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New Brunswick lawsuit alleges abuse by former chaplain, Roman Catholic priests

October 07, 2016 - 12:29 PM

MONCTON, N.B. - New Brunswick's Roman Catholic church is facing new accusations that several of its priests were involved in the sexual abuse of youth, including a lawsuit alleging the former chaplain at the University of Moncton assaulted a boy in the 1980s.

Notices of action have been filed before the Court of Queen's Bench in Moncton against Rev. Paul Breau, the former university chaplain, Rev. Yvon Arsenault and the Moncton Diocese.

The documents say the person making the allegations was a young offender who had been ordered to do community work on church grounds belonging to St. Joseph parish in Shediac, a coastal town 27 kilometres east of Moncton where Breau and Arsenault were working.

The two priests were responsible for supervising the young boy, and the abuse is alleged to have occurred over a two-year-period in the 1980s in the priests' residence.

The court record says the complainant, who is now 45, said he "spent the rest of his life struggling to deal with the physical, mental, psychological and emotional burden of these events."

The allegations in the statement of claim have not been proven in court, and no statement of defence has been filed.

The Archbishop of Moncton, Valery Vienneau, says in a statement that the 85-year-old Breau has been removed from his duties as a cleric and added he was saddened by news of the lawsuit.

Vienneau says Breau has an excellent record and the decision to take him away from his duties is in keeping with the diocese's policy on protecting minor and vulnerable persons.

Rev. Yvon Arsenault, who had already been removed from his position in the diocese, is facing a lawsuit from another complainant, who alleges he was abused at the St. Joseph Parish at the age of 12.

In addition, a lawsuit has been filed against Rev. Normand Dugas of the Bathurst Diocese and two other priests who are now deceased.

The complainant alleges he was abused by the three priests in succession, starting when he was six years old and continuing until he turned 14.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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