Category: Antigonish Diocese Class Action

The #MeToo Effect: Childhood Sexual Abuse Claims Against the Catholic Church

by John McKiggan

The Catholic Church, for many, is a place of sanctuary, family and faith; for others, however, it is a painful reminder of systemic sexual abuse that has affected the lives of children for decades. While the Church actively condemns sexual abuse in every form in its public schools, survivors of child abuse are still driven to silence over what happened to them—either recently, or decades in the past.


Courtesy CBC

The #MeToo movement, in recent years, has empowered those who have previously been silenced to speak up—and speak out—against their abusers, and in some cases, the organizations responsible for shielding these abusers from legal repercussions.

Lahey’s Sentencing Delayed

by John McKiggan

In May former Antigonish Bishop Raymond Lahey pleaded guilty to pssession of child pornography. Lahey surprised the court by voluntarily asking to be incarcerated while waiting for his sentencing hearing.

I have already speculated about the reasons behind this move Lahey Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography

On Friday Lahey was supposed to be back in court for his sentencing hearing. But the hearing has now been delayed because the psychiatrist hired to conduct a psychological examinaition has not provided a copy of his clinical file to the Crown Prosecutors.

Pope begs forgiveness from sexual abuse victims: But will he take action?

by John McKiggan

Pope “Begs” for Forgiveness

At a mass with some 15,000 priests marking the end of the Roman Catholic Church’s Year for Priests, the Pope asked for forgiveness from victims of priest sexual abuse:

“We … insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again,”

2 Million Canadians Know Someone Abused by Priests: Poll

by John McKiggan

Millions of Canadians know someone who has been sexually abused by a priest according to an Ipsos Reid survey released today.

2 Million Canadians Know Abuse Victims

According to study conducted for Canwest News Service, at least 2 million Canadians claim to know someone who has been sexually abused by a Catholic priest. This is an extraordinary, and disturbing, finding. Sexual abuse is a crime of secrecy. Many survivors, perhaps the majority, never tell anyone about the abuse they have suffered. If there are 2 million Canadians who claim to personally know a survivor of priest sexual abuse, then one has to be concerned that the actual number of victims is much higher.

Some of the other findings of the survey:

John McKiggan Presenting at Institutional Liability for Sexual Assault and Abuse Conference

by John McKiggan

I have been invited to speak at the Canadian Institute’s Ninth National Summit on Institutional Liability for Sexual Assault and Abuse.

My presentation is Overcoming Key Hurdles in Bringing and Defending Child Sexual Assault and Abuse Claims.

The conference is taking place in Toronto April 7-8, 2010.

Antigonish Priest Abuse Class Action Decision Released

by John McKiggan

Justice David MacAdam has released his written reasons certifying Ron Martin’s class action against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish and approving the settlement agreement to compensate victims of priest sexual abuse.

His Lordship Justice MacAdam reviewed in detail the requirements for certification and settlement approval. At paragraph 63 of his decision Justice MacAdam concluded:

I am satisfied on the basis of the submissions and evidence that the action meets the criteria for certification pursuant to ss. 6 and 7 of the Class Proceedings Act.

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