Dear People of the Archdiocese of St. John’s:
Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed our Archdiocese’s application for Leave to Appeal. This makes final the judgement of the Appeal Court of Newfoundland and Labrador that the Archdiocese of St. John’s is vicariously liable for the abuse at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. We must now move to address these claims to the best of our ability, and in justice to the victims.
The resolution of these claims will have significant implications for the parishes and parishioners of our Archdiocese. Therefore, we are presently working with financial and other advisers to discern how best to move forward in addressing them. Further communications will be sent to the parishes as more information becomes available.
There will be changes and sacrifices required of all of us as we move through this process. I cannot promise that the road ahead will be an easy one, but certainly the practice and celebration of our Catholic faith will continue. I hope that this resolution process will bring with it healing for the victims, their loved ones, and the entire community of faith, and closure to a dark chapter in the history of our Archdiocese.
As we move forward with this process, I ask that you please join with me in praying for God’s guidance, healing for the victims, and understanding, compassion and patience for us all.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop of St. John’s.