NOVA SCOTIA (CANADA)
Canadian Lawyers Magazine
September 25, 2020
By Bernise Carolino
Archdiocese has policy of secrecy when dealing with alleged sexual abusers, class plaintiff says
Catholic priest sexual abuse class action will move forward, Nova Scotia court decides
The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has certified a class action filed on behalf of individuals alleging sexual assault or battery by priests from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth from 1960 until the present.
The statement of claim alleged that the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax-Yarmouth, which is the formal name of the Archdiocese, knew of numerous acts of sexual abuse committed by its priests, with at least four priests being criminally convicted of sexual assault.
The Archdiocese would send priests accused of sexual misconduct to a treatment facility, then would allow these priests to return to their parishes, without bothering to notify or to warn parishioners, said the statement of claim.
Douglas Champagne, class plaintiff, alleged that he was sexually assaulted by Father George Epoch, which resulted in lasting and permanent impacts on his life. The class action claimed that the Archdiocese has a policy of secrecy, spanning decades, regarding priests accused of sexual misconduct.
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