This is Part 2 of Major faux pas, in detail…..
On 17 November 2010 I advised Monsignor Kevin Beach that I had learned that FatherEd MacNeil OMI had been assisting with the Kateri Native Ministry of Ottawa for the past eight years, and that I was told that Archbishop Prendergast gave his approval. I asked Msgr. Beach three questions:
(1) Could you confirm that Bishop Prendergast gave Father Ed MacNeil OMI faculties to say Mass and/or hear confessions?
(2) Father MacNeil has been working with the Kateri ministry for 8 years. I am assuming that this means that Archbishop Gervais also gave his approval. Am I correct in that assumption?
(3) Could you comment on the fact that these people were not advised of Father MacNeil’s conviction?
On 30 November 2010I received the following response from Msgr. Beach:
Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.
I can advise you that Fr. MacNeil’s faculties for the Archdiocese of Ottawa have been revoked.
I was relieved to get the news, but, my question regarding Archbishops Prendergast and Gervais were not answered.
In my reply of 30 November 2010 to Monsignor Beach I posed the questions again :
Could you please confirm that Archbishop Prendergast and Archbishop Marcel Gervais before him gave Father MacNeil faculties for the Archdiocese of Ottawa, or clarify the information I have received if necessary.
That was it until 07 December 2010. As I mentioned in my last blog, in the early evening of 08 December 2010 Father Ed MacNeil’s email slipped into my blog email box. That was 7:01 pm. I will copy the contents of the email again:
Last week because of information presented to the Archdiocese of Ottawa re: my past re: sexual abuse, my faculties in the Archdiocese were remove. I have had Faculties in the diocese of Peterborough for nine years since returning to ministry. I have had them in the Archdiocese of Ottawa for the past eight years.
The letter states I am not to celebrate any of the Sacraments (or do preparations)in the Archdiocese,
My question is: Does this automatically apply to my celebration of Eucharist in my Oblate Community (Springhurst).?
Does this apply to my hearing Confessions of those who come to Springhurst (some I have been dealing with for some time)?
The letter is very clear that I am not to celebrate Sacraments in the Archdiocese; some have stated that this may not apply within my own community.
Thanks for any assistance.
Ed Mac Neil, OMI
Nearly three hours later (9:41 pm), I received a response from Monsignor Beach to my email of 30 November 2010:
Fr. MacNeil received faculties during the time of Archbishop Gervais’ ministry. Therefore, the faculties were in place when Archbishop Prendergast arrived in 2007. When our present Archbishop learned of Fr. MacNeil’s history, he instructed that his faculties be revoked.
The inference is of course that Archbishop Prendergast was not aware that he had inherited a clerical molester who had been given faculties by Archbishop Gervias. That I suppose is highly possible, but equally troublesome.
I replied to both emails the following day. First I sent the following email to Father MacNeil (08 December 2010)
Dear Father MacNeil
I think perhaps the attached email which arrived in my email box is intended for Father Frank Morrisey omi?
While I do have a ‘Father Francis G Morrisey omi’ page on my website www.theinquiry.ca I will tell you as I have told others in the past that I have no contact or affiliation with Father Morrisey.
I am surprised Father that you are not seeking clarification from Archbishop Prendergast who revoked your faculties. As a layman I am equally surprised and alarmed to learn that, in spite of your sex abuse conviction, you have had faculties in the Diocese of Peterborough for nine years “since returning to ministry.” Perhaps Father you do not understand that the large majority of the countless victims of clerical sex abuse and their families will not return to the fold as long as bishops continue to permit known clerical molesters such as yourself to administer the Sacraments? Perhaps you do not understand the concerns which parents rightfully have regarding the safety and well-being of their children? I and countless other Roman Catholics around the world believe that we the laity have a right to an assurance that the priest in the sanctuary, or at the hospital or wherever he may be is NOT a known molester. We are tired of the deception Father. We are tired of the recycling. We are tired of bishops and Church officials who give known sex offenders ‘another chance’ and thereby wilfully place children at risk.
I pray for the day, Father, that our suffering Church is purged of all known clerical molesters. I pray for the day victims and their families can allow themselves to have faith in their Church and clergy. I pray for the day our judiciary and government view and treat the sexual abuse of a child as the abhorrent crime that it is.
I pray for you Father. It’s not easy, but I pray for all of our clergy who have violated the innocence of our children and, in so doing, raped the souls of those children and invariably ‘robbed’ them of their faith. I hope Father that you pray daily for your victims, and for all the victims of clerical sexual abuse whose souls have been raped. I often tell people that I think priests who molest children should spend the rest of their days in sack cloth and ashes. I believe that.
I will contact Bishop De Angelis in the hope that he will do the right thing and revoke your faculties in the Diocese of Peterborough.
Father Morrisey’e email address is: email@example.com
I then responded to Monsignor Beach (08 December 2010– I attached Father Ed MacNeil’s email and the email which I sent to Father MacNeil):
Thank you Monsignor for that clarification.
Does that then mean that each incoming bishop must rely on others to advise him which clergy functioning as priests and with faculties in the diocese are known clerical molesters? Does he not ask? In this day and age I would think that would be the wise thing to do, but, perhaps that is not the case?
Is it possible therefore that Archbishop Prendergast does NOT know that John Huels, a known clerical molester, is teaching canon law at USP? (http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/charged/huels-john-father-or-ex-priest-john-huels/) Does he NOT know that Monsignor John Renken is also teaching canon law at USP? (http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/charged/renken-john-monsignor-john-renken/)?
If that is the case, would you please draw both situations to his attention? Both bring scandal to the Archbishop and to the Church.
I have attached FYI an email I received yesterday from Father Ed MacNeil, obviously in error, and my response. In addition to my other questions I respectfully ask for answers to Father MacNeil’s questions: (1) Can Father MacNeil say Mass at Springhusrt? and (2) can Father MacNeil hear confessions at Springhurst?
No response as yet.
I also, as I told Father MacNeil I would, sent an email to the Bishop of Peterborough, Nicola De Angelis, which included the following two paras:
I heard yesterday that Father Ed MacNeil omi, a convicted child molester, has had faculties with the Diocese of Peterborough for the past nine years. I am contacting you to find out if this is fact.
Does Father MacNeil, a convicted child molester, still have faculties with the Peterborough Diocese Your Excellency? If yes, I pray that they will be revoked. I have deep concerns that, given the opportunity and with faculties from a diocese, Father MacNeil will continue to participate in the Kateri and/or other such conferences.
I received a response that very evening:
Father MacNeil has no faculties from this Diocese, nor he belongs to this diocese.
I am uncertain who set the email, there was no name attached. There is a typo in the email but I think what was meant to be said was something to the effect: ‘nor does not belong to our diocese.’
I replied that evening, and I attached the Father Ed MacNeil email:
In response to your email of 08 December 7:02 pm I have attached for your information a copy of an email I received in error from Father Ed MacNeil omi on 07 December 2010. As you can see, Father MacNeil says that he has had faculties in the Peterborough Diocese for nine years “since returning to ministry.”
I have several questions:
(1) Which nine years would Father MacNeil have been referencing?
(2) Were Father McNeil’s faculties granted for a specific period of time or were they, I believe the word is, habitual?
(3) Because Father MacNeil has had faculties in the Peterborough Diocese could he return at any time since his departure and, for example, say Mass and hear confessions for the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse as he did in the past?
(4) If Father MacNeil’s faculties with the Peterborough Diocese have not been revoked what is the status of those faculties canonically?
Thanking you for your assistance in this confusing matter
To date, no response.
What a mess. It’s like trying to pin Jello to the wall.
I have further information on Father Czeslaw Szywmanski, the deceased priest who is now the subject of sex abuse allegations in Lowell, MA. I will post it later. It seems that Szywmanski had been living in Canada for several months prior to his 1987 accident, and it seems that he was serving in the Diocese of Peterborough, Ontario. One for sure is that convicted molester Monsignor Martin Wain was at his funeral.
Enough for now,