Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Quebec Court of Appeal allows man to pursue religious orders in a class-action suit

The Quebec Court of Appeal delivered a decision on Tuesday that will allow man, who alleges he was the victim of sexual abuse decades ago at the hands of a priest who served at St. Joseph’s Oratory and a religious brother who was his elementary school teacher, to pursue a class- action lawsuit against two Montreal-based religious organizations.

The decision allows the plaintiff (a man whose identity is protected by a publication ban) to pursue legal action against  the Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal (the religious order that runs the iconic basilica on Mount Royal) and Province Canadienne de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix along with a group of roughly 40 people.

The man alleged he was sexually abused, during a period when he was between eight and 10 years old, by a religious brother at the school he attended in Montreal during the 1950s  and that a priest at the oratory abused him inside the priest’s office while pretending to hear his confessions. The man alleges he was sexually abused once or twice a week for a period of two years. According to the man’s claims, he never spoke of sexual assaults to anyone until 2011, after he saw an episode of Radio-Canada’s Enquête that reported on sexual abuses inflicted on children who attended Collège Notre-Dame de Montréal.

The decision gives the man the status to represent all Quebec residents “who were subjected to sexual abuse by members of the Province Canadienne de la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix, in all teaching establishments, residences, summer camps or other locations situated in Quebec, as well as the Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal.”   (more...)

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