The Priest’s Confession: What the Catholic Bishops Knew | The Fifth Estate | Feb 17, 2020 (Video)

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The Fifth Estate
23 min


In 2015, retired Catholic priest Paul-André Harvey from Quebec’s Chicoutimi diocese pleaded guilty to 39 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency. Most of his victims were girls between the ages of eight and 10. Harvey was sentenced to six years in prison.

But before Harvey died in prison, the defrocked priest did something extraordinary — he provided a confession for his victims to use in a class-action suit against the Catholic Church. He claimed that church officials were aware of his crimes for years. When complaints surfaced, Harvey says he was simply moved. Records show between 1963 and 2002, Harvey was moved to a new parish 12 times.  

Now a class-action lawsuit with more than 100 claimants shines a spotlight on who knew what and raises difficult questions about how clergy abuse is prosecuted in Canada. 

The Fifth Estate and Radio-Canada’s Enquête investigate Harvey’s story and ask why no charges have ever been brought against church superiors in Canada for covering up clergy abuse.
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