The Basilians aren’t about to turn the other cheek. The order is refusing to accept the judgment of a jury whereby it awarded Mr. Rod MacLean, a victim of clerical sexual abuse, $500,000 punitive damages and damages for economic loss:
25 May 2018: “Priests appeal $2.5M award in sex abuse case” & related statement from the Basilians
According to a statement put out by media spokesman Father Thomas Rosica csb, it is the the appellate court which “can best make a final determination ” of the compensation for Rod MacLean.
The Basilians are not, according to Rosica, appealing the amounts awarded for “general and aggravated damages,” nor those awarded for counselling costs.
To get an idea of what is evoking the ire of the Basilians, here is a document which outlines the specifics of damages awarded by the jury:
26 April 2018: “Questions to the Jury” (Ontario Superior Court of Justice doc)
So, according to Rosica, he and his Basilian brethren have no trouble with the $359,000 General Damages. Nor do they have problem with the $75,000 aggravated damages. Nor do they have problem with the $56,400 awarded for “future treatment.” They do, however, have problems with the $1,588,781 awarded for “Lump Sum Income Loss.” They also have problems with the $500,000 awarded for “Punitive Damages.”
Father Rosica and his confreres obviously believe that judges of the Appellate court are wiser and smarter and more tuned in to the damage done to victims of clerical sexual abuse than is the jury of Hod Marshall’s peers.
Likewise Father Rosica and his Basilian confreres obviously believe that – unlike the jury – judges of Ontario’s appellate court will readily understand that the poor Basilians should not be punished, because after all they are in no way shape or form responsible for the damage inflicted and abuses perpetrated on children by Hod Marshall after it was known to at least some of his Basilian superiors and/or brethren that he had sexually molested one or more children.
I can certainly understand that the Basilians have deep concerns that a precedent has been set and that henceforth they will be punished for their ‘sins’ of omission and commission in other civil cases. I just fail to understand why they refuse to do the honourable thing, turn the other cheek, clean house and move on.
Likewise I can understand that other religious orders and dioceses are upset by this ruling on punitive damages because, well , again, a precedent has been set and without a shadow of a doubt they see the writing on the wall, ie, chances are high that they too will be punished for their ‘sins’ of omission and commission over the past five or six decades. There are , I do believe, many parties within the Church who have a vested interest in seeing this award for punitive damages negated.
As for the $1,588,781 awarded for “Lump Sum Income Loss,” well I suppose it’s no great surprise that an order which brazenly recycled Father Hod Marshall and in so doing willfully placed unwitting children at risk fails to understand the long-term damage inflicted on a boy who was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest. The jury apparently grasped it. Sadly, Father Rosica and his confreres do not.
I can’t help but wonder too if perchance the Vatican is quietly engaging in this battle via its English spokesman/attache Father Rosica in any way shape or form?
Anyway, the bottom line is that, when it comes to clerical sexual predators, victims and coverups in the Church, the Basilians seem to believe that judges of the Ontario Court of Appeals are smarter, sharper, wiser, more learned and more knowledgeable than juries.
Please keep Rod MacLean in your prayers as this Basilian insult to both victim and the jury proceeds.
Enough for now,