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Church seeks to take Mount Cashel abuse ruling to Supreme Court of Canada

The Mount Cashel orphanage is shown in a 1989 file photo. Newfoundland and Labrador's highest court says the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John's is financially liable for sexual abuse at the notorious Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1950s.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The archdiocese of St. John’s will ask the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn a decision that declared the city’s Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation liable for sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1950s.

The archdiocese says in a release that its lawyers today petitioned for leave to appeal the July decision from the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal.

Read more: St. John’s Roman Catholic corporation liable for abuses at orphanage

Geoff Budden, the victims’ lawyer, had said the Appeal Court ruling meant the archdiocese would have to pay about $2 million to four lead plaintiffs in the case.

Budden said Wednesday’s decision to appeal was expected, although his clients would rather be getting their settlements.

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The archdiocese said that the decision was not made lightly, but the Appeal Court ruling set a precedent with “profound implications” for its future operations.

It expressed sympathy for victims of abuse and said it regrets that legal proceedings will be prolonged.