Mount Cashel Civil Trial Begins at Supreme Court

April 04, 2016

A civil trial involving the victims of Mount Cashel, the Catholic Church, and the Christian Brothers began today at Supreme Court in St. John's. The complainants were all residents of the orphanage between the 1940s and 1960s. The trial is set to be lengthy, and will continue into June.

In his opening statement this morning, lawyer Mark Frederick said the Archdiocese is not responsible for the faults of the Christian Brothers, who he says essentially acted as wardens at Mount Cashel. Lawyer for the victims, Geoff Budden, says the church has not done anything to adequately address the years of sexual and physical abuse suffered by the boys who once lived at the orphanage.

Archbishop Martin Currie was in attendance for this morning's proceedings. The first witness—a former resident of Mount Cashel - began testimony after opening statements were made this morning. His identity has been protected from publication. The man, now in his 70s, began by discussing a happy childhood before his mother died, which resulted in he and his siblings being sent to the orphanage in the 1940s. The man recalled his brother slipping on the floor the moment they entered the building, and thinking to himself "that's not a good omen." His testimony will continue this afternoon.


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