It might not be polite to notice, but it’s hard to ignore.
The Ontario Superior Court award of $1.5 million to a non-native man from Sault Ste-Marie on Sept. 16 is no doubt justified when one reads of the horrific sexual abuse he endured as a boy.
The unnamed victim was terrorized and drugged by a manipulative priest, Father Thomas O’Dell, into submitting to a series of humiliating sex acts, including sodomy with a crucifix.
The damages against the Sault Ste. Marie Catholic diocese are the highest ever awarded in Canada for sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.
They’re also far higher than most native victims of similar abuse have won in Canadian courts.
Awards have averaged $100,000.
Meanwhile, the federal government has offered an average of $20,000 for the 1,200 residential school claims against the Anglican Church. Once again, far lower than the average of $153,000 (US) recently awarded to 552 former members of the Boston Catholic diocese.
If you’re into numerology, there appears to be a pretty clear message here.
Some people’s suffering is worth more than others’. That message certainly is impolite. And it shouldn’t be ignored.