CANADA: A Catholic congregation in Canada’s Quebec province on Thursday apologized to former students who had suffered sex abuse in their schools and offered CAN$18 million (US$17.3 million) in compensation.
The congregation in Sainte-Croix, not far from Quebec City, made the announcement after reading an amicable agreement with the victims, former students who attended three Catholic schools from 1950 to 2001.
At least 85 of them “suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a member of the Sainte-Croix congregation or a lay person while they were attending one of these educational institutions,” the community said in a statement.
“More victims could come forward to be added to the list of complainants. Each will receive CAN$10,000-250,000, based on the severity of the crimes committed against them.
The scandal, long covered up by the congregation’s leaders, erupted in the local media in 2008.
The Roman Catholic Church is struggling to deal with rising anger and a string of lawsuits following thousands of child sexual abuse claims in Europe and the United States. AFP