July 06, 2005

Abuse lawsuit names retired bishop, Vatican

CBC News

Last updated Jul 6 2005 11:48 AM EDT

CBC NEWS A $3-million lawsuit claiming sexual abuse has been filed against the Vatican, the Roman Catholic College of Cardinals, a dead priest, and a retired bishop who used to work in the Cornwall area.

Former altar boy Adrien Donat St. Louis alleges Eugene Larocque sexually abused him in the 1970s at Saint James Church in Maxville, Ont., about 30 kilometres north of Cornwall.

St. Louis claims Larocque exposed himself and repeatedly asked the boy to masturbate him.

Laroque strongly denies the allegations.

"It's not true. I can swear on a stack of bibles it's not true," he said.

Larocque says he doesn't remember who St. Louis is, and that all of the accusations against him have hurt him, his family and the church. He says the only way he's been able to stay sane is through prayer.

Ontario Provincial Police started investigating Larocque in the 1990s as part of Project Truth, a larger investigation into claims of sexual abuse by a group of people in the Cornwall area.

Project Truth resulted in 114 charges against 15 men, including doctors, lawyers and Catholic priests. Only one person was ever convicted.

Larocque was not among those charged.

Posted by kshaw at July 6, 2005 01:02 PM