The Catholic Oblate order says it’s on the verge of bankruptcy because of lawsuits related to residential schools.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Church claims it will be bankrupted by next year unless the federal government agrees to save it from the spiralling costs of the residential-school lawsuits.
Some 1,900 lawsuits filed against the Oblates have cost the missionary order nearly $1 million.
According to a Canadian Press report, Oblate priest Jean-Paul Isabelle blamed the government for leaving the order twisting in the wind. He also lashed out at “unscrupulous lawyers,” whom he accused of pushing Native people to file complaints even when they had “no bad memories” from their residential school days.
Over 7,000 lawsuits have been filed in all against the Catholic, Anglican, United and Presbyterian churches.
A financial audit of the Anglican Church of Canada prepared by an accounting firm said litigation fees and settlements of lawsuits will exhaust the church’s roughly $10 million in national assets in 2001.
Once that happens, the national organization of the church will be forced into bankruptcy and local parishes will lose financial support, according to the report.
Most dioceses, however, are self-supporting and many include wealthy parishes, whose assets are not affected by the lawsuits. They have been unwilling to help the national church organization pay for the legal claims.