October 22, 2017
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David McCann Seeks Apology from Pope Francis on Behalf of Canadians Who Suffered Abuse as Children at Catholic Institutions

David McCann Seeks Apology from Pope Francis on Behalf of Canadians Who Suffered Abuse as Children at Catholic Institutions

Canada NewsWire

VANCOUVER, April 21, 2017 /CNW/ - David McCann will be travelling to Rome the week of May 14 to 21, 2017 to seek a meeting with Pope Francis and his staff to ask him to apologize to Canadians for the abuse suffered by children and others at the hands of Catholic religious orders and clergy.

To date he has received replies from the Archbishops of Ottawa and Vancouver, and the Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto.

He is awaiting confirmation of the meeting from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State.

Mr. McCann will discuss further details of his trip, and the reasons for going, at a press conference on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 9:00 am. Location: Studios 2 and 3, Sandman Hotel, 180 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 4P4.

In November of 1989, Mr. McCann was the first student from St. Joseph's Training School For Boys in Alfred, Ontario to come forward with allegations of physical, psychological and sexual child abuse against the De La Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools and other staff at the school.

He was followed by over 1,600 former students from both St. Joseph's in Alfred, Ontario and St. John's Training Schools For Boys in Uxbridge, Ontario.

These disclosures led to one of the largest Ontario Provincial Police investigations in Ontario's history. Hundreds of charges of child abuse were laid against more than 30 Christian Brothers and other staff. Most were convicted, including Brother Joseph (Lucien Dagnais) who received a 7 years prison sentence for abusing Mr. McCann. Dozens of others would have been charged, however they were either too infirmed to stand trial or were dead according to the head OPP investigator Inspector Tim Smith.

David McCann is the former Chairperson of the St. Joseph's and St. John's Training Schools For Boys Helpline (Helpline). 

Helpline was a self-help group of over 1,600 survivors of child abuse at two Ontario schools run by the De Lasalle Brothers of the Christian Schools for the Ontario Government.

Helpline worked with the Ontario Government, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa and Toronto, and the De la Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools to develop and implement the St. Joseph's and St. John's Training Schools For Boys Reconciliation Agreement and the Companion Apology Agreement. Both of these Agreements have become a templates used around the world to assist others in dealing with the tragic history of institutional child abuse. 

SOURCE David R. McCann



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