Sex abuse victim lauds church complaints process

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Normand Brun likes confidentiality offered by Archdiocese of Moncton

CBC News

Posted: Jun 11, 2012 1:30 PM AT

Last Updated: Jun 11, 2012 2:33 PM AT

Normand Brun, who now lives in Vancouver, says he was shunned by people in Cap-Pelé after he came forward with his abuse complaint.

Normand Brun, who now lives in Vancouver, says he was shunned by people in Cap-Pelé after he came forward with his abuse complaint. (CBC)

A victim of sexual abuse is applauding the Archdiocese of Moncton for offering counselling and compensation to victims of a former priest in Cap-Pelé.

The diocese announced last week that it had retained Michel Bastarache, the former Supreme Court of Canada justice, to handle all the sexual abuse complaints against Camille Léger, who died in 1990 and was never convicted of any crimes.

Normand Brun came forward 15 years ago to say he was abused as a child by Léger.

Brun received a cheque from the church in 1997, but says he wishes the church had dealt with him back then the way it’s proceeding now.

The best thing about the church hiring Bastarache is the confidentiality, said Brun.

“I’ve spoken to quite a few victims down there. It’s not that they didn’t want to come forward they were just scared to death of getting everything out in the open and everybody finding out what happened to them,” he said.

“A lot of them never tell their families, their wives, they never tell their kids. … It’s like having to live two lives.”

Victim shunned in the community

Michel Bastarache, a retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, is the contact person for anyone who was abused by a late New Brunswick priest.

Michel Bastarache, a retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, is the contact person for anyone who was abused by a late New Brunswick priest. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Many people first learned of the priest’s past in the spring when the small southeastern fishing village planned to hold a referendum on taking Léger’s name off of the local arena.

There was a groundswell of public support to remove the priest’s name.

Brun said he was shunned by people in Cap-Pelé after he approached the church on his own for compensation.

He lives in Vancouver now, but said many of the victims still live in the community.

“Some of the people that have come forward in the past couple of weeks only came forward because with this process they’re assured that nobody is going to find out,” he said.

Although an Ontario lawyer recently urged victims to choose litigation over the church-sponsored conciliation process to protect their rights, Brun said people can still consult a lawyer to make sure they’re being treated fairly.

Brun also supports the church’s offer to pay for confidential counselling.

“I wish they’d offered me that when I went down,” he said, noting half of his compensation went to pay for a psychologist.

In addition, the archbishop has issued an apology, which Brun says is something he never got.

“That was refused, I remember the bishop saying there’s no way I was going to get an apology,” he said.

Victims of Léger have until the end of the month to come forward to Bastarache, who will listen to the their claims and decide what the church should pay them. Compensation of between $15,000 and $300,000 will be given out.

2 Responses to Sex abuse victim lauds church complaints process

  1. Sylvia says:

    I have the audio file and will post it this evening – right now I’m heading out to mow the lawn!

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