Leona’s story: “I don’t want this happening to anyone else’

Vancouver Sun

Douglas Todd

A letter to the editor in today’s Vancouver Sun brought back memories about the many years in which I wrote about 150 articles about clergy sex abuse, including in residential schools.

The surprising letter came from Coquitlam’s Leona Huggins, a survivor of teenage abuse at the hands of Catholic priest John Edward McCann.

Leona’s letter thanked The Sun for publishing accounts of priestly sex abuse long before the Boston Globe did it’s now-famous 2002 expose, which is featured in the riveting Oscar-nominated movie, Spotlight. Leona also warns that the goal of rooting out clergy abusers is not yet over.

I interviewed Leona in 1994. Re-reading what she went through brought back painful emotions and, of course, strong empathy.

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