Christian Brothers file for bankruptcy

Daniel MacEachern
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Deadline set for abuse victims to file claims

Lawyer Geoff Budden

With the Christian Brothers declaring bankruptcy, time is running out for victims of abuse at the Christian Brothers-run Mount Cashel orphanage to come forward to file a claim against the religious order.

A notice in Friday’s Telegram announced the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was filed in New York court April 28, 2011, listing the various operations affected by the bankruptcy — including the Christian Brothers’ Institute and the North American Province of the Congregation of Christian Brothers — and set a deadline for claims to be filed by abuse victims.

About 20 Christian  Brothers were convicted for sexual acts against former residents of the orphanage.

“If you were sexually abused by any Brother of the debtors or any other person connected with the debtors and wish to file a claim against the debtors, you must file a claim by August 1, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. (prevailing Eastern Time),” reads the notice.

Geoff Budden, who represents clients who suffered abuse at Mount Cashel, explained that Chapter 11 bankruptcy involves a reorganization of a debtors’ assets and claims so that compensation can be distributed.

“The common meaning of the word ‘bankruptcy’ means ‘I have no money, I’m broke.’ That’s not true here. They have, by their own reckoning, at least $50 million in property,” he said. “They’re in the process of selling some of that, ideally, or perhaps ultimately, selling all of it to satisfy claims. What the bankruptcy process requires, and this is true of many bankruptcies, is that there be advertisements to make potential claimants aware that you have until Aug. 1 to file a claim.”

All the claims have to be identified and valued, and then the money distributed according to whatever the bankruptcy court orders, said Budden. “There’s 60-something claims that have come forward. We represent 46 of those, and there’s another 20 or so originating almost entirely in Washington state,” he said.

With the bankruptcy notice and the deadline for claims set, the end of the long legal fight may be in sight.

“It’s been a battle that’s been on the go for over 10 years, and every inch of the way has been a battle, and this is the most recent one,” he said. “But we’re optimistic that the bankruptcy will, as it unfolds, will deliver compensation to our clients.”

He added that it’s still too soon to know when that end will be.

“It’s beyond my power to control, so I can’t really say whether we’re looking at a 2012 resolution or a 2013 resolution. Hopefully it will be one or the other,” he said.

Twitter: TelegramDaniel

Organizations: Christian Brothers, North American

Geographic location: New York, Washington

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Recent comments

  • Joseph McGrath
    March 11, 2012 - 19:20

    Nope I am not a spokesperson for the RC or any church.In fact I have lived my 3 score plus ten so some may even consider me rather irrelevant.I am presently watching the new upcoming lawsuits that may be filed re"'Curtain lifts on decades of forced adoptions for unwed mothers in Canada BETWEEN THE 1950-1980 periods.It is just now becoming a national expose.Someone is gonna get big time bashing on that and money will be flying fast and furious.I guess religion will be the reason for that as well.GO FIGURE.

  • Mr.Mom
    March 11, 2012 - 13:24

    @ Doug Smith - I couldn't have said it better myself. I too think that Mr.Joseph McGrath must be a mouthpiece of the RC church, otherwise why would he be so offensive about your comment.

  • wayne harvey
    March 11, 2012 - 12:21

    Just a follow -up to Harvey Dent's comments, just for clarification;it"s the Christian Brothers that are claiming that they are broke. These people are not Priests. They are a religeous teaching order who take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. A priest takes no vow of poverty. However, this aside, priests have ,indeed, benn convicted of sexual abuse against minors. Some other comment pointed out that we all played a role in the perpetuation of sexual misconduct by those people. Sad but true. I was educated by by these servantsof THE CHURCH OF ROME and , although I saw no open signs of sexual abuse,I saw plenty of physical abuse. My fraternal grandmother who was also a catholic religeous fanatic could see no further than these men wearing roman collars or a woman dressed in the disguise of THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, all doing their duty towards GOD.If there is any place called hell, then a great deal of these family care givers are there paying their dues for at least the sin of ommision

  • John
    March 11, 2012 - 06:49

    I doubt they have the ability to claim this status. From my research they own multi million dollar plots of land in New York, In fact they own nearly 72 percent of downtown NerwYork. Only thing is a lot of it is registered in another charities name. The Catholic church is worth billions and they want to claim bankrupcy. Take all members involved in the cover ups and jail them for life. better yet throw them into the general population in the jail and let them get what they deserve. The hell with the churches. Most wars have been started over religion. Time to BAN religion all together. If you want to pray then pray in your house.

  • Harvey Dent
    March 11, 2012 - 00:08

    These priests molested children. They sexually assaulted innocent kids. If I want to sit here and say how disgusted I am that the catholic church covered for a bunch of perverted dirtbags then I'm certainly free to do so. And if you have a problem with it , you're just as much part of the problem. Everybody should be ashamed, and with all these stories of priests molesting children, it might be time for the church to revisit their views on priests being able to marry, and also gay marriage. I can't really understand how the catholic church is so against gay marriage when the people who deliver gods words don't seem to mind sexual relations between 2 men. Get with the times

    • David
      March 11, 2012 - 13:04

      So sit there and be disgusted. The power to change world events is captured in a tsk tsk, especially one expressed as eloquently as this. Victims owe you their deep gratitude.

  • Randell
    March 10, 2012 - 22:54

    Just one question, is the catholic church and its clergy the only ones who've ever abused here in nfld.??? Just wondering, that's all, don't mean to upset any of the "right" religions here,,,,,,,,

  • Doug Smith
    March 10, 2012 - 14:23

    I find the statements by two commentators very objectionable. First of all it would seem that Mr. Joseph McGrath does not appreciate the worth and value of free speech. Threatening legal action for comments that do not meet his seal of approval belongs only in communist countries or dictatorships, not Canada. Secondly, his complaining about the Telegram covering a legitimate news story makes one wonder about his motivation for doing so. Is Mr. McGrath a mouthpiece for the RC church. If so, he should tell us, so we the readers can judge his comments appropriately, worthless. In 2011 the prime minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny criticised the Vatican and its handling of the child sexual abuse in Ireland by stating, “The rape and torture of children, were downplayed or “managed” to uphold instead the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation.” The comments by “David” I find equally offensive. Telling me I have no right to be judgemental about the Catholic child sexual abuse shows arrogance backed by little thought. It is the duty of all citizens to make judgements about perpetrators of evil. Not making judgements about Hitler and Stalin is how they got away with their evil for so long. Finally, “David”, asks is there anything that will ensure this won’t happen in NL again? He answers, No. and then says Shame on us. Well , there is something that will ensure it can never happen again, Have nothing to do with religion. And there is no shame on me. Ever since I reached the age of reason I have always spoken or written about the evils of religion and when “David” reaches the age of reason I expect he will do the same. Doug Smith GFW

    • David
      March 10, 2012 - 16:20

      You're entiteld to your opinion...but you're not entitled to mine. I'm offended that you're as smug and self-righteous to be what?

    • Joseph McGrath
      March 10, 2012 - 18:52

      I am a great supporter of free speech but I always try to remember"Hate speech laws in Canada include provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada, provisions in the Human Rights Act and in other federal legislation, and statutory provisions in each of Canada's ten provinces and three territories. The Criminal Code prohibits "hate propaganda." The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on various grounds, and forbids the posting of hateful or contemptuous messages on the Internet. Legislation in the provinces and territories prohibits discrimination on the same grounds as Canada's Human Rights Act in matters of provincial or territorial concern such as employment and accommodation. As an aside,no one is unknown on the internet.IPS addresses and owners can be easily tracked.

  • Karl Kautsky
    March 10, 2012 - 13:29

    What happened to the lawyer's tie? That has to be the worst attempt at tying a tie that I've ever seen. Doesn't reflect much upon the professionalism of the lawyer.

  • darrin
    March 10, 2012 - 12:49

    Joseph......sounds like you are just as brainwashed as the Catholic church/religion and the preists are!!!! Thank God for the Salvation Army.

  • David
    March 10, 2012 - 12:18

    What a disgusting day in history for justice, for religious faith, and for accountability. And Newfoundland's citizens have no right to be smug or judgemental about any of this...the offenses occurred on ALL our watch, right under ALL our noses. And in the years since verdicts were reached, we again did little or nothing to ensure their enforcement. The time for hurling venom and bile at the church is long over...time now to look in the mirror. Ask yourself this: Is there anything that has been achieved in any of this that ensures this can't happen again tomorrow in Newfoundland? No. So shame on us.

    • Velma
      March 10, 2012 - 14:27

      Well, I can't guarantee that I'll never again "hurl venom and bile" at the Catholic church. They deserve every bit of it. They preach Christian values but refuse to hold themselves accountable for the heinous crimes committed against children who were entrusted to their care. As for ensuring this can't happen again tomorrow? Well, more people need to be willing to speak up when they see injustices being perpetrated against fellow human beings. There's too much Don't Rock The Boat And To Heck With The Other Guy.

    • David
      March 10, 2012 - 16:18

      So Velma...good for you for not getting anything out of that except another chance to swing the hammer. Keep swinging, my dear, keep swinging.

  • Joseph McGrath
    March 10, 2012 - 10:00

    Some of the comments posted in here are what I call hate speech.The Tely moderator should watch what you allow to be posted or you may well find yourself before the judge.I believe in free speech but some of this spewel posted is pure hatred..

  • grant
    March 10, 2012 - 09:00

    Its sad that religion started when the first scroungil met the first fool. The Christion Brothers is just a branch of the Catholic that they use to make money. they dont care if the abuse little children, and now they want nothing to do with them. One of the biggist criminal organizations in the history of the world. Go out this sunday and buy some poor kid something instead of going to church and feeding that organization.

  • Mary & Eldon Benedict
    March 10, 2012 - 08:20

    You hit the nail on the head Jeremiah but there millions of RCs that are so brainwashed they refuse to turn their backs on them. God help them see the truth.

  • Jeremiah
    March 10, 2012 - 07:31

    Another scam to avoid compensation for their victims. Wonder where they have hidden their real dollars and assets maybe in the Vatican vaults. What we have here is an organized criminal organization not unlike the maffia. Its centre is in Rome and it specializes in child exploitation. How foolish we have been to be conned by this bunch of b......s for so many centuries.

  • Joseph McGrath
    March 10, 2012 - 07:31

    The Easter season is just around the corner so is it not time for the Tely to reach into the cheap rental bleacher section of the press club,grab a few over the hill reporters and begin once more to drag up stories that bash the RC church covering say the last 25 years. I was wondering last week when they would start up again???

    • Velma
      March 10, 2012 - 09:53

      Joe Buddy: I hope the Tely DOES continue to publish stories that shed light on the evildoings of so many priests in the RC Church. Justice has yet to be served. My sympathies lie with those poor abused boys (now men), certainly NOT with their abusers.