We have $163,080 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Canada: diocese, attorneys differ over obligation to report abuse allegations to police

Catholic World News - January 04, 2013

A New Brunswick archdiocese and attorneys for abuse victims are engaging in a public dispute over whether the archdiocese is obligated to report abuse allegations to police immediately.

Asking for “forgiveness from the victims and their families,” Archbishop Valéry Vienneau of Moncton announced on December 30 that he had removed two priests from ministry following allegations. According to an archdiocesan statement, one of the priests was removed from ministry in July, while the other, now 82, had retired in 1992. There was no explanation from the archdiocese about the reason for the delay in announcing the first priest’s suspension.

In June, the archdiocese had announced that Michel Bastarache, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, had agreed to serve as “independent conciliator” in order to “to design and direct a process to identify victims of sexual abuse” committed by a different priest. After Bastarache learned of the allegations against the two recently suspended priests, he reported them to the archdiocese but not to police.

“The bishop can’t give [police] the names because he doesn’t have them, and I can’t give them because I have a confidentiality agreement with the victims," said Bastarache, who added that he encouraged victims to report allegations to the police. “It has to be a victim that goes to the police and not somebody with third-party information.”

“You name me any other institution, school board, a daycare, or a boys’ home that would not immediately react with disgust and outrage and drag the information down to the police station before the end of that same day,” countered attorney Robert Talach.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($163,080 to go):
$200,000.00 $36,919.72
82% 18%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Gay Vatican official who 'came out' may influence Synod in a way he didn't expect--or want 16 hours ago
Another serial killer? Blame 'religious rage.' 19 hours ago
At Synod's opening session, evidence of a different dynamic 21 hours ago
Preparing for the Synod on the Family October 2
Making sense of the Pope's message to America–including the Kim Davis meeting October 2

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope issues new rules to streamline annulment process CWN - September 8
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5