Archdiocese of St. John to Pay $60 Million to Abuse Victims

The Catholic Church has announced a significant compensation plan, allocating 104 million Canadian dollars (£60m) to victims of sexual abuse in eastern Canada.

This decision follows a pivotal legal ruling in 2020, where the Archdiocese of St. John was held accountable for widespread child sexual abuse at the now-defunct Mount Cashel Orphanage in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The abuse, perpetrated by priests and church officials, started in 1940 and spanned several decades, casting a long shadow over the institution’s history.

As reported by the Inquirer, 292 victims are set to receive compensation, with individual amounts varying between 55,000 (£31m) and 850,000 Canadian dollars (£486,285).

Ernst & Young has been appointed as an impartial party to determine each victim’s exact compensation, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

Geoff Budden, a lawyer representing the survivors, noted that the settlement aligns with similar compensation cases handled by other courts. He emphasized that the public had little awareness of the abuse’s magnitude and longevity.

Despite declaring bankruptcy in 2021, the Archdiocese of St. John managed to sell its properties and raise 40 million Canadian dollars (£22.8m).

Budden expressed confidence that the victims would receive their total compensation, highlighting that additional assets, including insurance products, are still being processed.

This settlement marks a significant step towards justice for the victims, bringing a measure of closure to a dark chapter in the church’s history.

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