Canadian court approves sale of Roman Catholic properties
By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) — A Canadian court has approved the sale of 42 Catholic Church properties and proceeds will go to victims who suffered sexual and physical abuse at an orphanage, local media reported Monday.
The church had previously been found responsible for the abuse of boys aged between 8 and 17 who were placed in the Mount Cashel orphanage in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Proceeds from the sale will go to victims of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The orphanage also served as a foster home for wards in the province.
Although no dollar figures were placed on the settlement with the victims, Archbishop Peter Hundt said there were plans to sell another 70 properties, presumably to compensate the victims.
The orphanage was run by the Irish Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic lay order.
Stories of abuse circulated for years and a police investigation in 1975 ended with no repercussions for the lay brothers.
But tales of abuse became more numerous and louder, and the investigation was reopened in February 1989.
“Over the next few months, the public learned that (the orphanage) had been the scene for decades of repeated acts of physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by Christian brothers against boys who lived there as wards of state,” Heritage NL reported on its website. .
“He also learned that police, government and religious authorities knew about the abuse but took little action, despite complaints from locals and confessions from two of the brothers. Local newspapers ignored or downplayed the allegations.”
The Christian Brethren apologized to the victims in 1992 and later paid C$16 million ($12.2 million), while the province paid C$11 million ($8.5 million) to the victims for his role in sending boys to the orphanage.
The sale of the 42 properties was discovered when court-appointed sales monitor Ernst & Young filed a report with the court on Monday.
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