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Antigonish diocese sells community property to pay abuse victims

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Antigonish diocese to sell community properties to settle $18.5M sex case

This is like what is happening in Ireland that is making people bitter against the Vatican:

The National Post/ Holy Post of May 2010 wrote: The small community of Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia has maintained and relies on it's community hall, but now because of a deal struck last year by the then Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish Raymond Lahey who was later charged with possessing and importing child pornography and sent to prison, the diocese is putting about 400 properties up for sale to pay an $18.5-million sexual-abuse settlement, including this community's only hall for weddings and other community parties. It’s a deal that threatens to bankrupt the mostly rural diocese. They’re angry and they feel like they have no control and they have no power,” said Father Paul Abbass, spokesman for the diocese. “It is about land and property and money. But deeper beneath this it’s still very much about feeling betrayed by the church/Vatican. ‘We didn’t do anything wrong. we don’t really seem to have a say here, it’s just being imposed on us. We are paying "for the sins of the Fathers" The locals exclaimed to reporters.

The diocese encompasses seven counties of northeastern Nova Scotia: three on the mainland (Antigonish, Pictou and Guysborough), and four on the island (Inverness, Richmond, Victoria and Cape Breton counties).Churches, cemeteries and rectories still being used will not be sold. “We’re not trying to liquidate all our properties. We’re trying to get the money that’s required to meet the obligations of a lawsuit” Fr. Abbass said.

The Hall however belongs to the community, not the diocese. The diocese had nothing to do with building this hall or maintaining it,” Ron Rankin, a longtime local resident said. “They even sucked $100,000-some out of the parish. What a sin. Maybe sell off a few statues in Rome.” Fr Abbas suggests that the community will have first chance to buy back their property, but local Councillors point out the population is dying out and losing community facilities will not help and no one can afford to buy back what they maintained until now. It's a sad day for the 123 parishes of the diocese.


Update to this year:

By this January 2012 the number of victims identifying themselves has increased to 140 in the diocese, so the settlement figure of 2 years ago will likely not still apply and need increasing:


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More updates on the above including a TV report clip:

By March 2011 one community's Church hall was sold to Muslims to build a mosque on the site:


Other communities in the diocese are taking out class actions against the sale of community facilities the parishoners have maintained and paid for on Church land such as holiday camp sites:

TV News report clip here:


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