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Catholic World News

Canadian bishop won't report alleged abuse to police unless victim consents

May 27, 2010

A Canadian bishop has announced that he will not formally report an incident of alleged abuse to authorities unless the alleged victim consents. Bishop David Douglas Crosby, OMI, of Corner Brook and Labrador (Newfoundland), suspended Father George Smith over an incident of abuse that allegedly took place between 1986 and 1991.

“I think we always take our lead from him [the victim],” said Bishop Crobsy. “He’s old enough to do that if he wants to.”

“Unless we get a complaint, we can’t investigate,” said a sergeant of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. “I don’t think they should leave it up to the complainant to come to us.”

“If they’re aware that a member of their organization has committed a criminal offence, (it) should be reported.”


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  • Posted by: Savonarola - May. 28, 2010 11:14 AM ET USA

    A crime is an offense against the public order and should be prosecuted by the public authorities regardless of forgiveness by the victim or the muddleheadedness of the local bishop.

  • Posted by: Biscjim - May. 27, 2010 5:30 PM ET USA

    On the surface, this looks scandalous, but beyond all the emotion and rhetoric over the issue of clerical sexual abuse, let's not forger what Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 6; we are to avoid lawsuits before pagans. Let's hope this whole scandal has been a cleansing experience, and that if both parties are willing,we are capable of dealing with our dirty laundry in house.