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Priest, Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick. Ordained 11 May 1968. Father Yvon Arsenault was quietly removed from his parish in August 2012 – December 2012 parishioners advised that removal came on the heels of sex abuse allegations.
25 October 2016: GUILTY plea to nine of 19 charges (29-day-TRIAL scheduled to start 24 October 2016 on Moncton charges cancelled, – Miramichi charges were part of the plea deal )
24 February 2017: Sentenced to four years in jail
18 May 2017: New charge of indecent assault against a male. The allegations date to the 1970s.
(July 2017: There are currently 12 lawsuits filed against Father Arsenault. It is unknown how many Arsenault victims received compensation through the Bastarache Process)
Judges, Crowns and Defence lawyers
From first set of charges and subsequent ‘guilty’ plea:
Judge: Zoel Dionne Crown: Eric Lalonde Annie St. Jacques. Defence: Gilles Lemieux.
Second set of charges:
Defence: Gilles Lemieux
Archbishops of Moncton Archdiocese from time of Father Yvon Arsenaut’s ordination to present: Norbert Robichaud (25 July 1942 – 23 Mar 1972) ; Donat Chiasson (23 March 1972 – 21 September 1995);Ernest Léger (27 November 1996 – 16 March 2002 ) André Richard, C.S.C. (16 March 2002 – ); Valery Vienneau (15 June 2012 – )
(Scroll to bottom of page for record of court dates for which he was convicted in 2016)
Next court date (for new charges laid in 2017): 07 September 2017: 09:30 am, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd) ;
09 August 2017: 09:30 am, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd); 03 August 2017: 09:30 am, to enter a plea, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd) ; 22 June 2017: 09:30 am, to enter a plea, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd); 18 May 2017: ; 18 May 2017: 09:30 am, courtroom #3, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd)
Media coverage and BLOGS
03 August 2017: BLOG True or false?
03 August 2017: BLOG Pathetic
09 August 2017: BLOG Mark your calendars
27 July 2017: Exclusive – Two new lawsuits against Yvon Arsenault
19 June 2017: Report of new lawsuit filed (External link)
24 February 2017: Priest sentenced to four years (with VIDEO embed)
24 February 2017: CBC Live Blog of Father Yvon Arsenault sentencing
24 February 2017: BLOG Victim asks court for maximum sentence
24 February 2017: BLOG Update on sentencing hearing
24 February 2017: Sentencing underway for N.B. priest who pleaded guilty to molesting boys
24 February 2017: BLOG Sentencing hearing in Moncton NB
26 October 2016: Former NB priest pleads guilty to sexual abuse
25 October 2016: Former priest Yvon Arsenault admits 9 sex crimes with minors
31 October 2016: BLOG Happy Days????
09 October 2016: BLOG There are five lawsuits
08 October 2016: BLOG A ring???
08 October 2016: Five new sex abuse lawsuits filed against Catholic Church
07 October 2016: 4 New Brunswick priests caught in sexual abuse allegations
02 February 2015: Former priest maintains he’s innocent of sex offences: lawyer
02 February 2015: “A trial date for Yvon Arsenault postponed again” & original French text
02 February 2015: Still no trial date for former priest
22 January 2015: Priest accused of new sex offence as new complainant comes forward
11 December 2014: Priest’s preliminary inquiry delayed
15 July 2013: Moncton priest faces new sexual abuse allegations
07 March 2013: Church abuse report delayed by more allegations
24 January 2013: “The conciliation process in Cap-Pelé widens” (google translation)
05 January 2012: Attorney general can’t comment on priest scandal
04 January 2012: Priest sex abuse allegations not reported to RCMP
04 January 2012: Church not dealing with abuse effectively: expert
04 January 2013: Church had no obligation to tell police about sex allegations: judge
04 January 2013: “Archdiocese failed abuse victims: lawyers” & related articles
03 January 2013: 2 Moncton priests removed amidst sex abuse allegations
02 January 2013: Moncton Archdiocese suspends priests
02 January 2013: Two New Brunswick priests removed after allegations of sexual abuse
30 December 2012: Diocesan Priests Removed From Ministry
The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand. media (M), the archdiocesan website (AW), and personal information (P)
July 2017: Report in Acadie Nouvelle that two new lawsuits have been filed. This now accounts for all three boys referenced below who were taken by Father Arsenault on a trip to Massachusetts in 1972. One of the plaintiffs also alleges sexual abuse by Father Camille Leger which began in 1967 when the boy was 10 and last for about two years.
19 June 2017: Report in Acadie Nouvelle that a of new lawsuit has been filed. I am unable to download the page and am unable to link to the google translate of the article. Here is an external link to the French article
According to the google translate the allegations date to the 1970s when the plaintiff, now in his 60s, was 17-years old. The allegations are that the sexual abuse transpired when Father Arsenault took the plaintiff and two of the plaintiff’s friends on a trip to Massachusetts in 1972. The plaintiff was at the time a parishioner at the Roman Catholic Church in Haute-Aboujagane, New Brunswick (that would be Sacred Heart).
18 May 2017: In court facing new charge of indecent assault against a male. The allegations date to the 1970s.
February 2017: Sentenced to four years in jail
25 October 2016: GUILTY plea
22 January 2015: there are now 17 charges and 6 (?) complainants
March 2015: three charges laid in Miramichi – the charges fall under sections 156 (indecent assault on a male) and 157 (gross indecency) of the Criminal Code. I believe there are now a total of 20 charges and 7 or more complainants.
Lawsuit filed alleging Fathers Breau and Father Yvon Arsenault repeatedly sexually abused (sodomised) a young boy at St. Joseph’s RC Church in Shediac in the early 1980s. The boy, who was 13-years-old when the abuse began, was at the time a young offender ordered to do yard work on the rectory and/or church grounds: The two priests were said to be responsible for supervising the boy. The abuse spanned a two-year period in the 80s. I have no record of Father Arsenault being at St. Joseph’s in the 80s. Can anyone help me with this? (I have been told that Scouduc is only about 8 kms from Shediac)
08 January 2015: two new charges laid from two new complainants. There are now 9 complainants.
December 2014: four charges have been withdrawn. There are now seven complainants
24 February 2014: elected trial by judge and jury
December 2013: charged with three counts of indecent assault and four counts of gross indecency.
2013: Address and phone listed is that of St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD 2013) –
December 2012: Catholics told that Father Aresnault had been removed because of sex abuse allegations against him – they were also told that victims would be compensated through the Bastarache Process (blog).
August 2012: quietly removed from parish (P)
12 July 2012: retired (M)
2012: Moderator for Saint Michael Roman Catholic Church, Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD) (Queen of All Saints Parish =- Saints Augustine and Michael in Moncton, and Saint Lawrence OToole in Irishtown, New Brunswick )
2007-2012: St. Augustine’s and Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Churches in Moncton and Saint Laurence O’Toole Roman Catholic Church in Irishtown, New Brunswick (AW)
2007-2011: “Moderator,“ Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church, Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD and website)
2000-2007: Moderator of the pastoral unit Sainte-Famille (Cocagne, Notre-Dame and Saint-Antoine (AW)
2002: Moderator, Notre-Dame-du-Sacre-Coeur, Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD)
1998-2000:, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church, Dieppe, New Brunswick (AW)
2000: pastor, St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Roman Catholic Church, Dieppe, New Brunswick (CCCD)
1997-1998: Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD)
1998: Pastor, Christ-Roi Roman Catholic Church, Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD)
1994-1997: Saint Louis Gonzaga in Richiboctou, and Kouchibouguac New Brunswick (AW)
1997: Christ-Roi and Notre-Dame d’Acadie (University of Moncton), (AW)
1997, 1996, 1995: Pastor, Saint Louis Gonzaga in Richiboctou with mission at Saint James in Kouchibouguac (CCCD)
1990-1994: the pastoral unit “Étoile de la mer” in Baie-Sainte-Anne, Escuminac, Hardwick and Pointe-Sapin (AW)
1994, 1993, 1992: Pastor Sainte Anne Roman Catholic Church in Baie Sainte-Anne with Mission in Stella Maris, Escuminac (CCCD)
1991: Pastor Sainte Anne Roman Catholic Church in Baie Sainte-Anne with Missions in Stella Maris RC Church in Escuminac and St. Brigid RC Church in Hardwicke, NB (CCCD)
1988-1989: pastoral studies in Montreal, Quebec (AW)
1983-1988: Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Roman Catholic Church and chaplain at Dorchester federal penitentiary, Moncton, New Brunswick (AW)
1986; Vicar foraine (AW)
1985-86: Pastor, Notre-Dame du Grace, Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD)
1982: Pastor, Saint Jacques Roman Catholic Church, Scoudouc, New Brunswick (AW) (Scoudac is only about 8 kms from Shediac)
1976-1982: Pastor, Notre-Dame-de-Fatima Roman Catholic Church, Collette, New Brunswick (AW)
1975-1976: St-Jean-Baptiste Roman Catholic Church, Bouctouche, New Brunswick (AW)
1973-74, 1971-72: address for Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Shediac, New Brunswick (Pastor Father Oswald Porelle) (CCCD)
1972-1974: Chaplain at Louis-J.-Robichaud high school (AW) and
assisting at Saint Joseph in Shediac (AW)
– two lawsuits filed 2017 allege sex abuse by Father Arsenault around 1972 – abuse alleged to have transpired while on a trip to Massachusetts organized by Arsenault. One of the two plaintiffs also alleges sexual abuse by Father Camille Léger
1968-1972: Vicar, Notre Dame de Grâce Roman Catholic Church, Moncton, New Brunswick (AW)
11 May 1968: ORDAINED by Archbishop Norbert Robichaud (AW)
pursued studies at Pont-Viau, Halifax Seminary and University of St-Joseph (AW)
01 September 1942: Born in Moncton, NB, son of Edmond Arsenault and Liliana Cormier (AW)
The following is an unofficial translation of Jean-Marc Doiron’s article in the 30 December 2012 edition of Acadie Nouvelle. The original French text is below.
DIEPPE – Two former priests, Yvon Arsenault and Irois Després, are alleged to have committed sexual assaults on minors. They have been removed from any ministry duties by Archbishop Valery Vienneau, this weekend.
Just as the dust settled on the scandal of father Camille Léger, in Cap-Pelé, the Archdiocese of Moncton is facing suspicion of paedophilia brought against two other priests.
This involves Yvon Arsenault, who has worked in Kent County and south-eastern NB from the mid-1970s until his retirement on July 4, 2012, and Irois Després, who worked in the same area from the early 1960s until 1992.
The press release does not indicate if criminal charges have been laid against two men, or the years in which these acts have been committed.
A letter from Archbishop Valery Vienneau was read in all churches of the Archdiocese of Moncton this weekend. It informed all parishioners of the two priests’ withdrawal from any clerical duty.
“I sincerely ask forgiveness from the victims and their families”, the letter states.
A conciliation process, similar to the case of Camille Léger, has been initiated by the Archdiocese to compensate victims. It will be overseen by the same individual, the former judge, Michel Bastarache.
“We fully support the process initiated by Mr. Michel Bastarache for the victims and we will be vigilant so that anyone working in the Church fully respects the policies put in place to prevent such acts”, Archbishop Vienneau states in the letter.
The allegations against Yvon Arsenault and Irois Després arose during the reconciliation process for father Léger.
Together, the two former priests have worked in 15 parishes.
Yvon Arsenault has been the parish priest of Notre-Dame-de-Fatima, Collette, from 1976 to 1982, the parish of Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, Scoudouc, from 1982 to 1983, the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce de Moncton from 1983 to 1989, the pastoral unit “Étoile de la mer” in Baie-Sainte-Anne and Pointe-Sapin, from 1990 to 1994, the parish of Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague de Richibucto, from 1994 to 1997, the parish of Christ-Roi of Moncton, from 1997 to 1998, the parish of Sainte-Thérèse-de-l’Enfant-Jésus of Dieppe, from 1998 to 2000, the unit pastoral Sainte-Famille in Cocagne, Notre-Dame and Saint-Antoine, from 2000 to 2007, and St Augustine Parish of Moncton, from 2007 to 2012.
For his part, Irois Després served as priest in the parish Saint-Ignace-de-Loyola of Saint-Ignace, from 1960 to 1968, the parish of Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci of Pointe-du-Chêne, from 1971 to 1973, the parish Saint-Vincent of Sackville, from 1973 to 1979, the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, from 1979 to 1983, and the parish of Sainte-Thérèse-de-l’Enfant-Jésus of Dieppe, from 1983 to 1987.
Unlike father Camille Leger, who was already deceased when the allegations (against him) were publicly revealed, Yvon Arsenault and Irois Després are both alive.
From Acadie Nouvelle – Jean-Marc Doiron, reporter:
Le dimanche 30 décembre, 2012
DIEPPE – Deux anciens curés, Yvon Arsenault et Irois Després, font l’objet d’allégations d’agressions sexuelles sur des mineurs. Ils ont été retirés de tout ministère par l’archevêque Valery Vienneau, ce week-end.
Juste comme la poussière retombait sur le scandale du père Camille Léger, à Cap-Pelé, l’archidiocèse de Moncton fait face à des soupçons de pédophilie portées contre deux autres prêtres.
Il s’agit d’Yvon Arsenault, qui a oeuvré dans Kent et le Sud-Est des années 1970 jusqu’à sa retraite du 4 juillet 2012, et d’Irois Després, qui a oeuvré dans la même région des années 1960 jusqu’en 1992.
Le communiqué de presse n’indique pas si des accusations criminelles ont été portées contre les deux hommes, ni les années au cours desquelles ces actes auraient été commis.
Une lettre en provenance de l’archevêque Valery Vienneau a été lue dans toutes les églises de l’archidiocèse de Moncton ce week-end. Elle a appris aux diocésains le retrait des deux prêtres de tout ministère.
«Je demande sincèrement pardon aux victimes et à leurs familles», est-il écrit dans la lettre.
Un processus de conciliation, semblable à celui du cas de Camille Léger, a été entamé par l’archidiocèse afin de dédommager les victimes. Il sera supervisé par le même individu, soit l’ancien juge, Me Michel Bastarache.
«Nous supportons pleinement le processus mis en marche avec maître Michel Bastarache en faveur des victimes et nous nous engageons à être vigilants pour que toute personne travaillant en Église respecte pleinement les politiques mises en place pour la prévention de tels actes», est-il indiqué dans la lettre de Mgr Vienneau.
Les allégations contre Yvon Arsenault et Irois Després ont surgi lors du processus de conciliation du père Léger.
Ensemble, les deux anciens prêtres ont oeuvré dans une quinzaine de paroisses.
Yvon Arsenault a été le curé de la paroisse Notre-Dame-de-Fatima, de Collette, de 1976 à 1982, la paroisse Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, de Scoudouc, de 1982 à 1983, la paroisse Notre-Dame-de-Grâce de Moncton, de 1983 à 1989, l’Unité pastorale Étoile de la mer à Baie-Sainte-Anne et Pointe-Sapin, de 1990 à 1994, la paroisse Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague de Richibucto, de 1994 à 1997, la paroisse Christ-Roi de Moncton, de 1997 à 1998, la paroisse Sainte-Thérèse-de-l’Enfant-Jésus de Dieppe, de 1998 à 2000, l’Unité pastorale Sainte-Famille à Cocagne, Notre-Dame et Saint-Antoine, de 2000 à 2007, et St Augustine Parish de Moncton, de 2007 à 2012.
Pour sa part, Irois Després a servi comme prêtre dans la Paroisse Saint-Ignace-de-Loyola de Sainte-Ignace, de 1960 à 1968, la paroisse Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci de Pointe-du-Chêne, de 1971 à 1973, la paroisse Saint-Vincent de Sackville, de 1973 à 1979, la paroisse Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, de 1979 à 1983, et la paroisse Sainte-Thérèse-de-l’Enfant-Jésus de Dieppe, de 1983 à 1987.
Contrairement au père Camille Léger qui était décédé au moment où les allégations ont été révélées publiquement, Yvon Arsenault et Irois Després sont tous les deux vivants.
The following is an English translation of information posted on the Archdiocese of Moncton website. The original French text is below.
P. Yvon Arsenault
Born on September 1, 1942 in Moncton; son of Edmond Arsenault and Liliana Cormier. Studies : Pont-Viau, Halifax Seminary and Univ. St-Joseph. Ordination: 11 May 1968 by Msgr Norbert Robichaud. Ministries: vicar: N.-D. de Grâce, Moncton (1968-1972); school chaplain at Louis-J.-Robichaud high school and cooperator vicar in Shédiac (1972-1974), St-Jean-Baptiste, Bouctouche (1975-1976); priest, Notre-Dame de Fatima, Collette (1976-82); priest: Scoudouc, 1982, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Moncton, chaplain at Dorchester federal penitentiary (1983-1988), vicar foraine, 1986, pastoral studies in Montréal (1988-1989), Baie Sainte-Anne, Escuminac, Hardwick and Pointe-Sapin (1990-1994), Christ-Roi and Notre-Dame d’Acadie (U. de Moncton) (1997) St-Louis-de-Gonzague, Richibouctou and Kouchibougouac (1994-1997), Moncton (1997-1998), Sainte-Thérèse, Dieppe (1998-2000), Moderator for pastoral unit Sainte-Famille (Cocagne, Notre-Dame and St-Antoine) (2000-2007), St. Augustine’s, Moncton, St. Michael’s, Moncton, Laurence O’Toole, Irishtown (2007-2012 ).
Original French text on Archdiocese of Moncton website
Né le 1er septembre 1942 à Moncton; fils d’Edmond Arsenault et de Liliana Cormier. Études : Pont-Viau, Séminaire d’Halifax et Univ. St-Joseph. Ordination : le 11 mai 1968 par Mgr Norbert Robichaud. Ministère : vicaire : N.-D. de Grâce, Moncton (1968-1972); animateur de pastorale scolaire à la polyvalente Louis-J.-Robichaud et vicaire coopérateur à Shédiac (1972-1974), St-Jean-Baptiste, Bouctouche (1975-1976); curé, Notre-Dame de Fatima, Collette (1976-82) ; curé : Scoudouc, 1982, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Moncton, aumônier au pénitencier fédéral de Dorchester (1983-1988), vicaire forain, 1986, études en pastorale à Montréal (1988-1989), Baie Sainte-Anne, Escuminac, Hardwick et Pointe-Sapin (1990-1994), Christ-Roi et Notre-Dame d’Acadie (U de M) (1997) St-Louis-de-Gonzague, Richibouctou et Kouchibougouac (1994-1997), Moncton (1997-1998), Sainte-Thérèse, Dieppe (1998-2000), Modérateur de l’Unité pastorale Sainte-Famille (Cocagne, Notre-Dame et St-Antoine) (2000-2007), St. Augustine’s, Moncton, St. Michael’s, Moncton, Laurence O’Toole, Irishtown (2007-2012 ).
from the Archdiocese of Moncton website
March 10, 2010
Feed My Lambs, Session 3
Feed My Lambs continues with Fr. Yvon Arsenault (Father Yvon Arsenault Feed my Lambs)
Archdiocese of Moncton website
On Wednesday, March 10th the third session of Feed My Lambs
took place at St. Michael’s Church in Moncton with Fr. Yvon
Arsenault, priest moderator of Queen of All Saints. One of the most
life-giving aspects of priesthood for Fr. Yvon is preaching. Prior to
his ordination, an uncle asked that when he preached he use a
language that ordinary folks could understand, and Fr. Yvon said
that comment has stayed with him throughout his 42 years of
priesthood. He mentioned that Fr. Bill Burke’s comments during It’s All
About the Mystery concerning the recovery of the Word brought about
through Vatican II really resonated with him. Fr. Yvon sees the
priesthood as a call to be at service to the people of God and said that
this is the call he has responded to, and the one which is the most
important to him as a priest – being with people in their need, whatever
that may be. Feed My Lambs continues at Immaculate Conception
Church in Rexton on April 29th with Fr. Alfred Desautels, C.Ss.R.
Record of court dates
The charges in both the Miramichi and Moncton are now being handled in the N.B. Court of Queen’s Bench
Next court date (Miramichi): Miramichi charges were transferred to Moncton and dealt with 25 October 2016when Arsenault entered a guilty plea ;
03 January 2017: 1:30 pm, motions (tentative trial dates of 21-24 Jan, to be confirmed), Miramichi Law Courts (679 King George Highway) 21-24 February 2017: TRIAL cancelled – TENTATIVE TRIAL dates 01 February 2016: 1:30 pm, possibly a trial date will be set, Miramichi Law Courts (679 King George Highway); 0 7 August 2015: 09:30 am, date to be set, Miramichi Law Courts (673 King George Highway, Miramichi, NB) ; 23 June 2015: 09:30 am, Preliminary Inquiry (hearing), Miramichi Law Courts (673 King George Highway, Miramichi, NB) ; 19 March 2015: 1:30 pm, “for election and plea,” Miramichi Law Courts (673 King George Highway, Miramichi, NB) ; 05 March 2015: 09:30 am, courtroom #2, “for election”, Miramichi Law Courts (673 King George Highway, Miramichi, NB)
Next court date (Moncton):
24 February 2017: 09:30 am, sentencing hearing, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd); 25 October 2016: 13:30 pm, GUILTY plea; TRIAL Cancelled 24 October 2016-01 December 2016: 09:30 am, TRIAL Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd) booked for 29 days; 11 September 2015: TRIAL by judge and jury, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd); 02 March 2015: to set trial date, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd); 02 February 2015: to enter a plea, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd) ; 22 January 2015: 11 am, election on two new charges, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd); 08 January 2015: 09:30 am, Preliminary Inquiry/hearing, Moncton Courthouse Moncton NB (45 Assumption Blvd ; 02 February 2015: to Court of Queen’s Bench, New Brunswick (on first set of charges); 15 Dec ember 2014: 09:30 am, issues re Bastarache documents ? “preliminary inquiry date to be set,” Moncton courthouse, Moncton NB(45 Assumption Blvd).; ADJOURNED 09 December 2014: PRELIMINARY hearing, Moncton courthouse, Moncton, New Brunswick ; 02 September 2014: PRELIMINARY hearing (ADJOURNED) , Moncton courthouse, Moncton, New Brunswick ; 24 February 2014: Moncton courthouse, Moncton, New Brunswick ; 27 January 2014: Moncton courthouse, Moncton, New Brunswick