There hasn’t been a word in the mainstream media about the status of the sex abuse charges against the former Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces, Monsignor Roger Bazin. I called the Barrie courthouse yesterday to find out when the former Brigadier General/Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces is due in court: 18 August 2001. His most recent court date was 21 July 2010. There have been several court dates – several remands, and not a word in the press.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it did. Not a word in the press. Nothing.
I then called the Barrie Examiner hoping to get an idea of what has been going on. No luck. No one has been covering the case. I asked if someone would be in attendance 18 August. It didn’t sound too positive, in fact, I won’t hold my breath hoping.
So, I set about updating and filling in timelines and information on the Monsignor Roger Bazin page. Several things of interest…
(1) Bazin was rector at a minor seminary in Otterburne Manitoba before he joined the Canadian Armed Forces. (even though he ‘joined’ the forces as a chaplain, Bazin, like all priest chaplains until recently, was ‘on loan’ to the military for all those years. Monsignor Bazin always was and still is incardinated in the Diocese of St. Boniface, Manitoba.)
(2) After his 1995 retirement from the military Bazin did NOT return to serve in his home diocese of St. Boniface , Manitoba. For some reason Bazin ended up serving in the Diocese of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Bishop Fred Henry– now Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary – was then bishop of the Thunder Bay Diocese. (It was Bishop Henry, some will recall, who decided to subject his initially unwitting flock to convicted clerical molester Father James Kneale.)
Henry assigned Bazin to serve as pastor at St. Louis Church, Keewatin, Manitoba. Bazin is clearly listed in the directories as Pastor.
Bazin served as pastor at St. Louis for several years.
When, in 1998, Bishop Henry was appointed to the Diocese of Calgary Alberta, it was Bazin who was plucked from the 55 or so priests in the diocese to care for the faithful and administer the diocese until a new bishop was appointed to replace Henry. I mention this only because the impression was conveyed by Church officials in early media coverage that Bazin was just sort there in the diocese as a volunteer helping out here and there. Not true.
Bazin served as administrator of the diocese for a full year. It seems that during that year he may have continued ministering to the souls at St. Louis; the Canadian Catholic Directory continued to list him as Pastor at the Church. With the arrival of Bishop Fred Colliin February 1999 Bazin was relieved of his duties as administrator: he continued serving as pastor at St. Louis.
The first known sex abuse allegations against Bazin related to his time at St. Louis in Keewatin. (In 2005 the victim’s family advised Bishop Emilius Goulet (Saint-Boniface) of the allegations. The allegations were not reported to police. A $24,000 ‘settlement’ was negotiated with the family.)
(3) Canada’s gay and lesbian paper, Xtra, seems to have become an ardent defender of Monsignor Roger Bazin. I discovered that the Xtra staff has been following the case extremely closely. Check the Xtra website. There are a number of articles spread over the last few months of the publication. I will post more here when I get a chance.
Bottom line is that the Xtra staff is up in arms that Bazin is facing a charge of buggery. The notion in that camp seems to be that the buggery law has been abolished and therefore Bazin should be immune from a buggery charge and therefore the charge should be dropped. There also seems to be an allegation that the military police were not qualified to lay a charge – that I would think opens the door to stopping the process dead in its tracks.
I don’t know who laid the charges. I saw one article which indicated the matter was turned over to civilian authorities, and another which seemed to indicate not. And I have no idea whether the military police could or could not lay the charges and haven;t had a chance to check. But, truth be told the gays and lesbians at Xtra may have an inside track here and are perhaps more informed than the rest of us regarding the laying of buggery charges against Monsignor Robert Bazin.
Anyway, witness the Xtra articles I posted last evening, there is a battle waging quietly behind closed doors to have the buggery charge withdrawn.
I am lost on this one. I fail to see the logic. If Bazin sodomized the boy, then he sodomized the boy. And if sodomy was illegal at the time, then it was illegal and Bazin violated both the boy and the law of the land. (Buggery encompassed both sodomy and bestiality)
What exactly is the problem? Why is Xtra lobbying to protect/help “alleged” clerical molester Monsignor Bazin? (I’d say that the alleged is in question given the $24,000 pay-off)
I am not impressed. In fact, if the gays and lesbians of Xtra and/or Canada have nothing better to do than jump on a band wagon to defend an “alleged” clerical molester I am disgusted.
I hope and pray the Crown has the backbone to stand up to the pressure. I also hope and pray the Crown has the conviction to argue the merits of moving forward with the buggery charge.
I wonder how the “alleged” victim is faring through all of this dancing on the politically-correct-head of a legal pin? Keep him in your prayers. It can’t be easy watching Bazin and his team, backed and nudged by Xtra, put on the pressure to drop the buggery charge.
Now I am really wondering what has been going on, – both in and out of the courtroom.
……And I am just now thinking that if the Crown and/or judge capitulate to the pressure of the lobby that would indeed be a huge victory for Bazin, but it would also raise serious questions about judicial independence.
I discovered that O’Hanley has disappeared from the Canadian Catholic Church Directories. I can find no sign of him from 1998 to the present. Was he laicized? or has he perhaps become incardinated in a diocese outside Canada?
I have put in a call to the Vicar General of the Saint John Diocese to find out. I also sent an email. I should have an answer early next week.
There was something else I wanted to touch on – it’s slipped my mind completely – must be time to call it a day 🙂
Enough for now,