Sex abuse settlement brokered by Nova Scotia Catholic diocese comes to a close

Montreal Gazette

By Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press
October 31, 2012

HALIFAX – A Roman Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia will try to close a dark chapter in its history this week as it wraps up a sex abuse settlement with 125 people, but the lawyer representing them says they continue to heal their emotional wounds.

The final instalment of a $16-million compensation settlement for confirmed and alleged victims of sexual abuse is due Thursday from the Diocese of Antigonish, bringing a close to a long legal process spearheaded by Ronald Martin.

Martin launched a class-action lawsuit against the diocese after his brother wrote a suicide note in 2002 alleging Hugh Vincent MacDonald, a priest, sexually abused him. MacDonald was charged with sex-related offences in 2003 but died a year later before the court process concluded.

Martin’s concerns prompted dozens of people to come forward with similar allegations dating back more than 60 years against several priests who worked for the diocese.

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