01 November 2011
By QMI Agency
A report outlining allegations of sexual assault at the hands of New Brunswick’s Catholic clergy and recommendations for financial compensation will be released Monday.
Former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache will present his report to the Diocese of Bathurst.
The diocese hired Bastarache to conduct the report as the final step in a conciliation process aimed at avoiding a court battle. Bastarache met with 45 victims, nine of whom decided to opt out of the conciliation process.
Levi Noel, 84, was convicted of 22 sex-related offences stemming from his days as priest in New Brunswick, and former priest Charles Picot has been charged with indecent assault. However, Bastarache said he’s learned of other priests who allegedly perpetrated sex crimes.
Bastarache organized the victims into categories based on the seriousness of the crimes committed against them, ranging from unwanted touching to sexual assault, and subcategories based on consequences they’ve experienced, such as the inability to hold a job or suicidal tendencies.
Based on those categories, he made recommendations for compensation set-up and a pay scale. The diocese will decide whether to accept those recommendations. If it does, Bastarache will personally deliver the payments, so as to protect the victims’ identities.
It’s been a full year since the wrap of the Bathurst Diocese/Bastarche deal was supposedly just around the corner.
Remember all the fan-fare?
And then remember the whole process seemed to chug to a grinding halt?
And then remember there was the whole business of getting permission from the courts of the land to raid the seminary fund?
And there was the tap dancing regarding release of the names of all those clerical molesters whose identities were divulged to Bastarche but have never been publicly identified
And then months upon months of nothing.
What has taken so long? Something obviously went seriously amiss with the whole process. What?
No matter, the process has probably worked, at least for the diocese. Court battles have been avoided hence all files, evidence and identities of previously unknown clerical molesters names are well under wraps. Unless there is a sudden change of heart that’s the way it will stay.
Are the victims gagged? Is that part of the deal?
We shall see….