We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
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!

Progress toward our March expenses ($28,792 to go):
$35,000.00 $6,207.70
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.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

To talk of many things 8 hours ago
The stumbling block of morality on Self-Deprecation Day 9 hours ago
Opening Ourselves to Meaning and Purpose March 5
A thin-skinned Vatican spokesman harms his own standing March 5
Pope Francis prevails in Round I of battle for Vatican reform March 5

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5