|Canada||CHURCH RESISTS DEMANDS OF ORPHANS|
Quebec's Catholic Church said yesterday there would be no apology or compensation for the ageing Quebec orphans who claim to have suffered years of abuse decades ago while under the care of the church.
A group of orphans, numbering more than 3000, have said many of them were abused, sodomised and forced to provide sexual favours as children.
Pierre Morissette, president of the Quebec Assembly of Archbishops, said an apology "would betray the works of those who dedicated all their lives to the service of the most destitute".
The Catholic Church has denied that it abused orphans and demanded proof from the alleged victims.
Morissette said no direct financial compensation would be provided by the Church, but stressed it was open to cooperating with the Quebec government, which has already offered community aid to the orphans as well as a $A3 million compensation package. The offer was refused by the orphans, who want a $A100 million compensation fund and a public inquiry.
``We estimate that the Church is already giving a lot and that it will continue to give more,'' said Quebec Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, who stressed the fact the religious communities were the only ones taking care of orphans in Quebec at the time.
Reuters 12:16pm 16/9/99