Last Updated: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | 2:58 PM AT
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, N.B., wants to be able to use money set aside to train future clergy to help compensate people sexually assaulted by a priest in the past.
Rev. Wesley Wade, the bishop of the diocese, has asked the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench, which deals with such requests, to allow it to take money from a trust fund used to help educate people entering the priesthood.
The trust fund consists of money left to the church over the years.
The lawyer for the church said the amount of money in the trust far exceeds its intended use.
In legal papers, the lawyer said only seven people who wanted to enter the priesthood have asked for financial help in the last 15 years.
The church also asked that files pertaining to the case be sealed and that a hearing on the matter be closed to the public.
But Justice Frederick Ferguson denied both requests. He scheduled a hearing for Monday in Moncton to deal with the matter.
Former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache was hired by the diocese to conduct conciliation earlier this year after an 84-year-old former priest, Levi Noel, pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault against 18 boys between 1958 and 1980.
The conciliation process identified 35 people who deserve compensation and apologies as a result of being abused. Individuals can come forward to Bastarache until Dec. 1.
Nine who had already come forward during the process have chosen to take the church to court instead.
at 2:51 PM ET
at 2:37 PM ET
The RC Church has hidden their perversions and allowed predetors to be transfered rather than have them face criminal charges for far too long.
These deviants (and this includes those that have covered up the actions of these priests, no matter how high up in the organization they are) need to be exposed, held accountable and face the full extent of the law.
Leave the files and the process open to the public, please. Then we will all have a better understanding of how this criminal organization has been permitted to carry on for so long, damaging so many inocent children along the way.
at 2:32 PM ET
Oh oh! More trouble on the horizon.
What do you suppose this is all about?
My first thought is that the deadline for the diocese/Bastarche deal was extended to allow time to scramble to get the dollars together.
Good for Justice Ferguson. Good for him for refusing to let this fiasco transpire behind closed doors.
I am not in favour of dipping into the trust fund to pay for the sins and crimes of molesting clergy. That money was put there by good decent souls solely to cover costs of the formation of future priests.
The fact that only 7 have utilised the fund in the past 15 years is irrelevant. By the grace of God the day will come when the Church is healthy, the molesters and those who protect them are gone, and young men with a true calling are thronging to seminaries. The money is there to help them. It must not be touched. As Thefishingnut blogged:
Let those clergy who brought us to this sad state dip into their own pockets. They want to make ammends? Let them tithe. Let those who turned a blind eye to the molesters in their midst sell their cottages and put the money into the pot.
Final thought: How much are the Father Charles Picot’s paying into the fund?
P.S. I hope there is someone in the Moncton area who can get into the courtroom and watch this fiasco play out in the public eye.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul.
And, what’s in the files? Finacial statements without doubt. Perhaps a canon lawyer’s statement assuring that such abuse of the faithful’s contributions and intent is all according to Hoyle and in accord with Church law?
Perhaps, – perhaps the names of molsters?
We shall see…
Come to think of it, since the Bastarche report presumably hasn’t been tenderd and won’t be until end month, how does the diocese know how much money it needs?
More info: 10 November 2010: New Brunswick Catholic diocese seeks to pay sex abuse victims from training fund
It looks as though the hearing may be in Bathurst?