Sex abuse settlement report: 3 more Vancouver priests named, 13 more victims came forward
VANCOUVER -- An update on historical cases of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Vancouver says settlements were reached involving three Catholic priests, and more than a dozen people came forward with allegations.
The updated report from the archdiocese was released online, and outlines what it says was uncovered in the year since its first report.
Dated Monday, the report says 13 "previously unknown victims/survivors" have come forward with allegations in that time.
"In most cases, meetings with representatives of the Archdiocese have taken place and support services, including counselling, have been offered."
The report names Father John Edward Kitty, who died in 1983, as being accused of the sexual assault of a minor. In addition to the man behind the accusation, who came forward in 2003, five others have made similar allegations. The most recent was in October, when a new allegation was brought forward in a lawsuit.
Kitty served at five Vancouver parishes between 1945 and 1983.
A financial settlement was reached for an allegation of physical and sexual abuse of a minor relating to Father Johannes Holzapfel, who worked in B.C. parishes between 1955 and 1974. Holzapfel died in 1997.
And Father Armand Frenhette, who was at a parish in Coquitlam from 1953 to 1970, before he died in 1971, was the subject of a complaint of "improper sexual behaviour." A financial settlement was reached in that case, though Frechette wasn't named as the priest at that time. Earlier this year, another allegation of abuse of a minor, dating back to the mid-1950s, also resulted in a settlement.
The archdiocese says some survivors are still being contacted, and discussions are ongoing.
"Several other cases from 40-50 years ago are in the legal processes so we are unable to comment further at present."
Monday's is the second such report filed publicly.
The first report on allegations in the Archdiocese of Vancouver was published late last year on historical cases of clergy sex abuse, and its authors called the findings "troubling for many."
That report named two clergymen who'd settled lawsuits against them related to historic abuse cases, and seven who were criminally convicted.
Still, the archdiocese wrote, "the response received was positive overall, and much good has come from the steps taken."
The archdiocese says these reports have been met with opposition from some, who suggest they "feed into an 'anti-faith' narrative," but the report says greater transparency is necessary to foster a safe environment.
"Catholics are called to accept the hard truth of clerical sexual abuse and to live the lives of charity and mercy, especially reaching out to the most suffering among us."