A hard blow

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There are several court-dates today(Monday, 27 March 2017):

(1) Father Omer Desjardins omi (Oblate priest, previously convicted for offences committed in Saskatchewan.  Currently facing charges in Winnipeg  )

Father Omer Desjardins has a court date this afternoon in Winnipeg, Manitoba:

27 March 2017: 1 pm,  “to be spoken to,” court room # 302, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.)

Please keep  the other complainants in your prayers

(2)  Donald Grecco (Previously convicted ex-priest, Diocese of St. Catharine’s, Ontario)

Donald Grecco has a court date later this morning:

27 March 2017: 10 am, “to be spoken to,”  courtroom #5, Robert S. K. Welch St Catharine’s courthouse, St. Catharine’s, Ontario (59 Church St)

Please keep the complainants in your prayers

(3)  Nathan Labatt

A busy week for Nathan Labatt…

The three-day preliminary hearing for Nathan Labbat on his Regina Saskatchewan charges starts this morning:

 27 -29 March 2017: 09:30 am,  preliminary hearing, Regina courthouse (1815 Smith St.);

A reminder that there will without doubt be a ban on publication of all evidence and testimony at the preliminary hearing.  There will also be the the standard ban on the names of complainan.  The preliminary hearing is, however, open to the public.  I urge those who are free to do so to attend.

Barely will Nathan be done with the preliminary than he is off to Yorkton for the rendering of the verdict on his Kamasack charges:

 31 March 2017:  09:30 am,  DECISION (verdict),  Yorkton, Saskatchewan, courthouse (120 Smith St. E)

Meanwhile the Humboldt Sskatchewan charges continue to wind their way through the system with a pre-trial in early April:

07 April 2017:  Pre-trial hearing (NOT open to the public), Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench courthouse (520 Spadina Crescent E, Saskatoon, SK)

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

*****

 A few more dates have been added to the Father Robert MacKenzie page.  Links to the following pages have also been added:

10 June 2012:   Father Bob MacKenzie 80th birthday celebrated (his birthday is actually 23 June 1932)

2010Father  Bob MacKenzie at St. Patrick’s Parish in Cupar Sask ( Faith Alive Regina 1910 2010 (in Faith Alive , Archdiocese of Regina, 1910-2010)

I have noted that there is a discrepancy in dates here, I think perhaps a typo?  This puts Father Mackenzie’s arrival in Cupar and Sask. at 1985.  For various reasons I don’t think that is accurate.  For example, Archdiocese of Regina:  A History, published in 1988, shows Father Eldon McGrath as Pastor starting in 1982 and still pastor at the time of publication.    I think he probably did arrive in 1988 and replaced Father McGrath.

And, yes, that is indeed the Father Eldon McGrath who was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to three years jail for the sexual abuse of 15 girls under age 12.

Further to that, and of interest is the fact that another convicted molester Father Kenneth Greer  served  in Dysart Saskatchewan (Dysart has been a mission parish of St. Patrick’s in Cupar since 1976).  Father Greer entered a guilty plea August 1999  to five counts gross indecency related to  abuse of  five teenage boys.  The abuse transpired between 1967 and 1975 while Greer was serving as Pastor at St. John the Baptist in Dysart with mission in Lipton (That was before 1976 when Dysart became a mission church of St. Patrick’s in Cupar)

So, for the poor souls in Dysart, they had Father Kenneth Greer, then Father Eldon McGrath.  This news that there is a move to start extradition proceedings against Father MacKenzie will be hard blow.

*****

The next court date for  Brian Lucy is:

10 April 2017:  10 am, “to set a date,” ( either for a guilty plea or sentencing), Brockville Ontario courthouse (41 Court House Square)

It sounds as though there is a guilty plea in the offing?  When I asked specifically what date was to be set I was told that it was either for  guilty plea or sentencing.

I urge those who are free to do so to mark their calendar for 10 April to see what happens.

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.

Enough for now.

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Non clerical RC sexual predators, Scandal | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fort Augustus Abbey School ( Sins of Our Fathers – BBC Scotland )

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An excellent video, and very informative, particularly in light of the fact that Fort August Abbey is  the school at which Father Robert MacKenzie, a former Benedictine monk,  taught at in Scotland.

For reasons unknown in 1988  Father MacKenzie relocated to Canada.   Either at that time or shortly thereafter he landed in the Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan.  It seems that at some point after his arrival in Saskatchewan he decided he no longer wished to be a Benedictine monk and became a diocesan priest.  As far as I can tell he is now  incardinated in the Archdiocese of Regina.  He is also retired and living in Cupar, Saskatchewan.

In March 2017 it was learned that there are sex abuse allegations against Father MacKenzie which date to his years teaching at Fort August Abbey.    Attempts are now under way to have him extradited to face charges in Scotland.

[This video is posted via an embed code. It will be available as long as BBC continues to post it and make it available for public viewing. It is very well done and certainly gives us a glimpse the some very unsavory goings on at the Abbey )

[Click in the box in lower right-hand corner of screen to enlarge]

Any further information on Father MacKenzie’s years in Saskatchewan most welcome.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

Please note too the following article regarding Jimmy Saville’s links to the Abbey school:

01 August 2013: Revealed: Sexual predator Jimmy Savile was regular visitor to Catholic school at centre of abuse scandal
Disturbing +++

Enough for now,
Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Europe, recycled, Scandal | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Lots of updates

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There are lots  of court date updates, and another name added to the Accused list.  Here goes.

First the updates, and then an  addition to the list …

Updates

(1)  Father Stephen Amesse (Archdiocese of Ottawa.  Awaiting verdict)

The next court date for Father Stephen Amesse is:

07 April 2017: 09:30, Assignment court (to set date for rendering verdict), Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ottawa courthouse (161 Elgin St.)

This will be to set a court date for the judge to render his verdict. In other words, on 07 April there will a court date set – which is agreeable all parties, ie Judge, Crown and defence – to render the verdict .

By the way,  there is another young lad who was receiving gift cards and money and from Father Amesse.   It didn’t last long – parents thought it was grooming and put a stop to it,  but, yes, maybe in the order of  $350 over 4 months, and a sweater, were ‘gifted.’

That makes three young lads who  were receiving ‘gifts’ from Father Amesse;  (i) Robert, (ii) the other young man who testified for the defence and said he had received birthday cards with money tucked inside for abut 6 years (age 10-16?), and (iii) this young man.

The young man was nearly a witness at trial but  did not want to testify and would, as I understand it,  have to have been been called as a hostile witness.   At the end of the day, he was not called to testify.

Please keep Robert, and all of these young men in your prayers.

(2)  Father Barry McGrory (Previously convicted.  Archdiocese of Ottawa, Ontario)

There was a possible judicial trial hearing for Father Barry McGrory yesterday morning.  If it did proceed it was NOT open to the public.

I will check this afternoon for the next court date and will let you know

(3)  Father Gary Hoskins

As I said elsewhere:  Bad news for the complainant. The charges against Father Gary Hoskins were STAYED in February.

I wondered why there was no media coverage yesterday  – called the courthouse to find out if the trial had perhaps been rescheduled and got the bad news.

The Crown is apparently appealing.

At this point, that is all I know .

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.  This has to be devastating.  Absolutely devastating.

(4)   Father Ronald Leger csv (Previously convicted Viatorian priest.  Attended and taught at Cornwall, Ontario’s now defunct Cornwall Classical College.  Since 1971 has served in Archdiocese of  St. Boniface Manitoba. )

05-16 March 2018: 10 am, TRIAL, courtroom #403,  Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (Main Floor, 408 York Ave.)

Yes, that’s trial.  A 10-day trial booked to start March of next year (2018).

(5)  Eric Dejaeger omi (Oblate serial molester, former fugitive and  ex-priest)

Eric Dejaeger recently won his appeal to allow him to retain a legal aid lawyer to appeal several of his convictions.  His case is now with the Nunavut Court of Appeals. His next court date is:

26 July 2017:  1:30 pm, Nunavut Court of Appeals

This may be his newly retained lawyer arguing his case for the appeals court to hear his appeal?

We shall see.

Please keep this man’s countless victims in your prayers.

(6) Father Amer Saka (Priest with Chaldean Catholic Church in Canada. )

On 13 July 2016 Father Saka was charged  with fraud over $5,000 and possessing proceeds of property or thing exceeding $5,000.  Police will say only that the total sum of money ‘lost’ was in excess of $500,000.  The charges elate to refugee funds which Father Saka is alleged to have gambled away.

Father Saka’s next court date is:

25 May  2017:  09:30 am, “to be spoken to,” courtroom #5,  London Ontario courthouse ( 80 Dundas St.)

Please keep those who been betrayed by this priest in yourprayers

(7)  Donald Grecco (Previously convicted ex-priest – Archdiocese of St. Catharine’s, Ontario)

These new charges were laid in September and October 2015.

I am awaiting a call back with Grecco’s next court date.  I will let you know as soon as I have it.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers

(8)  Brian Lucy (Previously convicted, presently incarcerated former church organist in Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario)

These new charges were laid December 2015.

I am awaiting a call back on Lucy’s next court date.  I will let you know as soon as I have it.

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.

All being well I will try to find out what is happening with the Nathan Labatt charges in Humboldt Saskatchewan.  Ditto those of  Frank Selas

Addition

And another name added to the Accused list:

(1) Father Jean-Level Eliscard

As noted elsewhere, the name of Father Jean-Level Eliscard,  a Haitian-born priest ordained in 1992 for the Diocese of Les Cayes, Hait, has been added to the Accused list.

Eliscard was convicted in 1995 for raping a 13-year-old parishioner in New Jersey.   He was sentenced to three years probation back in Haiti under the ‘care’ of his bishop.  Father Elsicard showed up in Canada around the late 1990s; he served in both the Diocese of Saint Hyacinthe and Archdiocese of Montreal, Quebec.

I can’t yet tell if he is or is not back serving in his home diocese of Les Cayes in Haiti.

Another disgusting example of recycling known clerical sexual predators.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Cornwall, Scandal, Trials | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Huge headaches

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There are a number of court dates to post.  That will be done by day’s end.

There is also a page with information on Father Jean-Level Elicard added – it is incomplete but you can take a look at it and, if you have any more information, pass it along.  It looks as though he left Montreal in 2004?  Can someone who is bilingual read that excerpt on him from “Pedophile priests: The escape” – scroll down the page and you’ll find it (Isabelle Hachey, LaPresse, 21 March 2017)  Sometimes those  google translations are an absolute disaster 🙁  This is one of those cases.  I think there is something there about his departure from Montreal  in 2004?

Huge headaches getting things posted today 🙁  I finally sorted out the problem, but it gobbled up a lot of time 🙁 🙁

And life goes on….

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Clerical sexual predators | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Newfoundland trial starts tomorrow

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A reminder to you people In Newfoundland that the three-day sex abuse trial of twice previously convicted Father Gary Hoskins  is scheduled to start tomorrow morning in Corner Brook, Newfoundland:

21-24 March 2017:  10 am, TRIAL Corner Brook, NFLD Superior Court (81 Mt. Bernard Avenue.)

Father Hoskins was recycled to the Archdiocese of Toronto after his first guilty plea. As is noted on his page, Parishioners at St. Anne’s in Brampton found out by accident (relatives visiting from Newfoundland) that their new assistant priest was a molester.  According to a blogger on Sylvia’s Site, the parish priest told parishioners that no-one had asked them about their past when they joined the parish and that basically Father Hoskin’s past was none of their business.

He has been working for the Center for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto since 1995.  Unless there has been a radical change since May 2016, sad to say, he is still a priest.

The current charges were laid back in February of 2013 .  Yes, four long long years ago.  Let’s hope this doesn’t wind up getting thrown out with Hoskins claiming that his right to a speedy trial has been violated.

Let’s also hope and pray that the media is there to cover this.  They are usually pretty good in Nefoundland, so keep fingers crossed

I encourage those who can do so to attend.

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 

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Extradition proceedings commenced

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Another name to the list….

Extradition proceedings are under way for Father Robert MacKenzie , a former Benedictine who relocated from Scotland to the Archdiocese of Regina Saskatchewan in 1988.

As you see, the page is just barely started.  I haven’t even managed to find his date of ordination yet.  If anyone has any further information please pass it along.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.  The process for extradition can take forever, and, with Father MacKenzies’ age, there may be more sympathy than desire to seek the truth and then ensure that justice is done.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Many are sheer porn

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I mentioned before that as I was getting set to post information about the Father Stephen Amesse trial I got side-tracked looking for “Eric.”  And, as I also mentioned earlier, I did find Eric.  More on that later.  First, the whole matter of Eric and what was said at trial, then more info on Eric, and then a little more information regarding other testimony at trial.

 

ERIC

Eric became a topic of testimony at the trial because the complainant, whom I have called “Robert,” testified that there was a framed picture of  “Eric” in Father Stephen Amesse’s living quarters.  He had seen it.  I gather he had seen at least one other such picture, but it was the picture of Eric which became an issue.  The picture is an issue in and of itself, but it also connects indirectly to the gift of the body shaver to Robert, and Robert’s testimony that Father Amesse has or had a clean shaven chest and that Father Amesse had used a body shaver to personally shave Robert’s genitalia.

So, first the matter of the picture.  This is the essence of some of the  testimony regarding Eric

The Picture

Robert described the picture as that of a naked  man with a clean shaven body and penis showing.   Father Amesse, he said,  had told  him  that Eric was a friend in California who was into body building.   He was told by the priest that body builders shave off their body hair to accentuate their muscles.

In response to questioning Robert said that he was surprised, but not super-surprised by the picture of Eric .  He knew, he said, that Father Amesse loved men.  Indeed, according to Robert, Father Amesse had variously told him how he, Amesse, is  into men,  is bisexual, and is homosexual.

Father Amesse admitted  having contact with a body builder named Eric.  The priest however  flatly denied that he ever had a framed picture of Eric.   Apparently he initially told detectives that he did have a framed picture of a shirtless Eric, upper torso only,  and that he showed that picture to Robert once.  At trial, however, Amesse denied ever having had such a picture.  Furthermore, what Robert saw, said the priest, wasn’t a picture but a brochure.  It was a  brochure that he had received from Eric.  He had it in his office at the rectory.  That, according to Amesse, was what Robert saw.

Indeed, a very indignant Father Amesse angrily  insisted that there was no way he would ever have such a picture of a shirtless man  in the rectory, asking with some degree of incredulity  “How many priests have a picture of a shirtless man in the rectory.” When the Crown suggested he was angry the priest  curtly replied “I’m not angry.”

(Asking how many priests have pictures in rectories of shirtless men is akin to asking how many priests have porn in the rectory.  As we know all too well, some do.   I would assume that those who might have pictures of shirtless men would be smart enough to ensure they are kept out of sight of those who might take offence or wouldn’t understand? in other words, tucked away in a ‘safe spot’ until such time as it is deemed desireable, and perhaps even profitable, to put them on display?  )

The brochure

According to Amesse, the contact with Eric transpired in 2008 when, he explained,  he, Amesse,  was turning 50 and became  concerned about his health and fitness.  He hunted about online and found and contacted  Eric.  He was, he said, seeking fitness tips.

As those who live in the Ottawa well know, there are no lack of fitness centres and trainers in Ottawa.  When asked why he did not seek such expertise here in Ottawa a flustered Amesse said that he preferred to do this at home, and that what he was seeking was nothing “overly severe.”

Prior to taking the stand Father Amesse had taken time to find  a copy of a page of an Eric  brochure which was shown to the court.    This, he agreed, would not be the same as the one he had in 2008, but it was produce  to show the business company Eric was with and, it seems,  to give a general idea of what, according to Father Amesse, the brochure which he claims was lying in his office in 2008  might have looked like.    I got the impression too that it was shown to convey a message of sweet Eric who says he started working out when he was just a boy when his Dad gave him a weight bench, and of Eric the family man who now works with his son.

The Crown referenced the part in  the brochure where Eric says he started working out when his dad bought him a weight bench .  The Crown then suggested and Father Amesse  agreed  that there are many things which Amesse could have bought Robert other than a body trimmer.  A flustered Amesse then insisted that Robert had asked for the body trimmer (shaver).

By way of explanation of the above,  Robert testified that he had an interest in body building, and  that Father Amesse had told him that body builders shave off their body hair because it enhances their muscles.

However, under cross-examination when the Crown suggested that the use of a body shaver makes muscles stand out Amesse replied “I wouldn’t know.”

The Crown:  “Well, you have one [body shaver].”

When queried if he used the shaver  to give him a better look, Amesse  replied:  “No, I just didn’t like the feel of hair on my clothes”!

Now, back to the brochure.

There is a picture insert of Eric, hand in pocket,  shirt wide open to the waist exposing a clean shaven muscular chest.  As the Crown suggested, and Father Amesse agreed, the look and pose are a little suggestive.  No matter, there he is, Eric the family man:  Eric clothed.  That, the court is to believe, is the sort of picture which Robert saw .

To be quite honest, I doubt that too many Roman Catholics would be impressed to find the likes of that lying around any priest’s office, but Father Amesse seemed to be quite happy to show this off .

I did find the website of Eric affiliated with that particular business company.   The page we saw in court is, I do believe, taken right from the website.

That’s one picture of Eric.  Shirt on.  Shirt open.  Chest clean shaven.  Muscles.

There are more.

Porn

To make a long story short, there are several websites with pictures of Eric.  There are also websites which feature Eric under different names.  I’ve found two different names.  It is one name in particular which is of interest.  There are pictures of Eric which are identical to those of a “bodybuilder” who goes by this other name.  Identical.  The same picture.  Different name.  Exactly the same picture.  Same person.  This “Eric” is very naked in many of his pictures.  Very naked, with penis showing.   And this  “Eric” has many pictures which are sheer porn.  There are pictures of “Eric” on sites which feature gay porn.

I will not provide any further information.  Not the name of the company.  Not Eric’s last name.  Not the other name he goes by.  I just do not want to direct people to this material.  I assure you, it is Eric.  He uses a different name, but, it is “Eric.”  As I say, there are identical pictures of Eric under two different names.  It’s him.

There’s probably more to find.  I  have neither the will nor stomach to continue.

OTHER TESTIMONY

Here is a little more regarding other subjects raised in testimony

Who’s a child?

There was a brief exchange where the Crown made reference to Robert being a child.  Father Amesse shot back that he wasn’t a child “he was 14.”  When the Crown  replied that  “14 is a child”  the priest shot back again with “that’s what you say.”

The moles

Robert testified that he had seen Father Amesse naked.  He described the priest as having a clean shaven body with moles on chest and back.

Father Amesse deneid that Robert ever saw him naked.  He testified in fact testified that he absolutely never ever  would let anyone see him without a shirt on, and never ever would Robert have seen him without a shirt on.

Asked how Robert was able to describe the birthmarks on his body Amesse said that  he, Amesse,  likes to sit out in the backyard of the rectory sunning himself and reading a book, and so: “He may have seen me then.”  He was adamant that that is the only way Robert could ever  have seen his naked torso .

However, in as much as he expressed horror that anyone would ever see him shirtless, and then that that was the only way that Robert could ever have seen his naked torso, it seems he has no vivid recollection of Robert  ever stumbling upon upon him sunbathing.  In fact he became extremely rattled when it was suggested that if indeed that had ever happened  he must have had a conversation with Robert on that occasion, something related to  his, Amesse’s.  own shock at being seen shirtless.

Things got ridiculous when it came to the matter of identifying marks on his torso

In an interview with Detective Woods the priest was apparently asked if he had any moles or warts .  Amesse told Woods that he thought he had a couple on his neck.   However, pictures taken while he was in the cell block  show many moles on the front of his torso and a number on his back.   Asked about this Amesse replied:    “I live alone.  I would never notice.”  Further to that,  Father Amesse denied that those were moles, said he considers moles to be “gross,”- and insisted those are birthmarks.

When the Crown referenced comments made by the detective about moles all around Amesse stomach and back Amesse said “I thought he was talking about moles.”  The Crown replied “He was.”  Amessee:  “No, I mean birthmarks.”

When he was shown pictures which show moles he said:  “I call those birthmarks.”

Asked why he never told Woods about those marks, the priest replied:  “He didn’t ask.’

Kisses

Robert testified that he had been kissed on the lips a number of times by Father Amesse.  Roberts mother testified that she had seen it happen once.

Father flatly denied that he would ever do such a thing.  How would never never have kissed Robert on the lips, not even the one time which the mother had witnessed.  It didn’t happen.  When the Crown asked if it was possible that Robert had kissed Father Amesse on the lips , the priest said that might have happened. He was reduced to stammering and stuttering when the Crown suggested that he was  a smart man, and wondered if it would not be highly unusual that he would not recall being kissed on the lips by Robert.

All convoluted as all get out.

I will put all of these bits and pieces of testimony together on one page, and at that time will add other bits and pieces .

On that note,

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Grooming, Scandal, Trials | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Time to smell the flowers

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My last  post was meant to be  a reference to Eric the bodybuilder.  With this news:

16 March 2017:  “Nunavut court approves legal funding for pedophile priest Eric Dejaeger” & related article (

“Eric”  became a thread for Eric Dejaeger 🙂

Not at all welcome news I am sure for the many victims who suffered so long to see justice done. Keep them all in your prayers.  I am sure they all thought it was finally over.  Sadly and obviously, it’s not.  Keep them in your prayers.

*****

The “Eric”  whom I mentioned in the last post was actually reference to Eric the bodybuilder, a friend of Father Stephen Amesse. I have, as I mentioned, been sidetracked looking for information on this man.  A worthwhile venture in the long run.  I found pictures.

I’ll explain all of this later.  Well, probably not by any stretch will I  explain “all ” because I absolutely will not direct anyone to what I spent hours checking and  rechecking and comparing to ensure I was seeing properly.

Break time.

Time to smell the flowers.

*****

Today is St. Patrick’s Day.  A day off today.  A special day.  Not only is it St. Patrick’s Day, but, it’s the first day of my husband retirement 🙂  A big day!

So, Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

Now, my little Paddy’s day gift to each of you….

…some beautiful photography and an  equally beautiful piece of music and message.  This  is my prayer for each of you on this St. Patrick’s Day

The Gaelic singer is Aoife Ni Fearraigh.  Roma Downey recites the words.

I shared it before.  I hope you enjoy  again.

Enjoy!

Enough for now.

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Administrative, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Eric

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Sorry, but got side-tracked on Eric again.  It’s taken some time, but I do believe worthwhile.  More later.  I have appointments today which must be taken care of.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged | 4 Comments

He doesn’t know what grooming is?!

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Can you for one moment conceive a Canadian Catholic priest who, in this day and age,  professes to know nothing – I mean nothing – about grooming?

A priest who contributed to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop’s 1992 sex abuse guidelines knows nothing about grooming?!!

Nothing?!

So claimed Father Stephen Amesse 09 March 2017. Amesse had taken the stand the previous day to testify in his own defence at his sex abuse trial.

Under cross-examination Assistant Crown Farah Rupert raised the fact that Father Amesse had been a collaborator on the compilation of the CCCB’s  sex abuse guidelines , From Pain to Hope .

As some may already know, this was  before his ordination to the priesthood .  In others words, he collaborated as a layman.

When asked about his participation in the compilation of the guidelines Amesse testified that he had become aware that “Frank” was putting together a team and that he, Amesse. called to congratulate him.  Amesse quickly self-corrected to say Father Frank Morrissey, who, he then explained, had been one of his professors while he, Amesse,  was in the seminary at Ottawa’s Saint Paul University.  I believe this must have been reference to Father Amessse’s first time in the seminary?  I say first time because, for reasons currently unknown,  he ceased his pursuit of the priesthood, spent about ten years working for various Liberal MPs and a Liberal Senator on Parliament Hill, and then seems to have  felt the call to the priesthood  again.  Indeed, during his examination in chief Father Amesse testified that  while he was working on Parliament Hill he came to know two priests who were ‘ministering’ on the Hill, and who, he said, “nagged” him to become a priest.  Whether called or nagged  (which some might also consider a calling), in 1999 Father Amesse was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

We never did find out who those two nagging priests were.  But, as far as the sex abuse guidelines go, we did learn that, according to his own testimony, the then Mr. Stephen Amesse  was invited by  Father Morrissey  to participate in the compilation of the new guidelines,  not really as a researcher or academic, but  as a former seminarian.

Since every priest is  in fact a former seminarian it is difficult to fathom what unique experience Amesse had which  prompted Father Morrissey to determine that he, Amesse,  had something special to offer the Ad Hoc Committee preparing the guidelines.

For those unfamiliar with Father Morrissey, he is an Ottawa-based Oblate priest who is the former and longtime dean of the St. Paul U. Faculty of Canon Law.  Over the years Father Morrissey  has offered canonical assistance to dioceses rocked by scandal.  He believes and lectures that child molesters are not “moral degenerates,” that child molestation is akin to alcoholism which was once viewed as sinful and is now understood to be a disease, that sexual molestation isn’t grounds to defrock/laicize a priest, and when addressing the issue in the mid 90s,  that it is not “responsible stewardship” to throw away what was then the $250,000 investment that goes into cost of ordaining a Catholic priest

Back to Amesse and the CCCB guidelines….

Why, pray tell, would Father Morrissey ask Stephen Amesse, a layman and ex seminarian  to assist with the compilation of the Bishop’s sex abuse guidelines?

Is there a remotely possibility that it is related to Father Amesse’s dealings with a Father Claude Thibeau, the Cornwall Ontario priest who testified at the Cornwall Public Inquiry that he had been molested by Father Gilles Deslaurier?  The Father Thibeau who disclosed that abuse to his friend Stephen Amesse while the pair were seminarian at St. Paul’s?   I blogged on this back in 2007 when Father Thibeau testified. (Scroll down page. )

Perhaps?  If so, what unique perspective  could Amesse’s interactions have had to offer to the guidelines?

First, and of particular interest here is the fact that Father Thibeau testified that he almost worshiped Father Deslaurier and described his molester as “such a manipulator, such a liar.”

And, more to the point,  this:  Father Thibeau  readily recognized and on several occasions made reference to the fact that he had been groomed by Deslaurier.  Yes.  He used and was obviously very familiar with the term “grooming.”  In fact, in an open statement to the inquiry he said, in part:  “Perpetrators are manipulative, choose victims, carefully groom them over, lie to them, develop trust and abuse that trust”

The strange thing here is that, as much as he was an unfortunate victim,  Father Thibeau seemed to be on the same page  as Father Morrissey: opposed to defrocking.  He was also opposed to the one strike  you’re out policy in the 2002 Dallas Charter (USA) whereby clerical molesters in the States are supposed to be “out” after the first conviction or credible allegation, with “out” meaning out of the priesthood.   Father Thibeau also indicated that he favours suspension, not defrocking.   He also espouses the theory that some molesters only molest only once,  and therefore, well, they should be given another chance…

All interesting, – and disturbing, coming as it did from the mouth of a victim, and in this instance from the mouth of a victim who happens to be a Roman Catholic priest.

I go through all of this to get to the issue grooming?  Well, yes.  Where possible, as some of you know, I like to connect the dots.    The above are just a few of the dots which I believe warrant connecting.

Back to Father Amesse and the matter  of grooming….

The Crown essentially suggested  that, given his work with the sex abuse guidelines, Father Amesse would have been familiar with the term grooming.

No.  Not.  According to Father Amesse, he was not.

Perhaps this is understandable?  I don’t believe the word “grooming” was common lingo in the early 90s –  at least  not to specifically label the manipulative overtly kind and often long-term acts employed by so many molesters to gain the trust and affection of their prey – and often also of the victim’s family.  I don’t personally recall its use back then, and I followed the unveiling of From Pain to Hope very closely.  I do however recall that grooming techniques were recognized, and that there was an awareness of the process, but not that it bore the label “grooming.”  I recall too that such behaviour was specifically identified  as grooming a few years later.  All that said, I believe there is no doubt that in this day and age most people are very aware of what the term grooming means, and that, as Father Thibeau did, we can look back and not only recognize but call certain behaviours exhibited by clerical molesters as grooming .

Why Father Amesse was unable to do so is a puzzle, particularly after having once been a confidant to a fellow seminarian who was cunningly groomed by his molester.

Anyway, when the Crown suggested to Father Amesse that his behavlour with Robert was typical of grooming, and proceeded to list those things which she suggested were indicative of grooming, Amessee interrupted the Crown mid sentence: “May I tell you something about Montreal..? ”

The Crown carried on.  Ms. Rupert made reference to the cards, and the money in the cards, and the restaurants, and the gift of the book on Rome, and the gift of the body shaver – all examples of grooming to, as she  said , exploit Robert, and to make the boy feel special and loved. A visibly and audibly flustered Amesse responded to the Crown’s various comments, saying at one point that  he didn’t consider that the book on Rome was a gift, and at another point, in response to the suggestion that he exploited Robert to make him feel special and loved,  that Robert wasn’t feeling special and loved elsewhere.

When Ms. Rupert suggested  that he singled Robert out Fathert Amessee replied:”I  wouldn’t  say that I  singled him out.”  (On another occasion he testified that:  “I tried to reach out to a young man that I thought was troubled.”)

Eventually Father Amesse was given opportunity to share with the court his experience in Montreal.

He was Robert’s  age,  he said, and he came from a background  similar to but not as bad as Robert’s.   He met a Franciscan priest.  The priest was kind to him.   He wanted to carry forwards that experience.

That was it.

When the Crown suggested that at the end of his experience with the Francisan priest he was not suicidal he was not happy!

Finally, for the purpose of this post, when the Crown asked Father Amesse if he knows what grooming is now, the answer was in the negative.

He doesn’t know what grooming is!  In this day and age, a priest who doesn’t know what grooming is.  Where or where has he been?

*****

I will carry on with other parts of the testimony.  I do want to cover several other areas of testimony, specifically the issue of moles, and “Eric,” and alcohol, and the kissing on the lips.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Cornwall, Cornwall Public Inquiry, Grooming, Scandal, Trials | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments