Victims of sex abuse by priests protest in Montreal

Several dozen people who say they were sexually abused by members of Quebec’s Catholic church gathered today on the steps of St-Viateur church.

They were protesting against what they see as a lack of action in addressing sexual abuse in the church.

Some protesters wore white paper hats mimicking bishops' mitres that read “Vote for Monseigneur Ouellet.”

They’re hoping Cardinal Marc Ouellet’s position as a possible candidate for Pope will shed some international light on their pending cases against the church.

Carlo Tarini, a spokesman for the Quebec Association of Victims of Priests, was at the Outremont church.

If Ouellet is elected Pope, he said, “1.2 billion Catholics across the world will know what has gone on in Quebec.”

Some of the people at the demonstration said they had pending cases against members of the Catholic church.

One of them was Frank Tremblay, who is expecting to go to court in September.

He studied at the St-Alphonse seminary near Quebec City in grades secondary one through four, which is where he was repeatedly raped by Raymond-Marie Lavoie.

Lavoie pleaded guilty in 2011 to sexually abusing 13 boys, including Tremblay.

Lavoie received a three-year sentence.

Tremblay is now suing Lavoie in civil court.

He said that, given Ouellet’s position in the Catholic church, he should have done more for victims of abuse.

“He never apologized here for what the Catholic church did to the victims,” Tremblay said.

“He was at the top of the Canadian church and he did nothing.”

Still, Tremblay, like others at the demonstration, feel Ouellet will have to address the church’s history of abuse now that the spotlight is on him.

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