May 10, 2005

Abuse suit wipes out diocese

Montreal Gazette


May 10, 2005

A 16-year court battle for compensation that included a trip to the country's highest court will end soon for 39 victims of a pedophile priest.

The Catholic Diocese of St. George's says it will sell all of its churches and missions to come up with $13 million for the victims of Rev. Kevin Bennett.

"Everything," Bishop Douglas Crosby said yesterday from the diocesan headquarters in Corner Brook, Nfld. "All of the churches, all of the parish houses, all the missions."

The sale will include about 150 properties stretching from Port aux Basques to St. Anthony in western Newfoundland.

Greg Stack, the lawyer for 37 of 39 boys abused by Bennett, said they will accept the offer when an official vote takes place May 25.

"The amount of the settlement is almost secondary," Stack said. "It's been 16 years since this court action was started. I mean, they're just happy that it's over."

If all goes according to plan, victims could receive funds by late June or early July.

Posted by kshaw at May 10, 2005 04:14 AM