95 CKNB (Campbellton, N.B.)
Last updated: 2012-08-24 10:23:39
By Vic Negus.
The bishop of Bathurst says critics of the process by which the diocese reached settlements with victims of sexual abuse by clerics in the diocese are wrong in wanting to take their cases to court.
Most Reverend Valery Vienneau calls the independent reconciliation process for the victims of former priest Levi Noel and other clerics, which has been accepted by 80 of the 86 victims, a success.
The process was overseen independently by retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Basterache. Bishop Vienneau says he has spoken with many of the victims and they praised the process as being speedy, fair and dignified. He says they are grateful that they did not have to share a large part of their compensation with lawyers.
In a press release, the bishop says the Ontario lawyer, not named in the release, who now publicly criticizes the process represented a number of people who successfully participated in the process and who, with the lawyer’s counsel, accepted awards. Bishop Vienneau also says a number of victims who criticize the process did not even participate. He says they suggest their lawsuit is about seeing that further details come to light, intimating that they believe the diocese is hiding something or has denied its failures in acknowledging mishandling of Noel and others.