N.B. diocese to offer apology, money for abuse
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst will offer an official apology and compensation for abuse that took place in northern New Brunswick as far back as 1959.
Rev. Wesley Wade released a statement to the media on Tuesday indicating the Catholic diocese would offer an apology and financial compensation to the 35 complainants who identified themselves to retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache during a conciliation process.
Bastarache was hired by the diocese after Levi Noel, an 84-year-old former priest, was convicted of 22 sex-related offences and Charles Picot, a former priest who had worked in Dalhousie, was charged with indecent assault. Noel's offences took place between 1959 and 1981.
Bastarache has not commented to the media since handing in his report to the diocese on Monday.
The retired judge established a financial compensation package for the victims that outlined a scale for potential payment.
Bastarache created five categories of alleged assaults that range from unwanted touching to sexual assault.
He then created subcategories that dealt with the long-term consequences of the assaults, such as the individual's inability to finish school, whether they were able to hold a job or, in some cases, their decision to attempt suicide.
It is not known how much Bastarache is recommending the victims receive or whether the church will accept the report in its entirety.
Bastarache said he then reviewed various legal precedents for compensation given to other sexual assault victims to come up with a payment range.
The diocese's statement said individuals can continue to come forward to Bastarache until Dec. 1. Nine of the 45 people who came forward to meet Bastarache have declined to be a part of the conciliation process.
They are opting to take the church to court instead.