A very informative article:
There are several things which warrant comment. I will quote from the article then have my say:
(1) “I don’t agree with him leaving”
Before he left [for Belgium], Dejaeger discussed the matter with his supervisor, Oblate Father Jean-Paul Isabelle.
“I didn’t agree with him leaving,” Isabelle says.
But he didn’t try to make Dejaeger stay.
“I didn’t think it was my business.
Why did Father Isabelle not try to make Dejaeger stay? Why not?
Why did he not think it was his business? For goodness sakes, he was Dejaeger’s superior. Of course it was his business. Dejaeger, an Oblate priest, was fleeing the country to elude justice. And that’s not the business of a priest’s superior? Especially when the justice entails the sex abuse of children?
“I didn’t think it was my business.”
Sorry, I have deep deep trouble with that.
(2) Secret codes
[Father Isabelle]“I told him, ‘Well, I don’t want to know anything about this. But when you get to wherever you’re going, here’s a code that we’re going to use to let me know where you are … When you get to wherever you’re going, just send me a note …’ When I received this code I knew what country he was in.”
Isabelle never told police about the code. He says they never asked about it.
This truly boggles the mind. Father Isabelle aided and abetted Dejaeger in his escape. And then failed to tell police about the code…. because they never asked for it?!!!
(3) Belgian Church officials co-operated
Isabelle says he did not know where Dejaeger went in Belgium, but he was able to get a letter through to him with the co-operation of Belgian church officials after Dejaeger’s no-show in court.
With the co-operation of Belgian church officials? Which Belgian Church officials? Oblate officials? Bishops? Who? Which clergy in Belgium were complicit in allowing a previously convicted clerical molester to elude justice on further charges of child sex abuse?
(4) The letter
The letter warned: “A mandate for your arrest is out for you, which means should you come to Canada you would be apprehended at the entry point.”
There is not a shred of doubt that Father Isabelle knew full well that Dejaeger was a wanted man. He did nothing. Why not?
(5) Renounced his Belgian citizenship
“The Canadians told Brussels that he had Canadian nationality and had to (renounce) his Belgian nationality,” says van Nieuwenhove. “That fact exists in his file. The Canadian embassy told Belgium he’s a Canadian.”
But Belgium failed to act on the information, so Dejaeger stayed put.
Who were the Belgian authorise who failed to act? And, why pray tell did they fail to act?
(6) Interpol warrants
Three years later, in 1998, Interpol issued an arrest warrant. The RCMP also issued a new warrant in 2002.
Still, no one troubled the priest who was living quietly in an Oblate community. Although the Oblates have said he was no longer allowed to say mass, he did spend time in Lourdes, where he welcomed Flemish pilgrims to the holy site where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a little girl.
Who decided that a convicted clerical molester and fugitive from justice was fit to function as a priest at pilgrimage site such as Lourdes?
Did the Oblates on this side of the ocean know that Dejaeger was serving at Lourdes? I am hard pressed to believe that not one of them knew. Secret codes and all, I am hard pressed to believe that not one Oblate in Canada knew that Dejaeger was interacting freely with the unwitting and trusting pilgrims in Lourdes
And what of the Oblates in Belgium? They most certainly knew Dejaeger was sashaying around Lourdes. No one had a problem with that? They thought the Flemish pilgrims at Lourdes deserved no more than a convicted clerical molester and fugitive from justice?
(7) Extradition order
Still there was no extradition order from Canada, even though RCMP told Halsberghe an investigation was “ongoing” and Belgian police had been questioning him regularly.
I wonder if an extradition order would ever have been issued? I truly do. Thank Heaven for Saskia whose sharp eye and diligent research unearthed the fact that Dejaeger had lost his Belgian citizenship.
(8) The couldn’t ‘force’ him back
Halsberghe met again with church officials in December.
“They said, ‘He won’t go back and he doesn’t want to. I can’t force him.’ ”
How pathetic. They had a criminal on their hands. A fugitive from justice. And this is the best they can do? Nothing?! Dejaeger didn’t want to go so his word prevailed? Who ruled the roost?
And, what of the Oblate vows of poverty, chastity and obedience?
I don’t know where poverty fits with Father Dejaeger. I do know where chastity fits. What of his vow of obedience? Does that mean no more than his vow of his chastity? Does it mean nothing to his superiors to whom he is supposed to be obedient? Does everyone just do their own thing and vows mean nothing?
(9) Out-of-court settlements
Lawyer Steven Cooper confirms that the Catholic church has reached at least 30 out-of-court settlements with those who came in contact with Dejaeger in Igloolik.
Note the astronomical numbers. At least 30out of court settlements have been reached with “alleged” victims from Igloolik.
And the Canadian Oblates did nothing to get Dejaeger back to face his many many accusers? Nothing?!!
It’s not as if they didn’t know, is it? They were paying. They knew.
What of the Belgian Oblates? I recall hearing from Lieve that they kept going on about Dejaeger’s victims receiving money and that therefore essentially all was well. I couldn’t make sense of it. Am I right Lieve? What did the Belgian Oblates tell you about money?
There is more to come on all of this.
A dirty filthy mess it is. I have the funny feeling that a few people in high places thought this was all taken care and may not be too happy that Dejaeger is back.
Enough for now,