

A total of 292 victims will receive payouts ranging from 55,000 to 850,000 Canadian dollars, according to the report seen by AFP.

Accounting firm Ernst & Young has been tapped as a third-party intermediary to determine the amount distributed to each victim.

Geoff Budden, one of the attorneys representing the victims, told AFP the amount was in line with “similar compensation from other courts.”

“People didn’t really grasp the scale of the problem and how widespread the abuse was,“ he said.

The Archdiocese of St. John declared bankruptcy in 2021, though it has raised 40 million Canadian dollars through selling buildings that belonged to it.

However, Budden said he is optimistic that the victims will receive the full amount awarded by the court.

“There are still assets that need to be processed, including insurance products,“ he said.