Ottawa, Canada, Feb 1, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The Supreme Court of Canada reserved its decision in a case that has the Canadian government and victims' lawyers arguing that the Catholic Church, as a whole, should be found suable in order to settle sexual-abuse and residential-school claims.
Two years ago, the Episcopal Corporation of St. George’s, Nfld., asked the Supreme Court to hear its appeal, after a Newfoundland court had found the diocese responsible for sexual abuses committed by Fr. Kevin Bennett. The priest, now 70, was sentenced to four years in the early1990s on more than 30 counts.
But victims seeking compensation have been unable to find sufficient funds to satisfy judgments in their favor and are now seeking the legal right to sue the Church as a whole.
The Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides Jan. 14.