Holy Cross congregation apologizes for sexual abuse
Published Thursday, October 6, 2011 6:00PM EDT
A settlement has been reached between former students and the Holy Cross Congregation over sexual abuse beginning in the 1950s.
Three institutions are involved, namely College Notre Dame in Montreal, College Saint-Cesaire and Ecole Notre Dame in Pohenegamook.
The congregation will pay $18 million in compensation to those who were sexually abused between 1950 and 2001 and has issued an apology.
Victims will be paid between $10,000 and $250,000 each.
Parents will also be eligible for $10,000 settlements.
Sadly, some are no longer alive to enjoy the moment.
Robert Cornellier's brother ended up taking his own life after suffering sexual abuse at College Notre Dame.
"He fought for almost 7-8 months before he died to bring it foreword. and now we can say that he didn't do that for nothing," said Cornellier.
Other victims want criminal charges laid.
"The end of the journey, the complete journey, will be when these people will be prosecuted," sais Sebastien Richard, abused at the age of 13.
A lawyer for the victims says the agreement is historic for Quebec in terms of the number of victims and the settlement.
Jean-Pierre Aumont, the Provincial Superior of Holy Cross, says he is truly pained by the transgressions and hopes now victims will be finally be able to heal.
"The Holy Cross congregation, which I represent, vigorously and unconditionally condemns any misconduct that could cause physical or mental abuse of a child," said Aumont.
"These acts should not have occurred. Certain members of this congregation failed in their duties and mission. As representative of this mission I deplore these mistakes and wish to apologize for the insult and sufferings endured by these victims," he said.
Watch the announcement from Jean-Pierre Aumont.