Blancard: Paul Blancard

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BlancardEx priest.  Ordained a Roman Catholic priest 19 May 1967. It looks as though he may have been ordained for the Archdiocese of Vancouver but at some time was shuttled over to and, according to Church directories,  became incardinated in the Diocese of Victoria, BC.  I need to get a a bit more information on this because his trial was held in Victoria, and the charges to which he pled guilty covered part of the time frame in which he was supposedly serving in the Archdiocese of Vancouver.  (If anyone can shed any light on this apparent discrepancy please contact me)

After charges were laid in 1992 admitted to the sex abuse of five young girls aged four to 1o. The crimes occurred between 1967 and 1980.   Sentenced to three years in prison.  Sentencing successfully appealed and and sentence reduced to one year.

Before charges were laid Blancard had allegedly left the priesthood to marry an ex nun and was working as a chef in Toronto.

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Bishops of  Victoria from time of Father Blancard’s ordination to ‘resignation‘: Remi Joseph De Roo (29 October 1962  – 18 March 1999 );  Raymond Roussin, S. M. (Coadjutor bishop 14 September 1998 – Bishop 18 March 1999  – 10 Jan 2004 Appointed, Archbishop of Vancouver, British Columbia)

Archbishops of Vancouver from time of Father Paul Blancard’s ordination to ‘resignation’:  Martin Michael Johnson † (11 March 1964 -08 January 1969 ); James Francis Carney  (08 January 1969 – 16 September 1990 ); Adam Joseph Exner, O.M.I. (25 May 1991- 10 January 2004)

Auxiliary Bishops Vancouver:  James Francis Carney (07 January  1966  – installation as Archbishop 1969);  Lawrence Sabatini, C.S. (15 July 1978 – 30 September 1982)

 

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The following information is drawn from those copies of the Canadian Catholic Church Directory (CCCD) which I have on hand and media (M)

 

April 1992:  BC Court of Appeal reduced sentence to one year (M)

28 January 1992:  Sentenced to three years in prison (M) Sentence appealed.

January 1992:  GUILTY plea

1991:  Charged after a two-year investigation by police.  At time charges were laid he had left the priesthood. married  a former nun, and working as a chef in Toronto, Ontario

1988:  Sent to Southdown for treatment.  According to one media report was diagnosed as a paedophile and relieved of his duties

allegations of sex abuse (M)

– according to media reports it was around this time that he resigned from the priesthood (M)

1980:  According to media reports there was another

1976:  The mother of a four-year-old girl contacted police.  The mother was invited to the bishop’s office and told that Blancard would get psychological help at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.   Blancard was sent to USA.  Charges were not laid.  On his return  Father Blancard was recyled into another parish. (M)

1973-74: Address for – probably assisting at? – St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Nanaimo, BC – missions in Lantzville, Wellington and Nanaimo Indian Reserve (Pastor Father Phillip Hanley) Victoria Diocese  (CCCD)

!971-72: address for Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in North Surrey, BC (Pastor Father J. Franks) Archdiocese of Vancouver (CCCD)

1968-69: assisting, St. Helen’s Roman Catholic Church, Burnaby, BC (Pastor Monsignor MP. McEvoy) Archdiocese of Vancouver (CCCD)

19 May 1967:  ORDAINED (CCCD)

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MEDIA COVERAGE

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Church should take its lumps

Editorial

Times –Colonist (Victoria, BC)

15 January 1997

Paul Minvielle

ROMAN CATHOLIC officials in the Nelson diocese are considering an appeal of the award for damages to a Victoria man sexually abused by a priest 20 years ago.

The B.C. Supreme Court ordered the e priest, Father Paul Pornbacher, and the church to pay Wayne Kaskiw $212,000 for pain and suffering as well as past and future lost income. Pornbacher was also ordered to pay $20,000 in punitive damages to Kaskiw, who was an altar boy in Kelowna at the time of the assault. If there was any doubt that Pornbacher abused Kaskiw, an appealwould be in order. In fact, the now-retired priest pleaded guilty in 1994 to abusing Kaskiw and two other boys in the 1970s. Pornbacher, who insists he only pleaded guilty in order to settle the case, served 12 months of an 18-month sentence.

According to o Kaskiw’s lawyer, Diane Tourell, it’s the first time a Catholic priest has been successfully sued for damages caused by sexual assault, and the first time in B.C. that the Catholic church has been held civilly liable for sexual assault by one of its priests. Two firsts, but certainly not the last. Several stories of abuse by priests and others in positions of trust and authority have emerged in recent years. Many victims of those past assaults will undoubtedly be encouraged by Kaskiw’s success (not to mention his courage) to pursue their own claims.

One case that comes to mind involved former priest Paul Blancard, who was convicted in Victoria in 1992 of molesting five young girls on Vancouver Island and sentenced to three years in jail.

When allegations of Blancard’s misbehavior first arose in 1976 (he wasn’t charged at that time), he was sent to Washington state for counselling. On his return, he was sent to several different parishes on the Island. After more allegations against him in 1988, he was sent to Ontario for treatment.

But how did Blancard’s victims fare? Have they suffered any long-term effects from the abuse? Were they all offered treatment? Compensation? Comfort? Did church officials apologize?

It’s not easy to rectify past wrongs, but if any organization should try, it’s the Roman Catholic Church. We’re not suggesting that any church dole out money to people claiming they were abused in the past by clergymen. But where guilt has been established in a criminal court, then the church should face its responsibility and do what’s right.

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Ex-priest has term reduced

The Vancouver Province

10 April 1992

VICTORIA – A former Roman Catholic priest who admitted molesting five young girls has won an appeal of a three-year prison term.

Paul Blancard, 51, will serve one year, the B.C. Court of Appeal decided yesterday. The court agreed that the trial judge failed to adequately consider Blancard’s efforts to change his compulsive pedophilic behavior in a residential program for sex offenders. The former priest, now married, had been free on bail in Ontario awaiting the ruling.

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Indecent assault sentence cut for former priest

Vancouver Sun

10 April 1992

Lerry Still

A former Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting five young children in his Victoria parish had his sentence reduced Thursday to one year from three.

The B.C. Court of Appeal said the sentencing judge, while emphasizing deterrence to others, failed to give adequate consideration to the rehabilitation of the offender, Paul Blancard.

Justice Anne Rowles, with Justices Charles Lock and Martin Taylor concurring, noted Blancard had made substantial efforts to ensure he is able to control his compulsive behavior.

“One of the important aspects of the appellant’s rehabilitation has been the establishment of connection with those who are able, professionally and otherwise, to encourage and reinforce his resolve,” the judge said.

“Three years’ incarceration would not assist the appellant in these ongoing efforts at rehabilitation, nor would it encourage other offenders to make the changes in their lives which are so important to society.”

Late in 1991, Blancard was charged with the five offences, which occurred between 1967 and 1980. He pleaded guilty last January.

Rowles said: “In order to deter adults from committing sexual offences against children, a period of incarceration is almost invariably imposed by the courts.”

She added: “This is a case in which the offender’s education, conscience and position did not keep him from criminal conduct.”

Despite this the judge said the court should recognize Blancard’s determination to control his behavior and reduced his sentence to one year.

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Three years jail handed ex-priest

The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, BC)

30 January 1992

A former Roman Catholic priest who persuaded an eight-year-old girl to go to bed with him by telling her she could “feel like the mother of God” has been sentenced to three years in jail.

Paul Blancard, 51, of Toronto, had pleaded guilty earlier this week to indecently assaulting five girls.

The victims were aged six to 10 when Blancard, a priest in the Victoria diocese for several years, molested them between 1967 and 1980, Crown counsel Jim Taylor told provincial court Judge Lawrence Brahan.

Blancard, who resigned from the priesthood since the incidents and now works as a chef, is undergoing counselling for pedophilia.

Blancard’s pedophilia developed because of a childhood marked by physical, sexual and emotional abuse, his lawyer Chris Considine said.

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Ex-priest gets 3 years: Church denies coverup on sex abuse

The Vancouver Province

29 January 1992

Barbara McLintock

VICTORIA – Officials of the Roman Catholic church knew one of their priests had sexually abused a young girl – 12 years before he was forced to resign.

But they didn’t know of other assaults by Father Paul Blancard, because the victims and their families had agreed to Blancard’s requests for silence.

Yesterday provincial court Judge Lawrence Brahan sentenced Blancard to three years for four counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency.

The charges named five victims, aged between six and 10 at the time of the assaults, which spanned the years 1967 to 1980.

Brahan said Blancard, who now is married to a former nun and works as a chef, “was a priest who abused the trust of his parish.”

Evidence was that in two cases where girls had told their families, Blancard admitted to their fathers that he had abused them.

But on both occasions, he apologized and promised it wouldn’t happen again – and the families agreed not to go to the authorities.

In other cases, the girls told their families but the families didn’t believe them. But in a sixth case, in 1976, a four-year-old girl’s mother immediately told police.

The mother says she was eventually invited to a meeting in the bishop’s office, where she was told Blancard would get psychological help at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. He did, and returned to the active priesthood – but there was another incident in 1980.

The Catholic church denies, however, there was any coverup.

Since the police found no grounds for charges, Blancard was sent to Spokane “for precautionary reasons,” said Bishop Remi de Roo.

The count involving the four-year-old girl was stayed when Blancard pleaded guilty to the others.

The other allegations didn’t surface until 1988, de Roo said, and Blancard was diagnosed as a pedophile and relieved of his duties.

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Ex-Catholic priest gets 3 years for molesting girls

The Montreal Gazette

29 January 1992

VICTORIA – A former Roman Catholic priest stood with bowed head and clasped hands yesterday as he was sentenced to three years in prison for molesting five young girls more than 10 years ago.

Paul Blancard, 52, who pleaded guilty Monday, said he prayed his victims would “find it in their hearts to forgive me, as I forgive those who abused me in my childhood.”

Before sentencing, he said he was he was “grateful to God and the judicial process that brought me to this stage.”

The victims were aged 6 to 10 when Blancard molested them between 1967 and 1980. Court was told the incidents involved fondling.

Blancard’s lawyer said he will appeal the sentence on the grounds provincial court Judge Lawrence Brahan overemphasized general deterrence at the expense of the specific rehabilitation.

While victims said they were glad the former Victoria priest finally admitted to his crimes, which date back to the year he was ordained, some were shaken when the sentence was imposed.

“You don’t ever want to see anyone suffer,” said two of the women tearfully outside court.

“We wanted to know we were right, and his guilty pleas did that. The sentence makes no difference.”

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Former priest admits assaults

The Province (Vancouver, B.C)

28 January 1992

McLintock, Barbara

VICTORIA – A former Catholic priest diagnosed as a pedophile has pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault.

Victoria provincial court Judge Lawrence Brahan was told yesterday that Paul Blancard, now 52, fondled five girls, who were between the ages of six and 10, in the years from 1967 to 1980.

Blancard first realized he had a problem and sought help in 1976, defence lawyer Chris Considine told the court, but “the help he got wasn’t enough” and the offences continued.

Crown counsel Jim Taylor said Blancard had encountered the girls in his work as a priest.

Blancard resigned from the priesthood after the offences became known four years ago. He now is married and working as a cook in Toronto.

In 1988, he voluntarily enrolled in a program for pedophiles in Ontario, Considine said.

He spent six months in treatment there, followed by two years in an outpatient program.

Considine noted that Blancard had himself been a victim of sex abuse in his youth, and asked for a sentence of probation to enable him to continue his therapy.

But Taylor urged a sentence of two years less a day. Brahan was to pass sentence this afternoon.

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Ex-priest gets January date for hearing on sex charges

The Vancouver Sun

26 September 1991

SAANICH – A former Roman Catholic priest was remanded to Jan. 27 for preliminary hearing when he appeared in provincial court charged with indecent assault and gross indecency involving young girls.

The charges against Paul Blancard, 51, of Toronto, date back to 1967 and were laid after a two-year investigation by police in Saanich, said Sgt. Rick Gonder.

Blancard is charged with gross indecency to a four-year-old girl and indecently assaulting three other girls. The alleged assaults on one of the girls occurred between 1974 and 1980 when she was between six and 12 years of age.

Blancard was a priest in the Victoria diocese for several years, said his lawyer, Chris Considine.

Considine also said Blancard resigned from the priesthood three years ago, before the police investigation started.

He now is married and working in Ontario at a job that has nothing to do with the church, the lawyer said.

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Priest charged

The Vancouver Province

25 September 1991

SAANICH, – A former Roman Catholic priest was remanded to Jan. 27 for preliminary hearing when he appeared in provincial court charged with indecent assault and gross indecency involving young girls.

The charges against Paul Blancard, 51, of Toronto, date back to 1967 and were laid after a two-year investigation by police in this Victoria suburb, said Sgt. Rick Gonder.

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