May 09, 2005

Churches sold to compensate victims

Sydney Morning Herald

May 10, 2005 - 9:39AM

A Roman Catholic diocese in Canada's eastern province of Newfoundland will sell all of its churches and missions to come up with the money to compensate the victims of sexual assault by a priest.

The Catholic Diocese of St George's said it would sell about 150 properties to raise $US10.5 million ($A13.58 million) for the victims of Father Kevin Bennett, who was convicted in 1990 of hundreds of sexual assaults over three decades as a priest on the west coast of the island.

"Everything," Bishop Douglas Crosby said.

"All of the churches, all of the parish houses, all the missions."

Bennett pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison in the early 1990s. Now retired and in his 70s, he continues to draw a church pension.

His 39 victims launched a civil suit in 1991, claiming damages from Bennett, some of his superiors, the western Newfoundland diocese of St George's and the church as a whole.

Posted by kshaw at May 9, 2005 05:57 PM