July 30, 2020
An appellate court in Canada has upheld a ruling that holds the Archdiocese of St. John’s responsible for cases of child sexual abuse that occurred at an orphanage within its boundaries. We applaud this decision and appreciate that the court chose to put a nail in the coffin of one of the Catholic Church’s oldest arguments to avoid accountability for cases of abuse.
In this case, the Archdiocese of St. John’s argued that abuse inflicted by priests from the Christian Brothers religious order was not the responsibility of the Archdiocese, even though the children abused were from families within the Archdiocesan boundaries and the order priests worked in the Archdiocese with the permission of the Archbishop. We have long seen this same brand of hairsplitting and lack of accountability in the United States and the only time it stops is when a secular authority steps in, as has happened in this case.
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