Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $40,250 to go. Please donate!
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 ($127,743 to go):
$150,000.00 $22,256.70
85% 15%
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 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 0 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics 21 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6