Church share of judgment to be paid by national body; diocese of Cariboo assesses its financial capacity

The Anglican Church’s national governing body, its General Synod, has made arrangements to pay the church’s portion of a judgment in a case arising from sexual abuse in an Indian Residential School at Lytton, B.C.

The Government of Canada, the General Synod and the Anglican Diocese of Cariboo were found jointly liable for abuse committed by a former child care worker at St. George’s school in the early 1970s. The amount of the settlement is confidential, by agreement.

Archdeacon Jim Boyles, the church’s general secretary, said the General Synod has contacted the victim’s solicitor to arrange payment of the amount he requested from the church, including the share owed by the Diocese of Cariboo. “It’s not yet clear whether the diocese can raise its share,” Archdeacon Boyles said, “but we don’t want the plaintiff to be forced to wait any longer for the settlement to which we all agree he’s entitled.”

Archdeacon Boyles said the General Synod has arranged to borrow the necessary funds through a line of credit.

The church agreed before the court case began that the plaintiff had suffered abuse at the hands of the child care worker, who was an employee of the federal government. The trial was to determine the share of liability among the parties. In a statement released September 1, one day after the judgment, Archdeacon Boyles had said the church would pay its share of the damages regardless of whether it appealed the decision.

Archdeacon Boyles said the Diocese of Cariboo is reviewing its financial capacity and expects a report to be available early in November. The diocese has no insurance and has nearly exhausted its financial reserves.
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