Focus shifts to school property in RC Church bankruptcy court proceedings

The Roman Catholic Church’s bankruptcy proceedings go from one stage to another in the Supreme Court.

The church is selling its real estate to settle millions in abuse claims related to the former Mount Cashel orphanage.

Until now, the legal wrangling has focused mainly on church-bound properties in and around St. John’s.

Of the 25 plots of land that are offered for liquidation, about 15 offers have been received, of which a handful have been accepted by the bankruptcy trustee. These include the potential sale of St. Pius, St. Patrick’s, Mary Queen of Peace and St. Francis of Assisi in Outer Cove, as well as Holy Rosary in Paradise and St. Edward’s in Conception Bay South.

The municipality of St. Bon has also made a successful bid to take over the so-called Basiliekblok. All sales are subject to court approval.

But now comes the even sharper phase with metro schools still owned by the church but run by the county. In the Supreme Court yesterday, lawyers for abuse victims said they will pursue school property and want more information on those grounds.

There is a hearing on that application on July 18, which is considered irrelevant by the English school district.

They argue that the schools are legally untouchable as long as they are still used for public education.

A decision on the extent to which schools can be sold to settle abuse claims is not expected until November.

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