March 08, 2005

Catholic diocese seeks stay of proceedings

Canada NewsWire Group

CORNER BROOK, NL, March 8 /CNW/ - The Most Rev. Douglas Crosby, Bishop of
St. George's Diocese, today announced that the Roman Catholic Episcopal
Corporation of St. George's, the civil arm of the Diocese, filed a Notice of
Intention to file a proposal pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

This filing will effect a "stay of proceedings" in civil actions against the
Corporation including those launched since 1991 on behalf of 36 victims of
sexual abuse by Kevin Bennett, then a priest of St. George's Diocese. The
intent of the filing is to provide the Corporation with adequate time to
develop a proposal to its creditors offering a better compensation plan than
would be available if the Corporation were forced to declare bankruptcy.

In 1990 Bennett was sentenced for the sexual abuse of a number of young
men over a period of almost 20 years and served four years in prison. Since
that time a number of victims have launched civil suits at a total claimed
value in excess of $50 million. In March 2004 the Supreme Court of Canada
found the Corporation directly and vicariously liable for claims by
36 individuals.

Posted by kshaw at March 8, 2005 05:33 PM