Holy Cross dragging heels on $18 M sex abuse compensation: victims
Victims of a decades-old sex scandal will have to keep waiting for compensation, more than a year after the Holy Congregation has agreed to pay up.
Victims of the Holy Cross sex abuse scandal – a congregation which has recognized abuse at several of the schools it ran in Quebbec – were in court Tuesday trying to force the religious order to speed up the slow payment process.
So far, only half of the 223 cases have been settled since an agreement to pay out the victims was reached in December 2011. Some of the abuses stretch back 50 years, and which some victims have died, and many of the abusers have either died or are too old to face trial, the compensation is the only form of justice the victims expect to see.
The situation is complex, however, said CTV’s Stephane Giroux. Each case has to be examined individually in the presence of an arbitrator, since the victims attended different schools, at different years, with different abusers.
Each case, and the payment, must be established on its own merits and settlements will range from $10,000 to $250,000, depending on the extent of the abuse.
The judge ruled that assessors were working at a reasonable pace, and could not say they were acting in bad faith. However it will still take months, and possibly another full year, before the case is over.
Abuse within the Holy Cross congregation (Congregation de Sainte-Croix in French), is acknowledged to have begun soon after World War II and persisted for decades.
When the settlement was announced in October 2011, about 80 former students had come forward with tales of sex abuse in several institutions, including College Notre-Dame in Cote-des-Neiges during the since the 1950s.
That number grew to several hundred as victims found the courage to come forward after enduring decades of silence.
But even 50 or 60 or years later, the victims are still dealing with the emotional effects of the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of priests and religious figures.