What happened?

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Justice Robert Selkirk ruled that eight charges against Monsignor Robert Borne should not proceed to trial, and in the process three of five complainants were cast into oblivion:

15 July 2010: Eight charges dropped

This has to be absolutely devastating for those men who summoned up the courage to come forward in the first place, eventually see charges laid, and then be dropped like hot potatoes. 

Police obviously felt there was sufficient evidence to lay all of those charges.  Here we are. Swoosh, they’re gone. 

I know nothing of the whittled away complainants or their allegations, but this just seems to go beyond the pale. 

What happened?

It’s disturbing.  Very disturbing.  I am sure there were a few tears shed in some corners of the Pembroke diocese yesterday,  and much rejoicing in others.

Interesting that Borne has elected trial by judge.  Most alleged clerical predators seem to prefer that route.  I wonder why? 

My prayers are with all those who had the courage to come forward, both those whose allegations passed judicial muster, and those whose allegations did not.  

Enough for now,



This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal, Trials and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to What happened?

  1. snowdog says:

    It is disturbing as one of the two left who’s charges will proceed and having suffered once through his lawyers cross examination in May, he will not win my resolve is strong. Keep up the good work, I am totally impressed with your work!

  2. Lina says:

    I’m a victim of molestation/abuse when I was 9yrs. old. I do not know my abuser’s identity.
    It was the case of this Monsignor’s Borne’s that brought back those evil memories to me which happened over 44yrs.ago. I do not know my abuser’s identity. Thank God, my family believes me. I did get professional help.
    I hurt for victims especially those that nobody wants to believe they are victims.
    Snowdog you know your abuser, stay strong! My thoughts & prayers are with you. Hang in there, many of us believe you. Lots of hugs! Lina

  3. Sylvia says:

    Thank you Snowdog.

    Now that you have been through cross examination you have an idea what to expect. You sound strong. Hang in there.

  4. Snowdog says:

    Yes they come at you very hard, some insinuations are from his lawyer are that at the time I knew he was homosexual and I was bullying him, my reply, I was a teenager, he was 32 and in a position of power, his lawyer, well you just want money as you have seen other priests being charged, my reply, if he can afford you he can afford to pay every victim at least for counseling and finally my favorite, was your penis erect during this, my reply, ask your client and as for the other 3 people who’s charges were dropped not because of a lack of evidence but from what I can gather from the crown attorneys email was due to a legal argument about consent and they were of legal age at the time, how sad that our system will not allow a judge to listen that manipulations occurred and how smart this pathetic priest was and still is on knowing the system, however I will keep you updated and when this ends for me I will turn over all my documentation on this matter as it is evident you do a lot of research and again I am totally impressed with you for keeping on top of everything with the catholic church and I thank you for giving me and others an outlet!

  5. Sylvia says:

    It’s not pleasant is it? But, by the sound of it, you handled the questions well. Way to go!

    A question: Did the three whose charges were dropped take the stand Snowdog?

    And thank you – how thoughtful of you. I would be most grateful if, when you are finished with it all, you gave me copies of your documentation.

  6. Snowdog says:

    No there was no stand it was cross examination without a judge present, a small table we sat across from each other, there is now a date for next month between the lawyer and crown and judge and I have been told the trial date will be set in early 2011, yes I am amused that he had a crowd of supporters present, however I don’t care as I said to his lawyer and his lawyer said to me your smart which I was even at the time I remember and intended to remember everything and in fact at the time played along with him questioning him getting more info at the time those years ago and though he was guarded he still gave much up to me back then which I remember about other things he was doing and in fact I was able to hand the OPP diagrams of places and events, bank accounts ect. I have never forgotten and as I told the crown and his lawyer I have been waiting a long time for this never forgetting. Of interest and I do not know the other people involved personally, he was very good on this, but I know their names now, 2 our brothers, one of which the charges were dropped but the other is proceeding as is mine and I have full intention of handing over to you everything including the transcripts I have now of what has occurred and providing whatever assistance I can for this work you do to go forward as it is the only way, here is something that is never mentioned in the news or his resume he also taught religion and was a counsellor to a school called Catholic High in Pembroke Ontario for many years wonder why that is……

  7. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Snowdog.

    I wasn’t aware that Borne was a counsellor and taught religion at Catholic High in Pemroke. I have made note of that on the page.

  8. Sylvia says:


    That’s Bishop Smith Catholic High, right?

  9. Lina says:

    I am from the Pembroke area. I seem to recall a school called ‘Our Lady’s High’ it was all girls then they accepted boys. It may have changed the name to ‘Catholic High’.
    Snowdog or others may filled you in better about it. I did not go to this Our Lady’s Hugh or ‘Catholic High’ because I went on to a public high school.

  10. Lina says:

    I did a quick search in this book & I got this info on page 123 in the book written by Rev.Joseph C, Legree, Titled: ‘Lift Up Your Hearts’. It was under the chapter of St. Columbkille’s Cathedral Parish-Pembroke and Interdiocesan Projects and Events

    In September of 1982, Catholic High School move to a new site at Bishop Smith School.

    A team of three Chaplains, Fathers K. O’Brien, R. Borne and W. Kenney work closely with the teachers and students to build a Catholic School community.

  11. Sylvia says:

    Thanks so much Lina!

    Now, a question for all you Pemroke people: Does that mean that before 1982 the school was known as “Catholic High” and after ’82 it was “Bishop Smith Catholic High?

    And was Borne chaplain before AND after the move? or did he become chaplain in 1982?

  12. snowdogy says:

    He was transferred down to Pembroke from Mattawa in the 1970’s, the school was known as Our Lady’s High up until 1972 as it only accepted females after that it accepted males as well and was known as Catholic High, Borne was both a counsellor and taught religion from 1978 their as well as being secretary to Bishop Windle, the diocese office was next door to the school an easy walk, after full government funding to catholic schools in the 1980’s, enrollment increased and the school took over a public school formally known as Champlain High and again changed it’s name to Catholic High Bishop Smith, Borne continued his role at this new school. The three Chaplains mentioned by Lina are correct but there was a fourth named Father Dobec who was involved in the old Catholic High originaly with Borne and O’Brien, Kenny came on later, Dobec lately was parish priest in ARnprior Ontario after the Borne charges were announced he suddenly was moved to Germany becoming chaplain to the military look up the arnprior chronicle guide past issues for that information, he was named by me as having knowledge of Borne and his activities and was suddenly moved apparently for a certain time period, what is interesting is now one looks to Mattawa where Borne originated from, he was brought to Pembroke to be secretary to Bishop Windle at that time period although many things are coming back to me that I asked him about and certainly my memory is becoming more clearer the more I talk about it I will remember more.

  13. Sylvia says:

    I think that clears that up for me Snowdog. I was a bit confused with the name – didn’t want to refer to the wrong school.

    So Father Dobec is gone. I had heard about a year ago that he was leaving to ‘take up a post as chaplain in the military.’

  14. Lina says:

    If you go to this website:
    Click on the top of page on Directory & click on either Priests or Parish. You will find the name of Fr. Pat Dobec.

    You will find it like this: Dobec, Rev. Patrick M.
    May 14, 1977
    Our Lady of Mercy, Bancroft / St Anthony Mission, Haliburton

    If this is the same priest(no pictures of him)he must be back.
    I notice there are no pictures of priests there. The only ones are a few priest that have a website of their own parish. Very strange they removed all pictures of priests near their names.

    A footnote, I do have a brother that is semi-retire. He golf’s with priests sometimes. He did ask the question why Fr. Dobec left so quickly after the Borne charges were announced? They replied that Fr. Dobec’s trip was planned way before the charges against Borne’s was brought on and it is just a coincident that it happened that way. My brother was satisfied with their answer.

  15. Snowdog says:

    That is very interesting as as when he left Arnprior it was stated he would be returning to Arnprior and again not that I have any knowledge of any wrongdoing on his part other then he was close with Borne at the time also interestingly, I lived in Arnprior at the time I gave my statement on Borne and sometimes considered going down to the church and have a chat with Father Dobec but was persuaded by the OPP not to.

  16. Sylvia & Snowdog: Fr. Dobec was a part time chaplain with the Forces (and chaplain to the Governor General’s Foot Soldiers as well) when he was in Arnprior. He took a contract for 8 months (maybe more or less a month). Upon his return he was informed by the new Bishop that he was being transferred to Bancroft as he had completed his 2nd 6 year term as pastor in Arnprior. I suspect that he said he was returning to Arnprior as he would have wanted to keep his side jobs (which pay MUCH BETTER than our pastors salaries) and because the Bishop had not yet decided where to move him to. I don’t think that there are any issues around his moves other than these. I have never heard any intimation that he has ever abused anyone. He is (as far as I know) an excellent parish priest… even if he is a little too attached to his extra salaries (and we can’t blame him for that!).

    Fr. Tim

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