Top court to hear Saint Joseph’s Oratory appeal in sexual assault case

Share Button

Institution believes it is ‘exceptionally targeted’ in alleged victims’ class-action


The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal from Montreal’s iconic Saint Joseph’s Oratory which seeks to exclude the institution from a sexual assault class action suit.

The Quebec Court of Appeal had allowed the suit against the oratory and the Congregation of Holy Cross for alleged sexual abuse.

The oratory was included in the suit amid allegations that some of the abuse occurred there.

Holy Cross is the religious order that built the oratory and continues to provide religious services on the site.

Allegations date back to 1950s

The initiator of the suit, referred to only as “J.J.”, alleges that he was sexually assaulted by members of the Holy Cross congregation while he was a student at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges elementary school and at the oratory in the 1950s.

He asked the court to authorize the class action after seeing a 2011 report by Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête on sexual assaults committed by members of the congregation, according to a summary produced by the Supreme Court.

The oratory, which filed its leave request in November, said it is “exceptionally targeted as the only place cited and as an institution” in the latest lawsuit.

The Congregation of Holy Cross apologized and paid up to $18 million in 2013 to compensate victims for abuse that occurred at three Quebec institutions over a five-decade span. It did not include the oratory.

A spokesman for a victims’ rights group says the landmark settlement prompted about 40 new alleged victims to come forward, resulting in the class action suit.

As usual in leaves to appeal, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for deciding to hear the appeal.

2 Responses to Top court to hear Saint Joseph’s Oratory appeal in sexual assault case

  1. bc says:

    The Supreme Court of Canada has authorized a 2nd class action against the Holy Cross order.

    see here:

Leave a Reply