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Court approves sale of 42 Catholic church properties to settle abuse victims claims

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The sale of the cathedral and 11 other churches was approved to resolve the allegations of victims of abuse. (Heather Barrett / CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court has approved the sale of 42 properties belonging to the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation in St. John’s. This includes 12 churches, and dozens more churches are on the verge of selling real estate in eastern Newfoundland.

This move reshapes the Catholic landscape in and beyond the St. John’s region. The church is responsible for sexual and physical abuse at the Mount Casselle Orphanage, but in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.

Information about the sale arrived on Monday as court-appointed monitor Ernst & Young submitted a report to the court about the bidding-by-bid sales process that saw the bids for the property submitted in early June.

A court order on bankruptcy and bankruptcy proceedings posted on the Ernst & Young website reveals who is buying the property. According to the order, the iconic cathedral and idyllic center, St. Bona Ventures College and St. Bona Ventures Forum will be sold to the Basilica Heritage Foundation, which promised to protect its historic property.

The Archdiocese Renewal Corporation, with Archbishop St. Johns Peter Hunt as one of the three directors, purchased St. Thomas of the Church of Villanova, with St. Teresa Mandy Pond Corporation nominated as the winning bidder of the Church of St. Theresa. That vacant lot. Both groups aim to keep these parishes active.

However, the fate of many other Catholic churches is less certain.

A summary of accepted bids for 42 Catholic Church properties sold in the St. John’s area. (Ey.com)

In a letter to a large number of parishioners last weekend, Archbishop Hunt states that very few real estate buyers intend to use the building as a Catholic church.

The New Canadian Society at the eastern end of St. John’s purchased the St. John’s X Church and the adjacent St. John’s X Junior High School. At this school, the group has already provided programming to freshmen from previous schools.

The St. Patrick Church in downtown St. Johns was sold to Howard Real Estate Group. The Corpus Christi Church, its office and community center have been sold to the law firm Stewart McKelvey, who represents an unknown purchaser.

The town of Flat Rock buys the Church of St. Michael and the Cave of Our Lady of Lourdes. This is the place visited by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

According to a groundbreaking court ruling in 2020, the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. Johns is liable for the victims of the horrific abuse of boys at the Mount Catholic Orphanage. (CBC)

Companies of various numbers have purchased Mary Queen of Peace Church in St. John’s and St. Joseph’s Church in Maddox Cove, St. John’s.

At Pouch Cove, the Church of St. Agnes and the Clergy House were sold to GJ Shortall Ltd., and the Church of Assisi, St. Francis, the Archbishop’s Residence, the Clergy House, and two vacant lots were sold to Rocky Hill Holdings Inc.

According to the court, 19 facilities including St. Peter’s Church and Mary Queen of the World Church in Mount Pearl, St. Paul’s Church in St. John’s, Holy Family Church in Paradise, and St. Edwards in Conception Bay did not receive acceptable bids. South and the Holy Trinity. Many of the vacant lots of land and church clergy did not receive acceptable bids either.

Meanwhile, according to Hunt, Monitor will offer the court a strategy to sell an additional 70 properties, including all the remaining churches, halls and clergy in the Brin Peninsula and southern Avalon Peninsula.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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