RC Church granted more time to finalize proposed settlement of abuse claims

The Supreme Court has given the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s an additional 45 days to finalize its proposal to sell properties to settle millions of abuse claims.

The Church targets its most lucrative land and buildings, eventually paying up to $50 million in compensation.

These properties include Mount St. Francis Monastery, approximately $5 million from St. Kevin’s Parish Investment Fund, much of which comes from the popular Chase the Ace fundraiser, and St. Jean Baptiste.

Attorney Kyle Rees is representing St. Kevin’s Parish in the case and argues that money collected by parishioners should stay with them.

He says the money was for residents of the Goulds, including the food bank and other services, and should not be used to settle abuse claims against the archdiocese.

Arguments specific to this issue will be heard on February 28.

The Church, meanwhile, expects the sale to be a “phased approach,” starting with assets in the St. John’s metropolitan area, which are considered the most valuable.

Nearly a dozen lawyers were in court for the claim this morning, including representatives from Ernst and Young, the proposal’s trustee.

Church attorneys have said their intention is to proceed with a real estate liquidation rather than bankruptcy, which they say will bring in more money for creditors or plaintiffs.

The claims relate to abuse suffered at the former Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

Martha J. Finley