Blame tough lives of priests’ victims on economy, not abuse, says church


January 17, 2018

By Gabrielle Fahmy

Archdiocese says lawsuits over sexual assaults are ‘unreasonable’ and it should not have to pay compensation

The Archdiocese of Moncton continues to deny responsibility for the sexual assaults against children that its priests are accused of having committed decades ago.

In two new documents filed in court, the archdiocese says it should not have to pay compensation, whether the abuse happened or not.

It also says if victims had difficulty making a living, it is because of economic, linguistic and other factors present in New Brunswick at the time, rather than the emotional and psychological trauma they suffered.

The documents are statements of defence in response to civil lawsuits alleging abuse at the hands of former priests Yvon Arsenault and Camille Leger.

Arsenault was sent to prison for four years, after admitting to molesting young boys when he was a priest in Shediac and Collette in the 1970s.

Camille Leger died in 1991 before he was ever accused of any crimes. He was priest at Sainte-Therese-d’Avila parish in Cap Pelé from 1957 to 1980 and is estimated to have abused more than 100 boys.

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