Judge OKs another class action lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by priests at Clercs de St-Viateur

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Thursday, October 18th 2018 – 3:20 pm

Shuyee Lee


Shuyee Lee/CJAD 800

A Quebec judge has given the greenlight to another class action lawsuit targetting a religious order that has already had to pay out millions in a record settlement in a separate class action alleging sexual abuse of students by its priests.

The Clercs de St-Viateur announced this morning it would no longer be contesting this second class action lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by members of the religious order since the 1950s.

Over 20 men alleging they were victims were present in the courtroom.

The Clercs de St-Viateur and the Montreal Institute for the Deaf (now the Institut Raymond-Dewar) paid out a settlement of a record $30M to 150 sexual abuse victims in 2016. That lawsuit was launched in 2010 and authorized in 2012.

One of the lawyers in the current case Virginie Dufresne-Lemire said this lawsuit goes further.

“We’re targetting every victim who has been sexually assaulted by a member of the Clercs de St-Viateur. So it’s all the victims, it’s not just one institution,” said Dufresne-Lemire in an interview with CJAD 800.

So far 80 victims have come forward. Dufresne-Lemire said there could be hundreds of others. They are putting out notices for other possible victims to step forward.

“For many of them, they never talked about it because they did not know. They thought they were the only one and almost everyone tells us this. So to know there are other victims, I think this can help,” said Dufresne-Lemire.

This new class action lawsuit was launched in November of last year.

Anyone needing more information can contact the law firm at actioncsv@adwavocats.com or (514) 522-0505.

17 Responses to Judge OKs another class action lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by priests at Clercs de St-Viateur

  1. bc says:

    Five Viatorians aged 78-88 were arrested by the Quebec Provincial Police Tuesday June 23rd at their retirement home in Joliette facing many charges for crimes alleged to have occured in Viatorian institutions in Rigaud, Matane, Pohénégamook et La Minerve between 1961-1989. There are now over 300 victims joined in a civil class action against the Viatorians.

  2. bc says:

    Of the 5 St-Viateur clerics who were busted at the Viatoran`s luxurious retirement home in Joliette Quebec earlier this week; one Brother Laurent Madore was convicted in 2015 by justice Anne-Marie Jacques and another one Father Gérard Whissell, had been acquitted in 2014 on a reasonable doubt as to his identity but justice Odette Perron had commented in her decision that she was convinced that the plantif had been sexually assaulted.

    That`s Catholic math for your charitable buck at work for you in the greatest charity scam in history: it don`t matter how many perverts are being covered-up in religious orders and/or Dioceses because the sum of all of them minus the occasional Cardinal who flies over the cuckoos nest equals zero tolerance for clerical abuse.

  3. bc says:

    I`m using this thread to inform victims of clerical abuse in Québec and advocates outside of it; that Bill 55, An Act to amend the Civil Code, in particular to make civil actions for sexual aggression, violence suffered during childhood and spousal violence imprescriptible was unanimously passed 121 votes for to 0 votes against and received assent last June 12th at Québec`s National Assembly.

    This Act is significant because it removes statutes of limitations for civil actions involving the continuum of criminal offences under the umbrella of clerical abuse. It also creates a window of 3 years to allow victims who had their claims previously dismissed because of statutes of limitations to re-instigate their civil actions.

    For historical reasons, the Catholic Church in Québec was in control of most of Québec`s institutions untill the 1970`s. The Diocese of Montreal in particular had quietly been lobbying against Bill 55 during the past year while deploying a very deceptive public relations campaign, a cover-up of clerical abuse disguised as an independent investigation and meaningless public gestures designed to tranquilize victims of clerical abuse. Virtually all of Québec`s religious orders lobbied against Bill 55 fearing an avalanche of civil litigation.

    Failed religious (dis)orders such as the willfully blind and pervert friendly Clerics of St-Viateur, who carelessly exposed tens of thousands of children to it`s clerical perverts in it`s schools and then covered-up for them are now looking at bankruptcy proceedings to allow them to freeze any activity including the disclosure of evidence to
    financially exhaust claimants.

    A reminder that there is no statute of limitations for criminal offences in Canada.

  4. Phil Johnson says:

    Thanks for staying on top of this and keeping us informed. Greatly appreciated.

    • bc says:

      Not a problem Phil.
      There are conflicting reports regarding the rap sheets of some of the 5 Clerics of St-Viateur who were busted and perp. walked last week. Of the five there might also have been a third one who was previously convicted also. I can`t sort out the names… there are just too many members of this religiously social disorder who have been charged and/or convicted living a very comfortable life in it’s luxurious retirement homes.

      That perp. walk last week was a message Phil. Brian Ford who`s one of the plaintiffs in this latest bust, is also a cop in Terrebonne Québec.
      And he enjoyed seeing it too.

      And as Sylvia would say; – keep these victims in your prayers.

  5. bc says:

    Three more Clerics of St-Viateur were arrested additionally to the five who were busted last week. Québec`s Provincial Police is still investigating this order`s criminal activity as more information is coming to their attention. Father Claude Gariépy, Father Jean-Maurice O’Leary and a third unnamed priest have also been arrested and charged in St-Viateur retirement residences.
    Anyone with information on the suspects can call the Sûreté du Québec at 1 800-659-4264.
    source: https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/former-quebec-teachers-charged-with-gross-indecency-child-abuse/ar-BB16aaLu

    • Phil Johnson says:

      What a cesspool of pervert collars there!! your description of that “religious disorder” seems really appropriate.

      • bc says:

        Sylvia had blogged about the St-Viateurs in 2010 as they had also targeted defenseless deaf children see here: https://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/rc-scandal/canada-2/canada/sex-abuse-lawsuit-targets-school-for-deaf/

        The unnamed St-Viateur who was arrested is Brother Rosaire Blais who I`m sad to report, worked for 28 years at the St-Viateur`s clerical abuse branch in Port-au-Prince Haiti. An warrant was indeed issued for his arrest last June 19th at the St-Viateur`s address in Outremont. Brother Blais is charged with offences against one victim which are alleged to have occurred 65 +years ago (i.e. in the 1950’s)

        This is a big deal in Québec Phil. For decades St-Viateur schools were considered among the best in the world but having attented a private catholic school in Québec myself, there were always rumors about the St-Predators. There`s an on going class action against them right now, as there was another a few years ago and it`s not the last one.

        Let there be no doubt: the Roman Cathollic Church recruits, trains, covers-up and protects perverts. You should see the luxurious real estate where these St-Viateurs were busted Phil…
        These charity scammers are not poor, they are not chaste and they only obey to what thrills them; which is to prey on vulnerable persons.

        • Phil Johnson says:

          Just sickens me to read this and think of how many victims they created. Hoping there’s a special hell for each pervert collar and their protectors. Your diligence in keeping things in the news is appreciated. Take care.

  6. bc says:

    Quebec St-Viateur priest Father Jean Pilon plead guilty to 12 counts of gross indecency and sentenced to 42 months. 12 counts dropped in guilty plea deal. He had previously been convicted and had been sentenced to a suspended sentence.

    58 victims name him in the civil action against his order.


  7. Phil Johnson says:

    Glad he’s going to jail even if the sentence is not long enough. And about the civil suit…I hope they clean out that order’s accounts and bankrupt them. I wish those 58 victims all the best in their lawsuit. Thanks for this update bc.

    • bc says:

      In 2019, J.E. (French for Investigative Journalism) which is a Quebec tv show similar to 60 Minutes in the USA went undercover inside the St-Viateur’s luxury retirement homes with hidden cameras. They actually spoke with Father Pilon who had already been convicted (and was going to be convicted again this year). The journalists questioned him while he living the good life (until his incarceration this summer). He told them he had no regrets and that his order supported him. Later on, this time identifying themselves as journalists, they caught up with him in a parking lot. Father Pilon had nothing to say. – Speak to our media rep. he said.

      The Truth speaks for the speechless so that those who refuse to hear them may not know It.

      see the TVA story here:

  8. Phil Johnson says:

    So sad that he has no regrets and continues to get the support from his order. It’s maddening to see how he is so matter of factly about it. Come to think of it, that whole church is matter of factly about the abuse perpetrated by their pervert collars. The thoughts I get when thinking of how callous they all are towards victims are not very Christian-like. If we were living for an eye for an eye, they would likely cower and beg for mercy from us. Thanks for the link, although disheartening it does strengthen my resolve to oppose them as much as I can.

    • bc says:

      Father Pilon performed a rehearsed statement at his sentencing hearing. To the survivors present in the courtroom he said: – I hold you inside me. I am demolished. He said it after hearing his victim`s impact statements. They mocked him. Loudly.

      If, as the saying goes, you can`t beat them, trust in those who can. 42 months for 12 victims was not a long sentence. But 42 seconds can last a long long time Phil. It all depends who you`re spending it with.

      Stay healthy Phil. Don`t catch COVID!

      • Phil Johnson says:

        So glad they mocked him and hoping their voices echo inside him for eternity. We are all double vaccinated in my family…we’re doing our part to stay healthy for sure. Hoping you and your do the same, bc. Stay safe!

        Remember to trust in God, not in that church.

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