Father Patrick Joseph Herlihey
Priest. Diocese Peterborough, Ontario. Ordained 1981. 2001 GUILTY. Sentenced to 18 months house arrest and to let the community know about his crimes. 2003 ACQUITTED on second set of charges by a different judge who said the victim’s credibility was damaged by, amongst other things, the 15-year-delay in coming forward. Father Herlihey seems to have disappeared after his acquittal. He is not listed in any of the directories I checked. A blogger advised that he is now working as a handyman the Kawartha lakes area (scroll to comments)
(Somewhere I have a clipping stating that when a family reported Herlihey to Bishop Doyle in 1988 he, Doyle, left it up to the family to decide if they wanted to go to police. I am still looking for it.) Served as Chaplain at Bowmanville High School.
Bishops of Peterborough Diocese from time of Father Russell’s ordination: James Leonard Doyle (24 May 1976 – 28 December 2002 ); Nicola de Angelis, C.F.I.C. (28 December 2002 – )
Archbishop of Ottawa Archdiocese in mid 80s: Joseph-Aurèle Plourde (2 January 1967 — 27 September 1989)
Auxiliary Bishops Ottawa Archdiocese: Gilles Bélisle (11 May 1977 to 19 Aug 1993); John Michael Beahen (11 May 1977 – 14 March 1988)
04 December 2003: Patrick Joseph Herlihey: “Decision Summary” & “Revocation of status” (as teacher)
The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) of that date, media (M) and personal knowledge (P). Further dates and information will be added if and when it becomes available.
June 2011: according to a blogger (scroll down) is working as a handyman in the Kawartha Lakes area.
2011, 2004, 2005, 2006: not listed (CCCD)
04 December 2003: found guilty of professional misconduct. Status with Ontario College of Teachers revoked
2003: ACQUITTED on second set of charges (CCCD)
2003, 2002, 2000: 729 St. Luke’s St., RR # 5, Lindsay, Ontario (CCCD) (can anyone tell me what is at this address?)
May 2001: GUILTY (M)
2000: 729 St. Luke’s St., RR # 5, Lindsay, Ontario (CCCD)
1999: charged first time (M)
1999, 1998, 1996: St. Stephens High School, Bowmanville (CCCD) Chaplain.
1995, 1994, 1993, 1992: Pastor, St. Thomas More, Millbrook, Ontario (CCCD)
1991: St. Ann Roman Catholic Church, Peterborough, (Pastor Father Garry Leahy) (CCCD)
1988: not listed in index (CCCD)
Master of Arts, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario (OCT)
1986-1987: academic year: chaplain at Immaculata High School, Ottawa, Ontario. He may have been there one more year, but most definitely was there ’86-’87. I am told that serving as chaplain Father Herlihey acted ‘hip’ and ‘cool.’ He was an avid body builder with bulging biceps – I am told he liked to wear tight shirts (muscle shirts) which showed them off.
It is recalled that Herlihey was a great advocate of general absolution.
Herlihey used to tell the “Mac” students that before he became a priest he was into drugs and sex, and that he was an example of how a person can be redeemed. During a retreat in Aylmer, Quebec he approached a group of students with the query: “How the F—- are you?”
1985-86: index lists St. Francis of Assisi RC Church Newcastle, Ontario. (Pastor Father Jos. Collins) (CCCD)
1983-1985: St. Francis of Assisi RC Church, Newcastle, Ontario (M)
was sexually abusing a boy during this time frame at St. Francis Assisi (M)
1983-84: St. Francis of Assisi RC Church Newcastle, Ontario (CCCD)
1983: Immaculate Conception RC Church, Peterborough Ontario (CCCD)
1982-83: Immaculate Conception RC Church, Peterborough Ontario (CCCD)
1981: ORDAINED (CCCD)
Master of Divinity, University of St. Micheal’s College, Toronto, Ontario
1976: certified to teach (OCT)
Bachelor of Arts, University of Western Ontario (OCT)
Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario (OCT)
Priest not guilty of sexually abusing second boy
Convicted of sex-assaults on teen in 2001
Feb 12, 2003 – 12:00 AM
Stephen Shaw, Staff Writer
WHITBY – A Catholic priest convicted two years ago of sexual abuse wept in court after being acquitted Tuesday of similar sex offences involving a second young boy, dating back to the 1980s.
“It’s been a lot, I’m going home,” a relieved-looking Father Patrick Herlihey said after the judgement.
The court decision marked the end of three years of criminal proceedings against the former parish priest at St. Francis of Assisi church in Newcastle.
Fr. Herlihey, 50, of Emily Township, was originally charged by Durham Regional Police in 1999 with sexually assaulting a teenaged boy in the 1980s.
He was convicted by Justice Alf Stong following a trial held in Whitby’s Superior Court in 2001, and was sentenced to 18 months’ house arrest, which he has since completed.
It wasn’t until the end of the first trial that the second complainant came forward and told authorities he also was sexually abused at the priest’s hands during roughly the same period, prompting police to file new charges.
After a second trial, which began late last year, Justice Michelle Fuerst found Fr. Herlihey not guilty of gross indecency and sexual assault.
In a lengthy decision, Justice Fuerst said several inconsistencies in the testimony of the alleged victim, now 28, made her question his credibility.
The man claimed he was sexually assaulted by Fr. Herlihey in the living quarters of the rectory five times between 1983 and 1985, when he was a 10-year-old student at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, located on church property.
The first attack, he alleged, occurred after Fr. Herlihey’s dog, King, ate his lunch in the schoolyard, and Fr. Herlihey invited him up to his apartment.
He detailed a “progression” of sexual activity during three later visits to Fr. Herlihey’s apartment, and alleged he was brutally raped on the fifth.
During both his trials, Fr. Herlihey, 50, took the witness stand and denied the allegations of sexual misconduct.
In court he was described as an unconventional priest – ordained in 1981 – who was unusually affectionate with parishioners, preferred “group absolution” to one-on-one confession and dressed in street clothes.
Justice Stong rejected Fr. Herlihey’s testimony at the first trial, where he admitted sleeping naked with the boy and smoking pot with family members.
In the second trial, Justice Fuerst said Fr. Herlihey “struck me as forthright.” In contrast she said, the allegations made by the second complainant were “implausible” in many ways. The judge gave a list of examples.
As well as discrepancies in the complainant’s evidence, Justice Fuerst said his credibility was damaged by the 15-year delay in bringing forward charges and their timing, after Fr. Herlihey’s 2001 trial and conviction.
Fr. Herlihey lost his job as pastoral care worker at Bowmanville’s St. Stephen’s Catholic School in 1999, after being charged.
Now that the cases are over, he is looking forward to “getting on with his life,” said defence counsel Richard Evenson.
“His life has been in suspension for a long time.”
Catholic priest denies assaulting boy
Father Pat Herlihey takes the stand
Dec 22, 2002 – 12:00 AM
STEPHEN SHAW, STAFF WRITER
DURHAM – A Catholic priest, convicted last year of sexually abusing a teenager in the 1980s, has denied he also fondled and raped a 10-year-old boy during the same period.
“That did not happen,” Father Patrick Herlihey, 50, testified.
He has pleaded not guilty to committing gross indecency and sexual assault.
Fr. Herlihey, a former Newcastle parish priest and Bowmanville high school chaplain, was found guilty last year of sexually assaulting a teenaged boy between 1984-1988, Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst was told Thursday during the priest’s testimony.
He received an 18-month conditional sentence, known as ‘house arrest.’
His second trial has heard allegations he abused another young boy on five occasions between 1983 and 1985, also while he was parish priest at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Newcastle.
The alleged victim, now 28, testified he was a Grade 4 student at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic school, on church property, when he was invited into the rectory to have lunch with Fr. Herlihey in his second-floor apartment.
Fr. Herlihey led him to a couch after lunch and fondled him, he said.
The priest allegedly sexually assaulted the child on four other subsequent occasions during visits to the rectory. During the fifth incident, Fr. Herlihey forced intercourse and encouraged him to perform fellatio, the man testified.
“Did you at any time under any circumstances sexually assault (the complainant)?” defence lawyer Richard Evenson asked Fr. Herlihey.
“Never,” Fr. Herlihey responded in a soft-spoken voice.
“Did any of these incidents occur?”
“No, they did not.”
Of the alleged fifth attack, which the complainant described in court as causing unbearable pain, Fr. Herlihey insisted: “That never happened.”
Fr. Herlihey agreed with prosecutor Jinwon Kim he was an “unconventional” priest as spiritual leader of St. Francis of Assisi until 1985.
He regularly dressed in sandals and jeans, rather than his religious robe.
He also was unusually “affectionate,” greeting parishioners and children with hugs and kisses, court also heard.
Fr. Herlihey said he kept a busy schedule, as he was active in the school activities, organized weekend retreats for the church youth groups, and juggled marriage, student and family counselling with his regular responsibilities and commitments to the Peterborough Diocese.
In cross-examination by the Crown, Fr. Herlihey acknowledged students on occasion visited him at his apartment alone.
Fr. Herlihey said he vaguely recalled the alleged victim and, while “it’s possible” he invited him to have lunch in his apartment, he doesn’t remember.
There were times his dog, ‘King,’ tore students’ lunch bags outside the church, where children left them on the ground while playing before classes.
The priest then gave teachers cash to buy students food, or he invited the students up to his apartment to have lunch with him.
“I don’t remember it being (the alleged victim)… that is possible,” he said in reply to Mr. Kim’s questions.
The Crown suggested students would also regularly visit Fr. Herlihey in the rectory living quarters just to talk over lunch, and the defendant agreed.
As result of his conviction last year, Fr. Herlihey was stripped by the church of his “religious faculties” and lost his job as pastoral care worker at St. Stephen’s Catholic Secondary School in Bowmanville, court was told.
He revealed during his testimony he breached his conditional sentence.
Justice Fuerst reserved her judgment after hearing closing arguments.
Priest on trial for assault
December 18, 2002
Stephen Shaw, Staff Writer
WHITBY – A 10-year-old boy suffered excruciating pain while being sexually abused at the hands of a Catholic priest, Superior Court has heard.
The alleged victim, who’s now 28, testified he was sexually assaulted between 1983 and 1985 on five separate occasions by Father Patrick Joseph Herlihey, former parish priest at St. Francis of Assisi church in Newcastle.
During the attacks the priest told him “God loves you,” he testified.
The abuse began when he was aged nine with fondling, he said. It progressed to fellatio and forced intercourse when he was 10, court was told.
“I just recall this horrid pain inside of me… very sharp, invasive, severe (pain),” said the complainant, detailing how Fr. Herlihey raped him during the fifth and final incident, which occurred in the church rectory like the others.
“I remember it hurting just as much when it stopped,” he said.
“I just felt totally, totally confused… I remember I was just crying.”
Father Herlihey, 50, has pleaded not guilty to committing gross indecency and sexual assault.
Justice Michelle Fuerst Monday began hearing evidence in the trial, which is being held without a jury in the Superior Court of Justice in Whitby.
The alleged victim said he met ‘Father Pat’ while a Grade 3 student at St. Francis of Assisi school, located beside the church on the same property.
The priest played an active role in school activities, often visiting classrooms, while students attended regular lunch-hour masses at the church.
Fr. Herlihey was popular with parishioners, who included the alleged victim, his mother and siblings. “Everybody liked him,” the man said, describing the priest as “friendly, affectionate, soft-spoken and outgoing.”
One day his lunch bag ripped and Fr. Herlihey sent him an invitation, delivered through his teacher, to have lunch with him in the church rectory.
At the time he thought “it was quite the honour” to be summoned to Fr. Herlihey’s second floor church living quarters, where they had lunch together.
After they ate, Fr. Herlihey took his hands, led him to the living room couch and started rubbing his leg while telling him: “I was special, loved,” he said.
Fr. Herlihey reached into his pants and began “touching my private area,” while encouraging him to do the same to the accused.
Three future visits followed where similar mutual fondling took place, he said, adding he felt safe and comfortable when he was with the priest.
Each time Fr. Herlihey told him, “I was special and that God loved me.”
After the painful fifth attack, where he was allegedly encouraged to perform oral sex on Fr. Herlihey and then raped, he said he ran back into school.
The victim, a university graduate with a masters degree, said he bottled the memories of the abuse for years until he finally went to police in 2001.
“I was able to push them out of my mind for a long time. Denial is a very powerful thing,” he said.
He considered coming forward two years earlier, after hearing Fr. Herlihey had been charged in 1999 with sexually assaulting another child in the 1980s.
“I was very afraid of consequences, breaching trust. I felt as though I’d be going against God,” said the man, explaining why he did not report earlier.
When asked by prosecutor Jinwon Kim what eventually led him to file the complaint in 2001, the complainant testified he felt a moral obligation.
“I was ready. I needed to do this. I felt I had a social responsibility.”
Years of therapy, eating disorders and “self-hate” also led to the decision.
The trial is continuing.
Judge orders ex-priest to tell about sex crimes
28 May 2001
A former Catholic priest has been sentenced to 18 months of house arrest and ordered to let the community know about his crimes after being convicted of sex crimes against a teenage parishioner.
Rev. Patrick Herlihey, 48, of Lindsay, was found guilty in Whitby Superior Court of “touching, groping and kissing” the teenage boy whose family had approached the popular priest for counselling.
Mr. Justice Alfred Stong ordered Herlihey to write three letters to newspapers in the Peterborough area outlining his crimes, the impact of the judicial process on him and the resources available for sex offenders in the area.
The priest also has been ordered to organize a discussion for priests and teachers about detecting sex abuse.
During his 18-month sentence, Herlihey must remain in his Lindsay home except for one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for shopping, personal business and exercise.
Evidence showed the assaults occurred when the victim, now 30, was age 14 to 17. They occurred at the victim’s Orono home, during a camping trip and in the rectory of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Newcastle where Herlihey was the parish priest from 1983 to 1985.
In passing sentence, Stong stressed the prevention of abuse by people in positions of authority. “He was as every 14-year-old boy, experiencing the maturation process. He and all teenagers like him must be protected and offered a safe environment to enjoy their maturation. They must not be subjected to intrusive abuse.”
Evidence showed Herlihey often hugged and kissed the victim on the lips and coaxed him to remove his clothes while sleeping nude in the same bed.
Herlihey, 48, who admitted in court he had slept with the teenager, denied any sexual connotation to the acts.
He is awaiting trial on sex-related charges relating to a second victim.
With files from Torstar news service
Father Herlihey was definitely Chaplain at Immaculata High School in Ottawa Ontario from 1986-’87. He may have been there an additional year, but he was definitely there ’85-’86.
I am told that while serving as chaplain Father Herlihey acted ‘hip’ and ‘cool.’ He was an avid body builder with bulging biceps which he like to show off by wearing tight shirts.
It is recalled that Herlihey was a great advocate of general absolution.
Herlihey used to tell the “Mac” students that before he became a priest he was into drugs and sex, and that he was an example of how a person can be redeemed.
I was also told that during a retreat in Aylmer, Quebec Herlihey approached a group of students with the query: “How the F—- are you?”
This man is a handy man in the kawartha lakes area. I confronted him yesterday and asked if he was a priest once upon a time. He was a priest/pastoral care worker at my secondary school. He’s still out there. People should be aware of how dangerous he is.
Are you certain it’s him Anonymous? How did he respond when you confronted him?
You say he was a priest/pastoral care worker at your secondary school. Did you recognize him? Also, can you tell us which school that was?
Yes, I was certain it was him. I asked him if he worked as a priest, which he answered “yes, I did” and then proceeded to ask me who I was, which I told him.
I went to St. Stephens Secondary School, in Bowmanville. I did recognize him, which is why I called him out.
I grew up in Chatham ON and I recognize this name, but there is no mention anywhere of him having worked/lived there.
I am from Chatham , and this guy never worked here!
Anonymous, thank you for that link. I have posted the info from the Ontario College of Teachers and updated the page accordingly.
I see that Herlihey was a teacher (1976) before he became a priest (1981). I wonder where he was teaching before he became a priest? Does anyone know?
I also wonder what prompted him to pursue the priesthood? As a molester, he had ample access to children as a teacher, why then the decision to become a priest? Did a member of the clergy prod him in that direction? If so, who?
I also wonder if he was reported to officials at the Peterbough Diocese in the mid 80s? It just seems passing strange that he suddenly showed up in Ottawa teaching at Immaculata High School. We now know he had already been molesting by then. Why the move to Ottawa? True, as we now see, he got a Masters in Arts at Ottawa’s Saint Paul U., but, ….? I can’t help but wonder.
You wonder about him working in Chatham? I have posted only the information which I have on hand. There are large gaps in the information – he could have been anywhere in those years. However, jon smith sounds quite adamant that Herlihey never worked in Chatham. I just don’t know.
Really??? Seems to me he paid for his crimes… let it go and let the man live his life now. This should be considered stalking.
Ever heard of abject denial?
Look it up.
Oh… and for the record, I know the man personally, do YOU? He’s actually a pretty nice man, who is trying to get his life back together. Let him do it, FFS. This is old news, and he’s paid his dues.
Just so u know, I’m a 33 yr old woman who was sexually abused by Pat.
I’ve worked as a therapist for sex offenders.. and guess what- even with forgiveness in my heart – I’ve still got a bunch of stuff to clear up thanks to him.
I would say you have nothing truly useful to say to others about this issue unless you were 5 yrs old etc and experienced abuse by him.
thanks for your story a pedophile knows the difference between right or wrong but refuse to stop their inclinations to fulfill. the children were easy prey. don’t kid yourself they have one victim. the second victim in this case because of the 15 yr delay to come forward does not mean the priest was innocent it merely proves the time delay and the very sensitive nature of the memories were mixed up. not that they were not credible. our judges need to wake up.
Too True. Many of the sex offenders I’ve worked with did know what they were doing was wrong- AND they did know that who they were doing it to was being hurt.
I’m shocked again and again by the “justice” system. The second judge obviously had some mental gaps happening because it takes sooo much effort just to self acknowledge a sexual violation- nevermind require someone to pay for their dirty deeds.
VO you could never have said it better. You have hit the nail on the head proving our judges would give more time to a thief stealing $100 then to raping priests who raped over and over again and then deny it.
nunyabiznis: if this was old news, why on earth would you revive the thread almost 1 year after the last entry?? Thanks to you, it is now back in the forefront…smooth move!
I just saw Fr. Pat Herlihey at a wedding this weekend. Couldn’t believe it was him. he was intoxicated and having lots of fun. I thought he was very strange back then (1998) and very feminine. Possibly gay. But didn’t think he was an abuser. I should have asked him about it last night!
Yeah– see the details about where he was for those later years aren’t listed above. He was definitely at St.Francis longer than posted– and I think he was at st.stephens longer too.. correct me if I’m wrong. I went to both schools.
Many many people felt his vibes were “off-putting” yet no one was awake enough at the time to connect the dots.
Would have brought him to the fruit of his conviction had he been served charges sooner.
This priest got 18 months house arrest for assaulting a child?Go to donald best.ca and read a police officer who received 3 months in jail for contempt of court in a civil matter . If you read the story the evidence was fabricated by lawyers and allowed by a crooked judge who engaged in judicial misconduct. How sad to see such a display of ignorance by judges in Ontario.
Father Patrick Herlihey was priest at St. Thomas Moore church in Millbrook from the late 80’s to mid 90’s. I was a parishioner there, my daughters were alter servers. I will give no further personal information as I do not want to be identified.
He was a very strange man I will give you some instances that cause me to say this.
1. There was a ladies only meeting and lunch at the rectory which he attended at which time he walked around swearing like a sailor. It was “F” this and “F” that. I confronted him and he said and I quote “Whats the matter with you? It’s only a word”. to which I replied it’s not a word you would expect to come from a priests mouth.
2. When my older daughter was an alter server he organized a “camping” trip for them (boys and girls) I wouldn’t allow my daughter to go, it just didn’t sound right to me. After they came back one of the girls that was friends with my daughter told her she was lucky that she didn’t go as he had given them beer and liquor and wanted them to dance around the fire naked. None of them did the latter. He also had them sleeping in the tents together (boys and girls aged around 13-14). He also told these children of his previous life of drinking and drugs and that he thought there was nothing wrong with a priest having sex with a female even though he was a “priest”.
3. It was rumoured that he was having an affair with the woman who played the piano in the congregation, I saw evidence of this when a summer picnic was held in her house and the two of them disappeared upstairs in her home for over an hour.
He was a very charismatic man and encouraged everyone to hug him at every chance. I chose not to for one thing, he had an odd odour about him that was offensive to me.
Once I heard about the things he had done, I was so distressed that I have never been back to Church since. This was the third time I had heard about priests doing these kinds of things and I decided that this was the end of it for me. Neither of my girls practices their religion however my husband still goes to church every week.
In my humble opinion he is a poor excuse for a man let alone a priest and I would not be surprised if he is continuing this practice today. Paedophiles are ubiquidous unfortunately.
Karen – You kept good counsel keeping your kids and yourself away from this man. I was at St. Thomas More when Fr. Tom Lynch was suddenly removed from the parish by Bishop Doyle. Herlihey filled in for a couple of Sundays. My wife was extremely wary of this man as, like you said, would prance up and down the church hugging and kissing the women during mass. He insisted we just call him Pat.
We moved to Toronto before this man was appointed pastor. Obviously as we can see, a very disordered man who never should have been ordained in the first place. The church should be ashamed – they knew about this man, but did nothing about it until criminal charges were made. Mike.
My moms friends son commited suicide in the early 90’s. His best friend then told her that her son was sexually abused by a priest from St. Francis. This would have happened in the 80’s so it does add up to Father Pat, can’t say it was him 100%. So terrible. I too went to St. Francis and St. Stephens but don’t recall him, but my hubby remembers him in 96 talking to his class.
This site is an absolute travesty. Fear mongers and gossips. I have known Pat forever and he admitted to his wrongdoing. He is not a liar. I also know the second person who came forward after the first charges were laid. He admits to his friends that he did it to get money from Pat through the courts. He made up every single bit of his story . R. R. ( his initials) went to St Francis in Newcastle for elementary school then Clarke H.S. for most of secondary years. He attended St. Stephen’s Catholic Secondary School for one year.
Also, for the record, Pat is not a body builder of any kind nor does he wear ‘ muscle shirts’. He is thin and slight and always has been.
He does swear, drink and smoke marijuana regularly and he has a kind heart. I feel he is naive in many ways and too trusting of others.
For those of you who condemn him , shame on you.
As I wrote earlier to another person. If you are not a professional or a victim of this sex offender, your opinion here holds Zero value. Zero.
It has been 18 years and I am still struggling with echoes of HIS harm to me.
Perhaps actually researching trauma and sexual abuse might help you figure out that pedophiles and sex offenders dont tell you what they do and who they are.
Ignorance seems like bliss, but I know better.
VO, if you continue reading down this thread, you will see how Sophie has come to realize that her words were way out of line and she has regretted using them. I understand your anger and being hurt all these years later…I’ve lived those feelings too. Please seek someone to talk to to try and help deal with what you are feeling. I wish Sylvia was around to provide you with words of comfort…she was really good at that.
Former students from Immaculata tell me he wore muscle shirts and so on and had a filthy mouth.
As for your cruel denunciation and condemnation and gossip regarding the second “boy” who came forward , you would do well to understand that a 28-year-old male after money would not opt to pursue criminal charges to do so. There is NO money to be had in seeing criminal charges through to trial. NONE. Not one single penny. Shame and embarrassment and humiliation in testifying, yes; financial gain, no.
Shame on you Sophie. Shame on you!
R.R. Most certainly made this all up. He says he did. He’s a bit of a drama queen and thrives on public attention. I
He made all of this up with his friend T.R. Who was once the president of the school student union.
Shame on me? Speak not what you know not of.
Why do you run this site anyway? Perverse
Sophie, please contain yourself. It’s one thing to argue facts presented, but to say things like “Fear mongers and gossips” and “Why do you run this site anyway? Perverse”, really addds no value to any point you are trying to make. In fact it detracts from any validity your points try to make. Sylvia and many on this site are here to support victims and survivors as they try to deal with the horrors perpetrated by collars on innocent young people. And so to offer you some advice, I will use your own words…”Speak not what you know not of”
You are right. I have jumped way ahead of myself. I have known Pat forever and it hurts me deeply that he has committed these acts against a child. I know him to be a kind , caring man. I also have a lot of difficulty understanding why he did it and coming to terms with it myself. It pains me that this took place in our parish as well. I need to see it for what it is, a criminal act by a man who preyed on a child. I apologize to Sylvia for my comments. I am just so pained by all of this.
Thank you Sophie.
Sophie, I am so happy and I admire you for your reply!! It takes a person with a big heart and courage to say what you said in the reply. You’re right that it’s always a shock and hurtful to find out someone you truly admired could actually be such a predator. You are feeling the same emotions my parents went through when my brothers and I came out and told them and the world about our abuse. These pervert collars are so skillful at manipulating parents and their prey. Be strong, Sophie , and continue to support your hurting son. Just knowing a parent believes them is a huge step towards healing. God bless you.
Thank you Sylvia and PJJ. I appreciate your responses. I was so upset when I read all of this about Fr. Pat. I is disturbing to read of such acts then try to comprehend why.
A friend from our parish told me he was working at a nursing home in Lindsay, Ontario as a chaplain and counsellor. He continues to live in Downyville , Ontario near Lindsay.
He has completely pushed away all his past acquaintances from our parish , even those who by him. Word has it that he is remorseful but that’s between him and god.
My heart goes out to you Sophie. You are not alone in trying to come to terms with the fact that a once trusted and loved priest is in fact a molester.
Let me relay a little story which I have never shared….
Several years ago I was contacted by a woman who wanted to get something off her chest. Her priest had been charged, and she, convinced of his innocence, joined forces with many other parishioners who picketed and rallied and very publicly denounced, belittled and ridiculed the victim while defending their priest. Little did this poor soul know at that time that her own son had been sexually abused by that priest. When she found out, she was devastated, not only by the news that her son had been sexually abused, but that she had gone to great lengths to defend his abuser and denounce one of her sons fellow victims.
She was in tears.
I try to remember that. I sometimes fail.
It’s difficult for parishioners.
I can relate fully with this story. Thank yo for sharing it.