N.B. court seals info on clergy sex assault deals

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Last Updated: Monday, November 15, 2010 | 2:59 PM AT

CBC News

A New Brunswick judge has granted a request from the Roman Catholic diocese of Bathurst to seal any details surrounding financial awards given out as the church settles sexual abuse complaints.

Bishop Valéry Vienneau said he's satisfied with a New Brunswick judge's decision to seal financial details of compensation packages offered to people who were victims of sexual assault by clergy.

Bishop Valéry Vienneau said he’s satisfied with a New Brunswick judge’s decision to seal financial details of compensation packages offered to people who were victims of sexual assault by clergy. (CBC)

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Frederick Ferguson approved the request on Monday morning in Bathurst.

Bishop Valéry Vienneau said outside the court he was satisfied with the judge’s decision. He said it is “absolutely necessary” for the church to be able to proceed in confidentiality in order to protect those people involved.

Ferguson is expected to rule in the afternoon on whether the diocese can take money from a trust fund used to help educate people entering the priesthood.

Rev. Wesley Wade released a statement on Nov. 2 indicating the Catholic diocese would offer an apology and financial compensation to the 35 individuals who came forward during a conciliation process led by Michel Bastarache, a retired Supreme Court of Canada justice

Bastarache handed in a report on Nov. 1 that identified 35 people who deserve compensation for being sexually assaulted by church members in the past.

Bastarache was hired by the diocese after Levi Noel, an 84-year-old former priest, was convicted of 22 sex-related offences and Charles Picot, a former priest who had worked in Dalhousie, was charged with indecent assault. Noel’s offences took place between 1959 and 1981.

The church asked Bastarache to investigate any allegations of sexual assault.

Some clergy have died

The retired justice would not say in an interview in October how many clergy have been named by victims during his meetings, but he said some have died.

Michel Bastarache, a retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, recommended compensation be given to 35 victims of sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic clergy in northern New Brunswick.

Michel Bastarache, a retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, recommended compensation be given to 35 victims of sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic clergy in northern New Brunswick. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

As well, Bastarache said some of the victims named priests who are not in the Bathurst diocese and it will be up to church leaders to contact the dioceses affected by those allegations to see if they would pay the compensation Bastarache is recommending.

The trust funds contain money intended to cover the cost of training clergy.

But the diocese has indicated the amount in the trust fund surpasses the amount needed for its intended use and some of the money should be used to compensate the victims.

Nine of the 45 people who came forward to meet Bastarache have declined to be a part of the conciliation process led by the retired justice.

Those victims are opting to take the church to court instead.

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Comments

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Devil Advocate wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 3:09 PM ET 

…and people wonder why no one goes to church anymore?

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upyours wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 2:25 PM ET

After all these abuse charges and convictions for priests worldwide, are there actually any Catholics still out there!?

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prosperous wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 2:21 PM ET

 There is no amount of money that can heal the victims of these horrific crimes committed by catholic priests however I believe they should be exposed to the public as all pedifiles should be & they should be publicly excommunicated from the church & not hidden or protected by RC rules. How is it that the RC has so much power over the justice system of the world?

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Vain Zero wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 2:20 PM ET

 It is in no way in the publics interest to cover this up. Name the delusional cultists involved, just don’t name the victims, its easy.

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El Cuervo wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 1:46 PM ET

 A number of years ago, a certain pop star, made secret agreements with the alleged victims . These secret pay offs and agreements were questionned as innapropriate and boderinng on criminal actions. However this institution , with the help of many legal consultants has successfully covered up the alleged criminal actions. The Fixer and the Fix is certainly in. We have aiding and abetting, knowledge and foreknowledge, moving around different parishes of known offenders. All this done under the supervision of the church hierarchy .Long live Canon Law. And we thought the Middle Ages were in the past..

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waltcrbs wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 1:45 PM ET

 Welcome to the 1950’s… cover it up , seal it up, maybe it will go away.

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redangus wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 1:37 PM ET

 This is totally outrageous and beyond belief – the church is hiding behind the law.

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Suecacoa wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 1:30 PM ET

 Another cover-up. Another scandal and its results swept under the rug.

Time to force the RC Church in Canada to consolidate ALL its holdings into ONE corporation that can be sued, not the archiopelago of monies and properties all squirrelled away under separate holdings to protect them from legal judgements in criminal and civil courts.

Time to start TAXING the churches too!

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westcoastskeptic wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 1:15 PM ET

 The Catholic Church never learns. Still trying to hide information. First it was the priests who sexually abused children. Now it is how much they are having to pay for those crimes against children. How can anybody support this corrupt religious body?

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Tammy C wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 1:03 PM ET

 Money is NOT the answer and it won’t change a thing.

Anyone found guilty of sexually abusing a child/youth should face jail time!! Even clergy!!!! Stop the coverup…

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luxwolf wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 12:44 PM ET

 also, i am sure that the church is gratefull that governments list churches as charitable organizations ergo ?free? to keep the monies gifted by parishioners, but my foremost concern is how complicit be the church and state to the services (of christians) for government taxations which would not be supported by church-tithes should parishioners determine only good works are of the agenda.

i suppose that is quite a mouthfull for a religious rhetorician as your self, but you think on it a while and if you need it explained come on back and i can/will educate you.

this poor human is not christian in your eyes or my own eyes where we need to hide for the cause…

and i am no sheltered public servant which has facilities for deceptions and co-operations (complicities). but i am a public servant and a good one because i remain free (as i can and am able) from the tithed and hitched of double standards, which are as guilty as sin but economically protected.

by the way. i don’t condemn anybody. i speak from impersonal reference regarding these matters and not as against church or state.

relativities…are not absolute.

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luxwolf wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 12:36 PM ET

 and ahhhhh. it may help for you to smoke some but it may also confused your messenger. i don’t know, what do you say we talk about what messages your delivery failed to expound upon..? and by which means..?

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Thefishingnut wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 12:36 PM ET

 Why not use some of this money to train priests that it is wrong to sexually abuse parishioners, and to train the church leaders that it is wrong to cover it up unless charges are brought by the abused?

Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but I have in mind that a bunch of well meaning parishioners donated or willed this money because they believed in the inherent good of the RC church, and the use of this money in this fashion is entirely inconsistent to their intentions when they donated it in the first place.

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luxwolf wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 12:35 PM ET

 cynicalso …. ” Therefore the message has always been right its just the delivery! ”

so. shall we presume what message it is you are frail to deliver..? or, would you also like me to re-interpret messages for you..?

do you pay for such labour, or merely show ingratitude for your secret competitive presumptions..?

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cynicalso wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 12:11 PM ET

 Luxwolf wrote:
“which pay them to lie to you ad nauseum in their cult sustenances or for your own special privileges to gather the sins of the exploited to their duo-purposes in morality and economy.

the habituated of social acceptance bring strange practices of love…”

Could somebody please translate what this guy is trying to convey…or.. get me some of whatever this guy’s smoking!

Sir: Don’t confuse the frailities of men with the relevance of the message. Although the means and methods of the message delivery is suspect it doesn’t mean the message has no value. The message with this religion and most religions are of peace and brotherhood and and it contains a set of rules to get there which is actually just good practice
Therefore the message has always been right its just the delivery!

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manguy wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 12:08 PM ET

 Woe to the Sheppards who mislead the flock.

Priests and bishops who have actively undermined church teaching and engaged in grossly immoral acts, will have to answer for their charges by the eternal judge.

The damage that has been done to the faithful is extraordinary. While individual members have gone astray, the Church itself, will continue on, as it is protected by thou who died for it and the Holy Spirit which sustains it.

The gates of hell will not prevail against it.

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l’acadian wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 10:44 AM ET

 You do the time do the crime. The money should come from the vatican why us the tax payer should pay for those pedophile? They ruin so many life, so desgusting……..

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Minister 2355 wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 10:04 AM ET

 Why should money donated for a good and noble cause be used for this? I think the money should come from the Vatican. They run the Roman Catholic Church so they should pay for their mistakes. I personally will not give a dime to any catholic church untill they clean up ALL of their messes and fully vet all new clergy.

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luxwolf wrote:Posted 2010/11/15
at 10:00 AM ET

 one way or the other the church and state shall have their over-the-table agreement that sex for hire is acceptable practice as economic motive or economic penalty. and you of the congregations…which pay them to lie to you ad nauseum in their cult sustenances or for your own special privileges to gather the sins of the exploited to their duo-purposes in morality and economy.

the habituated of social acceptance bring strange practices of love…

but of their authorities…do they elect or enforce…?

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