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Newfoundland archdiocese gives update on its process for dealing with abuse claims

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Archdiocese of St. John’s, N.L., says it has nearly completed the process of selling off church properties in the city as it deals with sexual abuse claims.
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The Basilica of St. John the Baptist's twin Romanesque towers are shown in the fog in downtown St. John's on Wednesday June 1, 2022.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sarah Smellie

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Archdiocese of St. John’s, N.L., says it has nearly completed the process of selling off church properties in the city as it deals with sexual abuse claims.

Archbishop Peter Hundt issued a statement on Sunday saying all church buildings have either been offered through a tender sales process or through real estate agent listings.

Hundt says rural areas of the archdiocese will begin the same process soon.

The work is the result of a Supreme Court of Canada decision that left the church liable for abuse committed at the Mount Cashel Orphanage between the 1940s and 1960s, resulting in an abuse claims settlement of over $50 million.

Hundt says it’s hoped the claims process will be completed by this time next year and that victims and their families will have received “a measure of healing and peace.”

The archbishop says an administrative restructuring also continues and a new corporate structure for the archdiocese is planned to be implemented by Jan. 1.

Hundt said the archdiocese has worked with a court-appointed monitor and representative counsel for the claimants to finalize a call-for-claims process that allows anyone with a claim to present it.

“Through this process we will confirm the value and number of claims that must be addressed by the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s,” Hundt said.

He said the process would take several months to administer and further details would be released as it unfolds.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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