Sunday, August 13, 2017

Basilians and Columbus Boys’ Camp: Former student alleges repeated abuse by Calgary priest, high school teacher

When Brian was a teenager, he attended the funeral of a man he says sexually abused him for months.

He sat in St. Mary’s Cathedral in January of 1983, for the special funeral mass presided over by the bishop: a solemn occasion befitting the untimely death of a much-loved priest.

“It was huge. Everyone in full regalia, and I was just one little person in this whole church,” recalls Brian.

“They saw him as a saint.”

On Wednesday, a lawsuit was filed in Calgary court against a religious order of the Catholic church, alleging decades-old sexual abuse at the hands of a Calgary priest and teacher at Bishop Grandin High School that left a former Calgary resident permanently scarred.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. Postmedia has agreed not to publish the plaintiff’s full name.

The suit is one of the first of its kind to be filed in Alberta since the province eliminated the two-year time limitation for victims of sexual abuse to sue in civil court, bringing the province in line with most Canadian jurisdictions, including Ontario and B.C.

The 53-year-old plaintiff is a former head altar boy, Catholic youth group member and Bishop Grandin student who alleges he was repeatedly abused by Father Frederick Cahill for several months in 1981.

Cahill was a priest and English teacher at Bishop Grandin from 1969 until his death in 1983. He also directed the Search program for youth in the Calgary diocese and was chaplain to the Columbus Boys’ Camp at Waterton Lakes National Park.  (more...)


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