Two years less a day for Deacon/ former CCCB Director of Communications

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Finally!  More than a year after pleading guilty to child porn charges Deacon William Kokesch was sentenced.  Kokesch, a former journalist and former director of communications for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, was sentenced to two years less a day.

24 March 2015:  Montreal deacon in child pornography case gets jail time

According to media reports, there were nearly 100,00 images of child porn on the Deacon’s computer.

Nadine Haviernick, the Crown prosecutor, said she has no words to describe the images “they were outrageous disgusting images.”

Jeffrey Barro, Kokesch’s lawyer,  seemed to rationalize the crimes by alluding to problems that Kokesch had as a child:  “When you have a troubled childhood, it sometimes manifests itself in acts such as the one that Mr. Kokesch pleaded guilty to.”

That is perhaps true, however , as an adult Mr. Kokesch voluntarily became and served as a Deacon  in the Roman Catholic Church.  Please, please, please –  please don’t try to convince us that this deacon didn’t know that what he was doing was both sinful and criminal!

All seem to agree that Kokesch is not a risk to re-offend.  I hope and pray that is true.

The two-years-less-a-day means Kokesch will not be heading for a federal penitentiary ( A sentence must be two years to spend time in a  penitentiary).  And, even though his sentence is just shy of two years, according to media reports – believe it or not -Deacon Kokesch could be out on good behaviour in four months!

I just realized that I have no idea what disciplinary action can be taken by the Church to ensure that he can longer be referred to or serve as a Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church.  There must be an equivalent to defrocking?  I will check.  Whatever is required action should be taken to get this man out of the diaconate.

I will look for an post other media coverage.  Keep an eye on NEW to the site.  As I post I will post a link there.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Clerical sexual predators | Leave a comment

Make sense of it?

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I am in the midst of posting a series of articles regarding the Society of St. John, Fathers Eric Ensey and Carlos Urrutigoity.  These were published when household was in the midst of our health woes.  I am just now catching up and getting them posted.  They are timely in that Father Carlos Urrutigoity is still a priest. Father Ensey has mercifully been defrocked, but Father Urrutigoity was taken in by Opus Dei Bishop Livieres in the Ciudad del Este Diocse of Paraguay.

What is timely about these articles is that, as some may recall, Bishop Lievre has since been given the papal boot – he’s gone.  However, despite a ruckus about his predatory history, Father Urrutigoity is still there!  It’s true that he was demoted from his post as Vicar General, but, sad to say,  he’s still a priest and still somewhere in the diocese.

It’s unclear exactly why Bishop Liviers was sent packing aside the fact there was in-fighting between he and his fellow Paraguayan bishops.  It did not appear to have anything to do with giving shelter  and the highest post in the diocese to a clerical sexual predator.  It should have, but that  alas seemed inconsequential.

Meanwhile, as you know, there has been a massive protest in Chile regarding the installation of Father Barros as Bishop of Osorno.  Despite much publicity regarding Bishop Barros’s sexual ‘indiscretions’ – Barros remains a bishop and the installation proceeded.

Can you make an ounce of sense out if all?

Anyway, I am still working at posting this excellent series of articles.  There are links still be added int  body of the articless, and two more installments in the series to be posted.  I will finish it up tomorrow, but since there is a fair bit of reading I wanted to give you a head start :)

Here are the articles which are posted:

The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (IV)

The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (V)

The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (VI)

The following, parts one, two and three, were posted on the site last August:

29 August 2014:  The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (III)

21 August 2014:  The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (II)

04 August 2014:  The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (I)

*****

I will give court updates tomorrow.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

Posted in Accused or charged, Bishops, Circling the wagons, Clerical sexual predators, Pope Francis, Scandal, Vatican | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Curious Case of Carlos Urrutigoity (VI)

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Click on the following links to access other parts of this eight-part series:    Part 1;          Part 11;        Part III;          Part IV;           Part V;      Part VI;          Part VII;          Part VIII

________________________________

Commonweal

December 23, 2014 – 9:07am

Grant Gallicho

The day after Fr. Eric Ensey first sexually assaulted him, John Doe testified, he asked to sleep on the couch. The two were staying with Ensey’s parents in California so that John could visit Thomas Aquinas College. He was considering of attending TAC after graduating from St. Gregory’s Academy in Pennsylvania, where he had met Ensey. It was the fall of 1998. “I remember thinking that I would like to [sleep on the couch],” John would later testify as part of a federal lawsuit alleging that Ensey and Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity had molested him. Yet he was worried that asking to move from Ensey’s bedroom, where the two had spent the previous night, to the sofa “might give some sort of bad connotation.” John thought Ensey’s parents might wonder whether “something had happened, and that was the one thing that I did not want to admit.”

John was upset about what had happened at Ensey’s parents. He would later allege that the priest had sexually assaulted him while he was passed out drunk on four occasions during that trip to California. But John “was trying to put it out of my mind.” At the same time, he found it hard to believe that Fr. Ensey “could do something wrong.” By trying to banish those memories, John was able to continue spending time with Ensey when they returned to St. Gregory’s Academy. After resuming his late-night meetings with Ensey, John faced more mockery from classmates. “They made fun of me for spending time with Fr. Ensey,” John recalled, even though it was “very widely known among the students that a good portion of the students drank with Society members.” On one occasion, John returned to his dorm room well after lights out. As he was about to slip into bed, he noticed that someone had spat mucus all over his pillow. “So I didn’t really feel accepted.”

Ensey provided solace. “He made it a point to discuss how friendship should be kept between one or two [people]…and how he was a true friend and no one else was.” By this point, Ensey seemed to be “the only one who understood me…the only one I bothered to invest time in,” John testified. So he continued to participate in Ensey’s brand of alcohol-assisted spiritual direction. On several occasions between the time they returned from California and the time John graduated, Ensey fondled him, according to John’s testimony. (Under oath, Ensey denied assaulting or groping John; efforts to reach him were unsuccessful.)

Yet John still hadn’t told anyone, and he continued spending time with Ensey. That did not mean he was comfortable with the situation. Rather, Ensey had continued to insist that because John was “raised American” he had “Puritanical instincts concerning male friendship,” according to John. Ensey repeated his view “that it was natural for men to sleep in the same bed…[and] to cuddle.” The “Puritanical” aspects of American culture were something Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity was known to complain about, according to other witnesses.

But by the second semester of John’s junior year, Ensey warned John to be more careful about their visits. That was when Ensey “informed me that Mr. Hicks, the headmaster, didn’t want boys going over and having…spiritual direction or counseling meetings [with Society of St. John priests] after Compline,” according to John. That didn’t mean the two couldn’t see one another anymore. “He [Ensey] said it was fine,” John testified. The cleric just wanted John “to stay quiet about it.” Later, John recalled, Ensey woke him early one morning to tell him “to go back to my room before anyone realized I was gone.” John complied, as he had before and would again, right up through Graduation Day.

John took Ensey’s advice on which college to attend: Thomas Aquinas College. He didn’t even apply anywhere else. But after just one semester at TAC, John quit. “I was drunk all the time,” he testified. “I had a pretty good feeling that if I stayed there, I would be kicked out” for excessive drinking. But John wasn’t giving up on a college education just yet. He had just spent “the most formative years of my life being drunk,” according to his deposition. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. He lacked self-esteem. He constantly debated taking his own life. “I was just looking for a way out,” John said. The Society of St. John seemed as good an exit strategy as any.

John knew the Society was putting together a Catholic college—the one Jeffrey Bond was hired to run—and he thought that might be a good place for him to study once he got his act together. So he contacted Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, and arranged to visit the SSJ property in Shohola, Pennsylvania. John visited the SSJs for about a week during the summer after he left TAC. He was already working a retail job at home, and still drinking excessively. John “spoke with Fr. U. concerning the fact that I did not want to join the order but wished to attend the college [St. Justin Martyr], and he said that would be no problem,” according to his deposition.

John attended his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting weeks later, in August 2000. He knew he couldn’t fall into the same self-destructive pattern that made it impossible for him to stay at Thomas Aquinas College. But when John arrived in Shohola in September—after a month of sobriety—he was told he could not enroll at the College of St. Justin Martyr because it was for seminarians only. Urrutigoity did not bother mentioning that stipulation as he drove John from New York City’s Penn Station to Shohola, even though John had already explained that he didn’t want to join the SSJs. He waited until John was already safely on the SSJ property. Worse, Urrutigoity would not allow John to use the SSJ’s car to attend AA meetings in town. “Fr. U. flatly forbade me,” John testified. “He said I didn’t need them…that it [AA] was full of crap.”

John stayed, fearing he’d fall back into his drinking habit if he returned home. But the Society was having some trouble finding John his own accommodations. He stayed a few nights with Fr. Ensey—at the priest’s request—and was repeatedly groped, John testified. He was sober enough to resist: “Will you stop?” he implored. He moved to Fr. Urrutigoity’s room.

John offered to sleep on the floor, but Urrutigoity said his mattress was plenty big. “We didn’t want to be Puritans,” he protested, according to John’s deposition. “He said that besides, since I was going to be up there for a little while, I should develop a good relationship with him and that I should share his mattress on the floor,” according to John. He complied. A few nights later, John alleged, Urrutigoity fondled his penis. He rolled over, pretending to be asleep. When it happened again, according to John, he said, “I don’t want you to do that.” Urrutigoity “said something about…being a Puritan, but no problem.” John asked to move to another room, but his request would not be granted before Urrutigoity would grope him again, John testified. Eventually he would be moved to a bed in a hallway. (Under oath, Urrutigioty has denied molesting anyone. In June 2014, he was surprised by a Global Post reporter in Paraguay, and called the allegations part of “a whole hysteria,” that is, a smear campaign. Urrutigoity could not be reached for comment.)

By that point, John was doing odd jobs for the SSJs, in exchange for room and board. He worked on their website. He cooked for them. He had occasion to discuss SSJ matters with other people who worked for the organization. That was when he realized the Society had a serious problem with money. “I noticed that they were spending exorbitant amounts of money.” So he wrote to Urrutigoity to share his concerns. He called the Society’s furniture “more extravagant than useful,” adding, “How often does the pope come to visit?” He also shared how “shameful and degrading” it felt to shop for groceries with a Society member and be told “the bill for the last month or more had not been paid.” He chided Urrutigoity for failing to pay hard-working staff members, and warned him that he was risking the Society’s credit rating. John Doe was a teenager at the time. He did not mention anything about Urrutigoity’s alleged sexual misconduct.

The letter did not go over well. Two SSJ members—Br. Anthony Myers (now a priest) and Fr. Daniel Fullerton—“cussed at me for over an hour and a half, saying that I was an insolent arrogant prick and that I had no business making these observations and Fr. Urrutigoity was a priest and knew better than me and I needed to leave the premises unless I wrote a retraction, which I did,” John testified. He wasn’t happy about it. But there was one sentence in particular that John tried to avoid including in the letter: “I put my trust in your judgment of all situations arising.” Myers told him to put it in, John said, or face expulsion from the property. John heeded Myers, and sent his apology, calling his previous letter “foolish” and irresponsible. He expressed his “gratitude for all that the Society has done” for him. The SSJs “live a truly Christian life,” John wrote, “and live it in a way that no one else does.”

Soon after receiving the letter, Urrutigoity approached John to thank him for sending it. Several days later, John packed his bags, and headed home. Within months, John would relapse badly. “At that point I had no reason to stay sober, so I proceeded to attempt to drink myself to death,” John testified. But alcohol wouldn’t be enough. He started smoking pot, popping pills, snorting cocaine, and shooting heroin. He was hospitalized following two suicide attempts in 2001, and, with the help of counseling, began to come to terms with the terrible memories he said he’d tried to suppress for so long.

In 2002, John Doe and his parents filed a federal lawsuit against Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, Fr. Eric Ensey, the Diocese of Scranton, Bishop James Timlin, the Society of St. John, St. Gregory’s Academy, and the Fraternal Society of St. Peter (which ran St. Gregory’s). No one was brought up on criminal charges because the statute of limitations had run. Urrutigoity and Ensey denied molesting John. Urrutigoity denied sharing a bed with anyone other than one of St. Gregory’s dorm fathers, himself a recent graduate of the high school—but said that nothing sexual had happened. John Doe’s attorney, James Bendell, produced witnesses whose testimony contradicted Urrutigoity’s—all former St. Greg’s students. They corroborated the pattern described by John: situations that led to bed-sharing, complaints about Puritanical attitudes, groping.

One witness, John Zoscak, testified in a 2004 affidavit that Urrutigoity had molested him too. Zoscak joined the Society of St. John after graduating from St. Gregory’s Academy. Not long after Zoscak moved to the SSJ’s Shohola property, Urrutigoity suggested the two share a bed. The teenager wasn’t sure that was a good idea. Urrutigoity “said that the reason I felt uncomfortable was because I had a Puritanical attitude, and that this was due to a bad relationship with my father.” Zoscak continued: “He said that sleeping with him would heal this problem.” Because Zoscak thought that Urrutigoity was “a perfect priest,” he relented.

Zoscak was pictured as a postulant in an early SSJ fundraising mailer, and was quoted in a 2000 Washington Times story promoting the Society’s ambitious plans. “God called me basically when I was at work on the graveyard shift,” an eighteen-year-old Zoscak told the Times. He asked God why he was unhappy, and God explained: “You’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing.” “And what is that?” John asked. “Join the Society of St. John.” A few months later, according to Zoscak, Urrutigoity groped him while he slept. He reported the incident to law enforcement, but was told that no charges could be brought because the statute of limitations had run.

Diane Toler and her husband often received requests for donations from the Society. In early 2002, she got wind of the alleged bed-sharing practices of Urrutigoity and the SSJs, so she wrote to Fr. Dominic Carey to share her concerns. A month later, he phoned her. Carey readily acknowledged that SSJ priests slept with young men, but he denied that there was anything sexual about the practice, according to Toler’s 2002 affidavit. “Father [Carey] said that this was Fr. Urrutigoity’s method of having the Society priests bond with boys,” she wrote. In other societies at other times, he continued, it was common for men to sleep in the same bed—“including Ireland.”

Conal Tanner was a year behind John Doe at St. Gregory’s. Urrutigoity served as his religion teacher and his spiritual director. After Tanner graduated in 2000, he accidentally left some luggage at St. Gregory’s. But he had already returned home to Ottawa, and it was a six-hour drive back to the school. So he called Urrutigoity to see whether it would be all right if he stayed the night at the Society’s Shohola property, and the priest said that would be fine, according to Tanner’s 2003 deposition. Tanner figured there would be plenty of room, because many SSJs were in France studying for the summer. But after he arrived, he found that Urrutigoity had not set up a bed for him. The priest told him they would have to share “this little fold-out mattress in the corner,” Tanner said. He barely undressed, leaving on his trousers and shirt, and he slept on top of the covers. The two talked for a bit. Urrutigoity threw his right arm around Tanner, who went “stiff as a board.” Moments later, Urrutigoity withdrew his arm. Tanner drifted off to sleep. When he awoke, he said, his fly was down. In sworn testimony, Urrutigoity denied sharing a bed with Tanner, but he did admit to sleeping on the floor with him.

Like John Doe and several other St. Gregory graduates, Tanner attended Thomas Aquinas College in California. Tanner took some time off after high school before starting at TAC in 2002 (two years after John left). By that time, news of the lawsuit had spread among St. Greg’s graduates at TAC, some of whom were “supporters of the Society of St. John,” Tanner said in an interview earlier this year. Before long, as Tanner’s opinion about the lawsuit became known, he “felt like my life was in danger.” Tanner was a runner. On a couple of occasions, while Tanner was jogging around the campus road, a car “driven by a St. Gregory’s guy” made contact without knocking him down. Later in the school year, Tanner decided he should approach one of the St. Greg’s graduates to apologize for not bringing his views about the lawsuit to them sooner. But “why didn’t you guys come to me?” Tanner asked. “Well, we knew your opinion,” the classmate replied, “and a lot of guys said that if they heard it come out of your mouth, they wouldn’t be able to control themselves.” Tanner wanted that clarified: “They would attack me?” “Yes.” During that period, “I felt like I was living under an atmosphere of violence,” Tanner told me. “For a long time I thought that maybe I should carry a knife.”

That threatening atmosphere was not limited to Thomas Aquinas College. According to Tanner, some time after John Doe’s allegations against Urrutigoity and Ensey became public knowledge, a few St. Gregory’s graduates paid a visit to John’s house. They knocked on the door, and, when John’s parents answered, the young men asked to speak with John. “They said they wanted to set him straight,” Tanner told me. John’s parents instructed them to leave the premises. (Tanner’s account was corroborated by another source with knowledge of the events.)

John Doe’s lawsuit finally settled in 2005 for about $400,000. But John’s lawyer, James Bendell, thinks he could have gotten more. He claims the defendants were less than forthcoming when it came to documentation central to the case. During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, Bendell sought the psychological evaluations of Urrutigoity and Ensey, which Bishop Timlin ordered after he received the letter from John Doe’s father in January 2002. Timlin sent the clerics to the Southdown Institute in Canada. “We were told [by the diocese], ‘Sorry, we don’t have the Southdown records,’” Bendell said in an interview. He was working hard to pry the evaluations, which had been paid for by the Diocese of Scranton, from the Institute—not an easy task, given the fact that it is located Canada. Days after a judge ruled that those records would be admissible, the suit settled.

Yet it wasn’t until a later lawsuit brought by Jeffrey Bond—hired by Urrutigoity to establish a Catholic college for the SSJs—that Bendell actually learned what the evaluations contained. During that proceeding, Bendell discovered the minutes of Clergy Review Board meetings during which the Southdown reports had been discussed. According to the March 2002 minutes, Southdown “strongly recommended” counseling for Urrutigoity’s “antisocial and narcissistic” “personality disorder.” Southdown’s assessment of Ensey was more troubling. Counselors determined that he “struggles with a repressed sexuality,” that “his sexual attraction is toward adolescent boys, a stage that he appears locked into,” and recommended inpatient treatment. In 2014, after resurfacing in Paraguay, Urrutigoity would authorize the publishing of redacted versions of his Southdown report after local media started reporting on his past. For his part, Bendell believes that having those records for John Doe’s lawsuit would have brought a larger settlement. Instead, “either the diocesan attorneys or the diocese misled the court.” Asked to comment, a spokesman for the Diocese of Scranton replied, “The current bishop [Joseph Bambera, appointed in 2010] and leadership of the Diocese of Scranton are unable to provide any insights into these assertions.”

John Doe’s lawsuit outlasted the tenure of Bishop James Timlin, who had given the Society of St. John shelter in the Diocese of Scranton, who sped the one-time schismatics’ reconciliation with Rome, who repeatedly defended them against sexual misconduct allegations, even well after he retired in 2003. He bequeathed the SSJ situation to Joseph Martino, who was installed as the ninth bishop of Scranton in October 1, 2003. Martino was well aware of the scandal visited on the diocese by the Society. He was briefed on the dire financial position of the organization. He knew that Timlin had suspended Urrutigoity and Ensey. “I was here probably about six weeks when I determined that this was a group I had to [canonically] suppress,” Martino later testified. But getting rid of the Society of St. John, as the new bishop would soon learn, was easier said than done.

Read Part VII.

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

Addendum

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An addendum to my last post regarding today’s courtdates….

A belated reminder that the former youth volunteer with the Regina Youth Ministry, Nathan Labatt, has his first court appearance this morning in Humboldt, Saskatchewan:

23 March 2015:  10:00 am, first appearance, Humboldt courthouse, Humboldt, Sask. (805 8th Avenue)

I encourage those who can do so to attend.  Please pass on news and/or links to media coverage of the outcome.  Please keep the complainant (s) in your prayers.

*****

As mentioned yesterday, Viatorian priest and founder of a Winnipeg youth drop-in centre  Father Ronald Leger csv has a court date this afternoon in Winnipeg, Manitoba:

23 March 2015:  1 pm, courtroom #301, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (408 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba )

Father Leger, a native of Lancaster, Ontario who both attended and taught at Cornwall’s Classical College in the late 60s,  has been serving in the Archdiocese of St. Boniface Manitoba in various capacities for most of the past 43 years.

Please pass along any news of the outcome and/or links to media coverage.  And, as always, please keep the complainant in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Winnipeg courtdate

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Viatorian priest and founder of a Winnipeg youth drop-in centre  Father Ronald Leger csv has a court date tomorrow afternoon in Winnipeg, Manitoba:

23 March 2015:  1 pm, courtroom #301, Winnipeg Provincial courthouse (408 York Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba )

Father Leger, a native of Lancaster, Ontario who both attended and taught at Cornwall’s Classical College in the late 60s,  has been serving in the Archdiocese of St. Boniface Manitoba in various capacities for most of the past 43 years.

Please pass along any news of the outcome and/or links to media coverage.  And, as always, please keep the complainant in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Significant court developments

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There are two significant developments in the criminal courts:

(1)  Brian Lucy  (Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario)

Church organist Brian Lucy is facing more charges:

20 March 2015:  GANANOQUE POLICE: Historic sex assault charge added

Lucy, who played organ at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Gananoque from 1969 until he was first charged in August 2013, is facing two additional charges, one one of indecent assault on a male and one of gross indecency.  He is currently in custody pending a bail hearing.  There will be a coutdate in relation to these charges, however barring something in the news I won’t be able to get that until next week.

Lucy was already heading to trial on a previous set charges related to sex abuse and on two child porn charges, the latter of which were incurred while he was out on bail after he was first charged .  Both sets of charges have now been joined:  His next courtdate on those charges in 30 March 2015

And now more charges!

I commend the complainant for contacting police.  Please keep him in your prayers.

(2)  Father Yvon Arsenault (Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick)

Father Yvon Arsenault has a one-day preliminary inquiry/hearing scheduled on his Miramichi New Brunswick charges:

23 June  2015: 09:30 am, Preliminary Inquiry (hearing),  Miramichi Law Courts (673 King George Highway, Miramichi, NB)

As you may recall, Father Arsenault is heading to trial  in Moncton, New Brunswick 14 September 2015 on another raft of charges.  There are at least 17 charges there that I know of, and at least 7 complainants.

I have been unable to find any media coverage on the Miramichi charges so today I started the process of calling around to try to find out more about the Miramichi charges.  I am now awaiting a callback – I think it is getting too late now to expect news today, so will cross fingers for Monday.

Anyway, the preliminary hearing on the Miramichi charge (s) is scheduled.  I wonder if, if he is sent to trial on those charges, the charges will be joined and tried in Moncton with the others?  I wouldn’t be surprised.  Good or bad I have no idea.

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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

Update from SMIS Headmaster

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After months of silence, an “update” from Japan’s St. Mary’s International School‘s Headmaster Saburo Kagei regarding the inquiry commissioned by the school into allegations of “sexual misconduct.”

18 March 2015:  Saburo Kagei’s second letter to SMIS community re inquiry and panel

One expert member of the panel, Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn,  has apparently stepped down “due to other commitments”  ; he, advises Mr. Kagei,  has been replaced by  Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman, “an equally distinguished expert.”

Dr. Bursztajn, you may recall, is a forensic psychiatrist.   When  putting together a page on the Members of the SMIS panel of “experts” I said  that I failed to understand the need for a forensic psychiatrist on such a panel.  I still don’t understand, but, no matter, Dr. Bursztajn is gone:  “other commitments.”

Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman  is not a forensic psychiatrist, he is however listed as, amongst other things, a forensic psychologist.

A quick google seems to indicate that much of Dr. Becker-Weidman’s  recent work experience relates to “Providing evaluation and treatment for families with adopted and foster children. Adoption, foster care, and child development evaluations and treatment.” He is also as “Consultant and Trainer” who provides ” training and consultation in the U.S., Canada, and overseas to Departments of Education, Departments of Social Services, mental health clinics, and child welfare agencies.”

I shall look a little more closely and update the “Members of the SMIS panel of ‘experts‘” page.

*****

There is a courtdate for Father Yvon Arsenault in the Miramichi New Brunswick courthouse tomorrow:

19 March 2015:  1:30 pm, “for plea and election,” Miramichi courthouse (673 King George Highway, Miramichi, New Brunswick

I had a query regarding this charge (s) with word that there is someone by the same name in the Miramichi facing charges.  I checked this morning to ensure that it is in fact the same Yvon Arsenault facing charges in both Moncton and Miramichi.  It is.  Same birthday.  I know nothing of the nature of the charges.  Hopefully there will be media coverage tomorrow so we have an idea what’s going on.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Cruel man

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A courtdate for ex-priest, Oblate and serial molester Eric Dejaeger today in Iqaluit:

17 March 2015: 09:30 am, “to speak to,”  Iqaluit courthouse, Iqaluit, Nunavut

I don’t know if this will wrap up the Dejaeger charges from Edmonton, Alberta.  Hopefully, for the sake of the victims, that will be the case.

Please pass on links to coverage of the outcome.  I will be out for a good part of the day today – will update when I am home this evening.

And, yes, please keep the many many victims of this cruel man in your thoughts and prayers.

*****

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.  A little prayer for the day:

May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Enough for now.

Sylvia

 

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

Popups cause consternation

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I wasn’t quite sure what do with these articles so have opted to post them as a blog.

In this instance no particular priest was under investigation.  A report was made to police that child porn had been seen on a computer at the rectory. The OPP investigated.  Charges were not laid.

The media reports imply that only the Pastor of the church, Father Mario Fernandes, was feeling under the gun during the investigation.  In fact, Father Ronald Sequeira, who lived in the St. Pat’s rectory while serving at nearby Hagersville, also used the computer and without doubt also felt under the gun.  Both priest are Carmelites from India (bother have initials OCD behind their names).

Father Father Fernandes has been in Canada since 2003, and in Brtish Columbia until summer of 2012.  Father  Sequeira has been in the country since 2013.  He came straight to Ontario and to the Diocese of St. Catharines.

As you see in the articles,  the two month OPP investigation concluded that the porn was from popups – no charges were laid.

And, as an aside, according to one of the following articles Father Fernandes worked as an addictions counsellor in Vancouver.  Perhaps he did and did so before attaining his certificate in Addiction Counselling Skills from Vancouver College in May 2012? I do know that it was right after attaining that certificate that he was appointed to the Catholic Church in Dunville, Ontario.  And I know that he spent from 2006-2011 as a Chaplain at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, and that around 2006 he spent a year assisting at the Cathedral and, and that seven months of that year he served as Master of Ceremonies for Archbishop Raymond Roussin .  But, he may well have been doing addictions counselling before he received that certificate (I don’t know, does a person, particularly a priest, now need such a paper to counsel addicts? )

Anyway, as it stands, there is presumably new software on the computer at St. Patrick’s in Caledonia to ensure there are no child porn popups, Father Fernandez is still Pastor and Father Ronald Sequeira was transferred to the Diocese of Prince George, BC in November of last year.

Here are the articles:

OPP clears priest of child porn allegations

CHCH

Posted: August 11, 2014 08:46:06 PM | Last updated: August 11, 2014 08:46:06 PM

It is one of societies most abhorrent crimes. Possession of child pornography. Charges can lead to prison time, destroying the lives and reputations of convicted felons.
It was back in June when police seized computers at a Catholic church in Caledonia following a tip that they contained inappropriate pornographic images. The incident shocked residents and devastated the parish priest, wrongfully linked to such a heinous allegation.

Father Mario Fernandes has spent his life devoted to helping others. A native of India, Father Mario worked as an addiction counsellor in Vancouver’s east side before moving to Ontario where he was appointed pastor of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Caledonia.

In June of this year, Father Mario’s life was shattered when police seized computers at the church after receiving a complaint that they contained inappropriate pornographic images. But a thorough check by the OPP’s technical crime unit found the images in question were advertising pop ups, that the computer’s firewall was unable to block. Today the computers were returned, and the case was closed. Still the incident has shocked the community and shattered the life of an innocent man.

Father Mario Fernandes, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church: “You can imagine now I have to work with the parishioners as well as the people I have to go to the malls and everybody looking at me and looking at me in a different way. It was really stressful to know the situation and people labelling judging you not even waiting for the OPP to come and give us the right answers. So, it was very stressful.”

It is not unprecedented but it is unusual for police to show such support for a person linked to crimes involving child pornography. It speaks volumes of their confidence in his innocence.

Mark Foster, OPP: “Well, one of the biggest issues that we run into is the stigma that is attached to a number of different images within our community and the rumour mongering that goes on when something like this has happened.”

Douglas Rees, OPP Child Sexual Exploitation Section: “Well, we explained to Father Mario at the beginning — let this ride out. Let’s see what’s here first. The community was 100 % behind Father Mario. I received numerous calls from people in the community offering support for both Father Mario. It’s one of those things that with the medias help get it back in the good books that way and carry on.”

Father Mario Fernandes: “My faith my prayer life my parishioners and my diocese, everything joined together to help me to go through this journey.”

While police stress they have absolute faith that Father Mario has done nothing wrong, they do caution that people who believe they are witnessing inappropriate material should notify police. In this case, the concerns were unfounded but in another situation, it may prevent or top a crime.

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Child porn investigation at Caledonia church

The Catholic Register

10 June 2014

By 

Police have seized computers from St. Patrick’s Church in Caledonia, Ont., as part of an ongoing investigation into child pornography.

Police have seized computers from St. Patrick’s Church in Caledonia, Ont., as part of an ongoing investigation into child pornography.

No charges have been laid and “the investigation is at a very early stage,” OPP spokesman Constable Mark Foster told The Catholic Register.

The investigation began at the end of May, Foster said. Because the police work is ongoing, Foster could not indicate the source of the complaint.

St. Patrick’s Church is located next door to St. Patrick’s Catholic Elementary School.

Given that police have not named any suspects or laid charges, it is too early to talk about invoking the diocesan policies on allegations of misconduct or the abuse of minors, said Margaret Jong, the Diocese of St. Catharines’ director of canonical services.

“At this point we know nothing. We’re awaiting word from the police, as is everyone,” Jong said.

According to the diocese’s policy St. Catharine’s Bishop Gerard Bergie “may at any stage of the process” suspend clergy, diocesan employees or volunteers subject to an allegation. In the case of priests, the bishop may assign them to an alternate residence pending the outcome of a Church investigation. He may also lift their permission to preach and hear confessions and forbid them from all public ministry including public celebration of the Eucharist.

At this stage, no diocesan investigation has begun.

“We first of all wait until the police have completed an investigation,” said Jong. “We are not going to interfere or take any action. The bishop will make that decision (about administrative leave and sanctions) as time goes on, if there needs be.”

The St. Catharines’ abuse policy was last updated in January of 2013. It is available on the diocesan web site at www.saintcd.com.

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OPP seize computers from Caledonia Catholic church

The Sachem & Glanbrook Gazette

12 June 2014

By Jennifer Vo

Ontario Provincial Police have seized computers from St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Caledonia as part of an investigation into alleged child pornography.

“We have seized computers and that’s as far as we are with our investigation at this point,” OPP Const. Mark Foster said. “It’s very early in the investigation, so there’s not a lot of information I can release at this time.”

No charges have been laid in relation to the seizure of the computers.

Foster couldn’t say what is contained on the computers, but the OPP crime unit and child exploitation unit continue to analyze the equipment.

St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church falls under the jurisdiction of the St. Catharines diocese.

“We know that there was an allegation made of child pornography being seen on a computer at the parish office,” said Margaret Jong, director of canonical services with the diocese. “The police removed computers and they are investigating.”

Jong said it’s hard to say what action the diocese will take because the investigation is in its early stages.

“We have to wait until the investigation unfolds, so we can’t comment,” she said.

A representative from the church refused to comment when contacted by The Sachem.
St. Patrick’s is located on Orkney Street in Caledonia, next to St. Patrick’s Catholic Elementary School.

Foster said the OPP investigation started at the end of May and there is no timeline for when it might wrap up.

“Through the analysis of the computers, that will direct which way our investigation will go,” Foster said.

jvo@sachem.ca
Twitter: @SachemNews

*****

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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Pop ups the trouble

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I have been checking into a story from St. Patrick’s Church in Caledonia, Ontario regarding seizure of a computer at a Catholic Church.  The story dates back to last year, but it is the first I had heard of it.  No charges were laid:  police apparently said that allegations of child porn on the machine were attributable to pop-up advertising which the computer firewall was not equipped to block..

I am pulling together what information I can find and will post tomorrow.

Enough for now,

Sylvia,

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