Saturday May 12, 2012 AT 10:00 PM ET/PT on CBC News Network
|Video Problems?||The full episode is only available inside Canada.|
Breaking the Silence is an unforgettable documentary that uncovers a new sex scandal and accusations of a cover up within the Catholic Church. In 2009, five Canadians united with men from around the world on the Internet - and together they uncovered a long history of sexual, physical and mental abuse at two boarding schools. The schools, in England and Tanzania, were run by the Rosminians, a Catholic Order.
The men had stayed silent for decades, each thinking he was the only one. Now, in the North American premiere of Breaking the Silence, they speak for the first time on camera about the abuse they endured and the tragic effects on the rest of their lives. The Canadians who speak out in the film come from across the country: Francis Lionnet is a Montreal resident; Wayne Mollison lives in Calgary; Bill Tierney is a resident and former mayor of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec; and John Poppleton is a Canadian citizen now living in San Francisco.
The men took their claims, against four priests, to the head of the Rosminian Order. Confronted with the accusations, all of the priests wrote letters of apology to the men. But the abuse was never publicly disclosed and the Rosminians continue to deny all liability.
Now 22 of the men, including the five Canadians, have started legal proceedings against the Rosminian Order for compensation. They want justice. But half a century has passed and the priests are now elderly. What will it take to repair the damage and for the victims to feel able to move on?
The BBC aired a version of this documentary on June 21, 2011. The next day, Father David Myers issued a statement on behalf of the Rosminian order in Britain.