July 23, 2005

Catholic diocese makes first payment to victims of sexual abuse

CNW Telbec

CORNER BROOK, NL, July 22 /CNW/ - Ernst & Young Inc., on behalf of the
Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. George's and in its capacity as
trustee, today paid $1.9 million to creditors of the Corporation.
On July 5, 2005 the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador approved
the Corporation's proposal that the creditors of the Roman Catholic Episcopal
Corporation of St. George's had approved overwhelmingly on May 25, 2005.
Total payments under the settlement agreement will amount to in excess of
$13.1 million.
In 1990 Kevin Bennett, then a priest of the Diocese of St. George's, was
sentenced for the sexual abuse of 36 young men over a period of almost 20
years and served four years in prison. Since that time a number of victims
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.
On March 8, 2005 the Corporation filed a Notice of Intention to file a
proposal pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, which effected a
"stay of proceedings" in civil actions against the Corporation. The intent of
the filing was 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.

Posted by kshaw at July 23, 2005 07:43 AM