High Court Ruling Means Roman Catholic Church Responsible for Mount Cashel Sexual Abuse

January 14, 2021

(Mount Cashel Orphanage, circa 1942.)

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied an attempt by the Roman Catholic Church in St. John’s to appeal a ruling that found the church responsible for abuse at Mount Cashel Orphanage.

That means the Church must pay damages to dozens of victims of abuse dating back to the 1950s.

Geoff Budden, the victims’ lawyer, says it brings to an end a decades-long legal battle over sex abuse at the orphanage.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of St. John’s said its lawyers must review and analyze the ruling before making public comment.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal ruled in July that the Church was on the hook for the abuse.

But in September, the archdiocese asked to appeal that decision, saying the ruling set a precedent with “profound implications” for its future operations.

Budden says the archdiocese will have to pay about $2-million, which will be shared by the four lead plaintiffs, who are now in their 70s and 80s, as well as dozens of others affected by the abuse. Some of the victims have since passed away since the initial claim was initiated 30 years ago.








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