Court authorizes new class action against Catholic congregation in Quebec

first_imgMONTREAL – The Quebec Court of Appeal has authorized a new class action lawsuit against a major Roman Catholic organization for alleged sexual abuse committed by some of its members.The decision overturns a 2015 Superior Court of Quebec ruling rejecting the class action request.The Congregation of Holy Cross apologized and paid up to $18 million in 2013 to compensate victims for abuse that occurred at three Quebec institutions over a five-decade span.That agreement stemmed from an out-of-court mediated settlement, spurred by the threat of a class-action lawsuit.A spokesman for a victims’ rights group says the landmark settlement prompted about 40 new alleged victims to come forward.Sebastien Richard says the current class-action names more institutions, including Montreal’s iconic Saint Joseph’s Oratory.In a phone interview, Richard pointed out that the oratory is Canada’s largest church and reports directly to the Vatican, which could lead to embarrassment on the church’s part if the class-action is successful.He also accused the religious order of doing what it could to “drag out” the process, noting that time is running out for many of the alleged victims, many of whom are elderly.“They’re also people who have kept silent for a long time — too long,” he said Wednesday.The Congregation of Holy Cross did not respond to a request for comment.last_img

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