Ottawa, Canada, Mar 25, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled yesterday that three dozen former altar boys, who sexually abused by a Newfoundland priest, could sue the local Catholic diocese as well as the convicted priest. But the court stopped short in declaring whether the entire Catholic Church can be held liable for damages, reported the Canadian Press, reserving the decision for another day.
Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing for a unanimous nine-member bench, said the parties simply hadn't presented enough facts to resolve that issue, reported CP.
"The record before us is too weak to permit the court . . . to responsibly embark on the important and difficult question of whether the Roman Catholic Church can be held liable," wrote McLachlin.
At issue in this case was who could be sued for the sexual assaults committed by Newfoundland priest, Fr. Kevin Bennett, who admitted his guilt and was sentenced to four years in prison in the early 1990s.