Del Bianco: Gabriele Del Bianco

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 Gabriele A. Del Bianco

Gabe Del Bianco

Former Catholic priest Gabe DelBianco turned himself in to the Lambton OPP on April 8 where he was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault, said OPP.

Ex priest, Diocese of London, Ontario.  Ordained 1982. Left priesthood in 1996 after he had been reported.  April 2011: charged with three counts sexual assault for incidents 1983-86.  Further charges laid for total of 19 by at least five complainants. Lawsuits from  at least 10 women alleging child sex abuse.  Has admitted fathering the child of one of his victims.

Allegations of abuse at rectories in Windsor, Lakeshore and Wallaceburg, Ontario and at a cottage in Grand Bend.

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Victim “A” Impact Statement  05 May 2014

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14 May 2014:   “Former Windsor priest sentenced for sex crimes” & related article

25 February 2014:  “Former Windsor priest found guilty of sexual misconduct” & related articles

24 February 2014:  “Gabriele DelBianco found guilty on three of 18 sexual assault charges” & related articles

19 December 2013:  BLOG Great disappointment

19 December 2013:  “Former Catholic priest Gabriele DelBianco facing sexual assault-related charges” & related article

18 December 2013:  BLOG The girls’ fault for consenting?

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Next court date:    14 May 2014:   sentencing, Sarnia Ontario courthouse (700 N. Christina Street) ; 24 February 2014:  Verdict to be rendered, Sarnia Ontario courthouse; 19 December 2013:  submissions continued (originally scheduled as tentative date for verdict), Sarnia, Ontario courthouse; 18 December 2013:  submissions from Crown and defence, Sarnia, Ontario courthouse; 16 15 October 2013; 10 am, TRIAL, Sarnia, Ontario courthouse – booked for about eight days (Superior Court of Justice);   23 November 2012: to schedule trial, Sarnia Ontario courthouse22 October 2012:  preliminary hearing – booked for three days in Sarnia Ontario courthouse;  04 June 2012:  09:30 am,  “focusing hearing”Sarnia Ontario  courthouse; 19 December 2011: to set next court date,  09:30 am, courtroom #3, Sarnia, Ontario court house08 December 2011:  Sarnia courthouse, first appearance on the 16 new charges – possibly also continuation of pre-trial hearings03 October 2011: Sarnia courthouse, continuation of pre-trial hearings;   22 September 2011: 09:30 am, court room #5 “for pre-trial,” Sarnia court house; 09 August 2011:  09:30 am, courtroom #3, “to set a date,” Sarnia court house, Sarnia, Ontario; 25 July 2011 Sarnia courthouse, Sarnia Ontario;  11 July 2011 Sarnia courthouse, Sarnia Ontario ; 20 June 2011:  09:30 am.  (“to speak to.” Sarnia courthouse, Sarnia Ontario); 16 May 2011:  (Preliminary hearing.  Sarnia courthouse, Sarnia Ontario)

24 October 2011:  16 new charges laid for a total of 19 charges (at least four more complainants)

File #:  1711998110492

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20 February 2012:  BLOG “After the Storm”

21 October 2009: Learning about the power of slow and the right to joy

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Media Coverage

22 October 2013:  “Evidence concludes in sexual assault case against former Catholic priest Gabriele DelBianco ” & related article

21 October 2013:  Fourth alleged victim testifies in sexual assault trial of former priest Gabriele DelBianco

18 October 2013:  “Woman in her 40s says romantic relationship with priest started at age 15 or 16 ” & related articles

17 October 2013:  BLOG Who is paying?

17 October 2013:  “Gabriele DelBianco on trial in Sarnia for sexual assault involving four girls ” & related articles

17 October 2013:  Gabriele DelBianco on trial in Sarnia for sexual assault involving four girls

17 October 2013:  BLOG  Awaiting news

16 October 2013:  Ontario woman describes sex with priest as ‘rough and weird’

16 October 2013:  Sexual assault trial begins against former Catholic priest (more detail than prev. of same title)

16 October 2013:  Sexual assault trial begins against former Catholic priest

16 October 2013:  BLOG Any media?

24 October 2012: “Former priest to stand trial on sex charges”

22 October 2012: Former priest charged with sex offences in court

16 November 2011: Ex-priest faces new charges, four girls now allege sex offences

12 November 2011: More alleged victims of priest emerge

23 July 2011: Father’s girls: Priest charmed, seduced young parishioners, court filings allege

21 July 2011: 22 priests, hundreds of victims: Sex abuse cases haunt church’s London diocese

20 April 2011: UPDATED: Ex-priest fathered alleged victim’s child, lawyer says

17 April 2011:  7th woman comes forward in priest sex abuse case

April 2011:   Diocese of London Statement Regarding Gabriele DelBianco

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Bishops of London Diocese from time of Gabriel Del Bianco’s ordination until his departure:   John Michael Sherlock (7 July 1978 – 27 April 2002 ).

Auxiliary Bishops:  Marcel André J. Gervais (19 Apr 1980 – 3 May 1985); Frederick Bernard Henry (18 April 1986 -o 24 Mar 1995).

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The following information is drawn from Catholic Directories of the same date, media (M), the diocesan statement above (D)  and personal info (P)

24 October 2012:  ordered to stand trial on all criminal charges in Ontario Superior Court (M)

22 – 24 October 2012: preliminary hearing (M)

April 2011:  first charges laid (M)

2011: works as a counsellor in Kincardine, Ontario (Bruce County) (P)

President of Innerfit, Auburn, Ontario (M)

2011 lawsuit filed by two women who allege sex abuse as teens while Del Bianco served in Wallaceberg

2000: started Innerfit, a wellness company Auburn, Ontario (P)

?: counsellor in Bruce County. (M)

1996:  981 Wellington Rd. South, London, P.O.106

1996:   LEFT the PRIESTHOOD  (D)

1995, 1994, 1993, 1992: Pastor, Sacred Heart RC, Windsor, Church (CCCD)

1994:  allegations of “improper conduct” to diocese (D) sent for evaluation (D)

1990-94: Pastor, Sacred Heart RC, Windsor, Church (D)

assisting Del Bianco 1992-1995 was Father Linus Bastien.  Bastien was charged October 2011

1988-90:  associate pastor at St. Gregory in St. Clair Beach and part-time chaplain at St. Anne’s high school, Tecumseh (D)

1987-1988: administrator at St. Rose of Lima, Windsor (D)

1985-87: associate pastor at St. John Vianney RC Church part-time chaplain at Brennan high school in Windsor (M)

1985-86: St. John Vianney Windsor (Pastor Father K. A. Bondy) (CCCD)

1984-85: studies in Rome (D)

1981-84: associate pastor at Our Lady Help of Christians, Wallaceburg, Ontario (D)

according to a blogger, Del Bianco was 25 in 1981

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Women file suit against ex-priest

Diocese apologizes for ‘all the hurt’

Windsor Star

By Dave Battagello, The Windsor Star April 16, 2011

A former Windsor priest is being sued by six women who allege he sexually abused them in Wallaceburg nearly three decades ago when they were teenagers.

Gabriele Del Bianco, now 54, was transferred to Windsor in 1985 by the London diocese and served at several area parishes following three years as associate pastor at Wallaceburg’s Our Lady Help of Christians.

London lawyer Rod Dale, who is representing the women, said he anticipates more victims will come forward now that the lawsuits, which also name the diocese, have been made public.

On Friday, the diocese said that Lambton County OPP have filed three charges of sexual assault against the former priest.

Dale praised the diocese for offering counselling for the women and trying to reach financial settlements out of court.

Another victim, who was not among the six, settled a week ago, Dale said. Details of that settlement are not being released.

“We are open to working out fair, reasonable settlements as quickly as possible,” said Mark Adkinson, spokesman for the diocese.

The diocese released a statement Friday apologizing for “all of the hurt these and other victims have experienced.

“We are committed to living up to our responsibilities and obligations to victims of sexual misconduct in the search for justice and truth. The victims who have come forward are making a difference and we thank them for doing so.”

Parishioners at the affected churches will receive a letter from Bishop Ronald Fabbro at the conclusion of mass this weekend apologizing for Del Bianco’s alleged conduct.

Del Bianco served in Windsor as associate pastor at St. John Vianney church and part-time chaplain at Brennan high school from 1985 to 1987, according to the diocese.

He was administrator at St. Rose of Lima in 1987 and 1988, then became associate pastor at St. Gregory in St. Clair Beach and part-time chaplain at St. Anne’s high school from 1988 to 1990.

He was pastor at the former Sacred Heart church in Windsor from 1990 until 1994. Del Bianco was removed from the parish after the diocese learned of his behaviour. He left the priesthood in 1996.

Del Bianco moved north and was a counsellor in Bruce County -eventually serving as president of Innerfit, a wellness company in Auburn, Ont. He left the job field once his legal troubles emerged in the past year, his Toronto lawyer John Banfill said Friday.

Banfill said he was only familiar with the claims of two of the women. His client admits there were “boundary transgressions” and the former priest regrets his actions.

“Mr. Del Bianco has taken the position some behaviour on his part was inappropriate,” Banfill said. “That’s probably all I can tell you at this point because of the pending action.

“I will say in my experience in these cases there is some element of exaggeration as a consequence of the passage of time.”

The lawsuits allege Del Bianco groomed his victims after starting a youth group at Our Lady Help of Christians church involving students in grades seven and eight, said Dale. The allegations have not yet been proven in court.

Dale said that according to the lawsuits the priest identified pre-adolescent girls who were troubled or vulnerable and then befriended them by giving small gifts or toys to make them feel special.

He took them out for pizza, ice cream or fast food and even grew close to the families involved, often being invited to dinner where he won the trust of parents, Dale said.

Del Bianco, in his mid-20s at the time, then started to invite the girls to his room at the rectory. He was even trusted to taking the girls on overnight stays to cottages lent to him by the parishioners.

The former priest dressed stylishly, drove a sports car and told the youngsters tales -including that he once was a CIA operative, Dale said.

The lawsuit alleges his sexual advances started with innocent hugs and kisses, but eventually led to giving the girls alcohol and abuse that escalated to include fondling, oral sex and intercourse, the lawyer said.

The victims have suffered a lifetime of emotional and psychological problems, Dale said.

“A generalization is they were largely excellent students, but after the abuse their grades fell substantially, they dropped out of high school, became promiscuous with older men and had alcohol or drugrelated problems,” he said.

“All of them have significant emotional problems in their relationships with friends, spouses and kids. None of them achieved their occupational potential and are resentful of authority figures. This had a terrible emotional, reallife impact on these women.” dbattagello@windsorstar.com

228 Responses to Del Bianco: Gabriele Del Bianco

  1. Ex-Catholic says:

    How can this man plead not guilty? I can’t even believe it!!
    I have visited here once in a while to see what is new in this case. “Father” Gabe is the reason I have chosen to raise my kids without organized religion as part of their lives. I am no longer Catholic in any sense of the word. I watched him seduce fellow schoolmates and move into full blown courtship right in front of everyone! The principle allowed the girls to be taken from class with him, I saw him at the movies with one of the girls holding hands, cuddling and sharing popcorn. I can’t remember the movie we went to see that day because the whole time me and my fellow 12 year old friend just watched in amazement that he was doing what (we already knew) he was doing in PUBLIC!
    People protected this man. He walked around with his jeans and cowboy style boots always acting so fresh and cool in the stuffy Catholic schools we were in.
    He was the “”rock star” of the schools! And the guys also bought into his role too! They loved this guy.
    I attended St. John Vianney and then FJ Brennan so I was around him too much those years.

    What bothers me most in this case was that most of us students knew (at least ones with half a brain!) and most parents who were familiar with this man also knew what was going on but no one spoke out. The teachers, the principle, nuns – none of them said anything or tried to protect us from him.

    This is what that institution of learning was about. Brainwash everyone so they can’t think for themselves or at least they won’t challenge the church.

    These were sweet, kind young girls with their whole future ahead of them and he took so much from them! No amount of money in this world can compensate for the damage this man AND the Catholic church/school system did to these women and all the other victims who knew but had no where to turn. We were all stuck in that place each day watching this man and his evil sins and he probably changed the way many of us now view organized religion.

    If he doesn’t rot in jail, I hope he rots in hell.

  2. jon smith says:

    I see that you are much more at Peace not being in the Church!

    • Sylvia says:

      jon smith, was Christ at peace when he drove the money-changers out of the temple? and what abot when he said those who cause scandal or harm should have a millstone hung around their necks and they be drowned in the depths of the sea?

      In the Church or out of the Church people are angry and disgusted, and rightly so.

      Ex-Catholic recounted what she tells us she as 12-year-old school girl witnessed. If what she tells us is true, I would say that what she and others witnessed was outright debauchery.

      How does a 12-year-old deal with that? How can a 12-year-old child comprehend such actions on the part of a priest, a man who at the very least should be setting an example of holiness and chastity for all?

      These men have a lot to answer for. Ditto, I believe, those who watched in silence.

  3. Ex-Catholic says:

    Jon, when I left that place… when I left the church, the peace and security filled my world. Finally I could appreciate the world the way life should be appreciated. Indeed I am much more at peace outside the church and faith in humanity is constantly restored when justice is served to these pedophiles.

  4. Lina says:

    Ex-Catholic,
    I understand just because you showed some healthy emotions and disgust for criminal acts of some Roman Catholic clergy did, this doesn’t mean you are not at peace in your daily living.

    You explained yourself very clearly, to me anyway.

  5. monica says:

    Ex-Catholic – Thank you for sharing your perspective. The feeling that someone should have noticed is haunting for many victims/survivors. Thank you for sharing what you saw.
    Emancipation from “the church” has been a very peceful move in my life as well.
    Isn’t is strange when we challenge old beliefs and find them stark, raving mad in the light of day?
    My only response to your entry is a comment about “those with half a brain” noticing Fr. Gabe’s behaviour around the girls. This is hard to hear because so many victims/survivors beat themselves up for being stupid or not talking. “How many less woud there have been if my story had been told/believed?” There is an inherent need to save/protect others.
    Many of the girls he preyed upon came from difficult situations where “the norm” was perhaps less than ideal for children. All were revved up on hormones and unwired in the brain as they struggled through puberty.
    As well, a priest in the 80′s, he was deified by devout Catholics and given full access to the insides of families homes and lives.
    What a great environment for a charming, twisted chameleon to hang out.
    I don’t think it was a lack of brains that prevented people from seeing, I think it was the time and circumstance.
    Thank you again, for taking time to share your perspective and support.

  6. Ex-Catholic says:

    Monica,
    When I used the term half a brain, I mean in the case of gabe, it was all so obvious to very average people. He didn’t really try to hide his deviant side. I know he preyed on the vulnerable. I can understand for sure why one victim’s family was targeted due to a death of a father, etc. and there is no way I blame any of the victims or their family. He looked for them and knew who to go after.
    When I say half a brain, I’m thinking that those whose job it was to watch us kids each day and ensure our safety at school, church or related outings… what were they preoccupied with that they could not see the obvious? How could innocent 12 year old girls understand what he was doing was not right but the principle or teachers didn’t notice??
    How about the doctor that treated one of the victims injuries while not reporting this to police and allowing the child back into the perps care.
    This is where I blame a system for failing to protect vulnerable children even more than the sick pedophile. He’s a sick person who is evil and deserves no respect but I thought the system was supposed to protect kids from these dangers?
    If Gabe is found guilty, is the system ever held responsible? Not just the church, but the schools too?
    That’s what I would like to see in this case. All negligent people should be held accountable. Then maybe people will start reporting concerns more often.

  7. jon smith says:

    Should the parents be held responsible – they really have the primary responsibility for looking after their children?

  8. monica says:

    Parents were also groomed by the church and the priest. And don’t think for a moment that they do not feel responsible. For many, the realization of this abuse has taken years off of their lives.

  9. JG says:

    Really…? Jon Smith..
    I never thought even “you” would stoop that low!…After all your diversions, witnessed over the past year, I never thought you would blame the parents to distract from the church’s colossal mess…I’m sure after their initial “aversion” they tried their best and sacrificed a lot ….their loss must have been very painful. Mr and Mrs Smith, you are not the first parents to be cheated and I feel for you…
    Jon, you should be ashamed! …amend your ways!..for “them”! :)
    You shouldn’t be ashamed of your own name if you are true …not just blinded by your sect!
    jg

  10. jon smith says:

    The comment was a ressponse to the fact that Monica seemed to indicate that everyone should have known! It was a different time – parents trusted, parishioners trusted, the pastors and bishop of Gabe trusted. Gabe was very good at grooming the parents, the parishioners, the pastors and bishop. They have all been betrayed when a priest does something like this. I just think that it is wrong to think that everyone other than parents should have been aware of what was truly happening.

    I do not blame the parents – that was not my point. A number of people must assume blame when this happens. There are many victims of sexual abuse, beyond the one who is actually abused.

  11. jon smith says:

    I meant to add one more thought. We are living in a different (a better) time when we are much more aware of this issue. As a parent, I would certainly be concerned if a priest, or a teacher, or anyone, seemed to be spending alone time with my children. I am glad that I am living in this time (and not back when most of this abuse was happening – I would find it hard to forgive myself if I exposed my children to abuse.

  12. JG says:

    Much more interesting! …agree with you on most of your posts except that parents are still quite often the last ones to know because of the fear , the threats, the shame, the manipulation…
    Parents need to be guarded just as much and you are right, we all need to be watching out for our children…sometimes into their adult years!..The communication needs to start at an early age to get the signs right.
    jg

  13. Mike says:

    I was 14 yrs old when Gabe left suddenly from the church, he was suppose to be at a youth conference with us that weekend. It’s because of him a day the church I no longer want to be a catholic. To know I was literally arms length from him at the time and could,do of possibly been one of his victims angers me. We still went to his talks after he was kicked out of the church from allegations which left me and my friends vulnerable to him. Why was the authorities not contacted. Let me tell you all he had the whole church fooled even the parents. He was good at what he did.

  14. Ex-Catholic says:

    He targeted families that were often vulnerable. I feel terrible for the parents in these cases because they were victimized as well.
    The school system and the church is a very different story. These people are often responsible for the care and well-being of children throughout the day. If a sex offender molested a child at a day care institution and was very flippant and open about his behavior, would the rest of the staff not hold some accountability for allowing the kids to be abused??
    And Jon, back at this time when this took place with father Gabe, understand please that we are not talking about the 1950′s! This was at a time when people were aware of pedophiles and “stranger danger” was taught to children. And if young kids knew what he was doing without the victims telling about it, then I’m sure staff should have even been more aware.
    And what about the doctor who Gabe brought a victim to? Isn’t s doctor under legal obligation to report instances of sexual abuse? Instead he treated a minor and sent her home with this creep. What does that speak to a mind of a victim? That perhaps she has no one to help her if the doctor seeing first hand the physical damage Gabe inflicted and he does nothing!!
    I don’t believe for a second that many others didn’t also know what he was up to but the abuse was allowed to continue and more children were violated. Everyone in a position of being able to intervene looked the other way. This is a systemic failure IMO.
    I personally feel it’s due to the power that the church holds over communities and the Catholic school system.

  15. Lisa says:

    Ex-Catholic – Please read the article on this site called “After the Storm”. To me, this just brings to light what a great manipulator and con artist the man was and apparently still is.

  16. jon smith says:

    As you say , ExCatholic, it was not the 1950′s, so are you now saying that it was duing a more enlightened time? If so, are you now saying that the parents should have known. If even the children knew, it would seem quite unlikely that it would have been a secret.

  17. Ex Catholic says:

    Lisa, thank you (I think) for pointing out his new business venture – After the Storm. His own words speak volumes on his lack of remorse for what he has done. I hope the court takes this into consideration. A man that lacks remorse is a man who will continue to abuse in one form or another.

    Jon,
    “If even the children knew, it would seem quite unlikely that it would have been a secret.”
    Ah, but Jon if you know the church then you will know much of this behaviour has been a secret within the church/schools and predators are all too often protected. That is why the parents don’t know and are caught off gaurd. They **trusted** because they were taught to trust and the church breached this trust. This is why the church is failing and why various churches have been sold to pay so many settlements. The endless secrets have finally come back to haunt the Catholic church. The parents were not guilty (except perhaps of placing trust within the Catholic church and school systems).

    Would you trust your child to go on an overnight trip with your church? Or to attend a youth group activity? Do you trust the Catholic church to protect your child when they are not in your care?? I would like to know how you feel about this?

    Or are you saying that the Catholic church/school should never be a place people feel safe or should trust their kids without the parents there? Because in that case we certainly agree on something! I would never trust my child to attend a Catholic church without me there and I would certainly be on high alert. I would also never allow my child to be alone with a Catholic priest for any event. Maybe that just makes me a mom who knows better based on past experiences in the church. I would bet now that the victims parents know the truth, they wouldn’t make the same mistakes with their grandkids either!

  18. monica says:

    A quote from Brene Brown’s website – Ordinary Courage
    “When the culture of an organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals, you can be certain that shame is systemic, money drives ethics, and accountability is dead. This is true in corporations, nonprofits, universities, governments, churches, schools, families, and sports programs. If you think back on any major scandal fueled by cover-ups, you’ll see this pattern.

    In an organizational culture where respect and the dignity of individuals are held as the highest values, shame and blame don’t work as management styles. There is no leading by fear. Empathy is a valued asset, accountability is an expectation rather than an exception, and the primal human need for belonging is not used as leverage and social control.

    We can’t control the behavior of individuals; however, we can cultivate organizational cultures where behaviors are not tolerated and people are held accountable for protecting what matters most: human beings.”

    Do you think we will see the necessary systemic changes in the catholic church in our lifetimes?
    My experience with “the church” has given me very little hope.

  19. Kelly says:

    *I spoke with victims services last week and if any of the survivors are wondering (I was) we DO NOT have to speak at the June focusing hearing. I hope that you all are doing as well as possible, stay strong.

  20. Amber Waves says:

    *So, day one of Gabe’s preliminary hearing – anyone have any news?

    http://www.lfpress.com/2012/10/22/former-priest-charged-with-sex-offences-in-court

  21. Amber says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with Gabe’s victims – those in court and those suffering in silence.

  22. Amber says:

    Any news? I heard on the radio on Monday and Tuesday that the preliminary hearing was happening. It was also in the London Free Press and the Sarnia paper.

  23. Sylvia says:

    Good news!  The preliminary hearing is over and the judge has ruled that Gabriel Del Bianco will stand trial on all charges against him.  This just posted in the Sarnia Observer online:

    Former Catholic priest, Gabriele DelBianco, who is charged with sexual offences involving teenage girls, will face a Superior Court trial on all charges.

    DelBianco was the subject of three-day preliminary hearing that ended Wednesday in Sarnia court.

    He was charged in 2011 with offences involving four girls that allegedly occurred between 1981 and 1987.

    DelBianco, 55, left the priesthood in 1996 after serving at churches in Wallaceburg and Windsor. Scheduling of the trial is expected to be set Nov. 23.

  24. Amber says:

    Anyone know how many days have been set aside for the trial?

  25. monica says:

    Thoughts for today.

    Recently a new friend found out that I had been sexually abused as a teen. She commented that she felt sorry for my children.
    And oh how true! As I think about writing a victim impact statement, I wish I could ask my children to tell the court how having an emotional roller coaster for a mother has affected their lives. I want to ask my own teenage daughter how she has been affected by witnessing her mother sit in a room and cry for 2 months after hearing about how many other girls were raped by the same trusted man. Or how about asking my kind husband how he feels sometimes like a perpetrator without even knowing why? Ask him how it feels when the angry, sad and hopeless feelings rise or blow up to the surface and how many ways he has learned to wait until they settle again into manageable emotions.
    And then I think about how crazy it is that the perpetrator is still free? If he had hurt my own 14yr old daughter in the way he hurt me or any one of the other “girls”, I would feel justified in protecting them in any way I could. I loathe the fact that our “justice” system intends to have the same girls victimized again on the stand as they repeatedly state facts like, “digital penetration”, in front of anyone interested in sitting in the courtroom for a day. And then the waiting for the next turn on the stand to discuss how our vaginas hurt…. Waiting for likely 2 or more years for any decision to be made?
    And then I think about forgiveness…
    Forgiving myself for being, naiive, vulnerable, needy…a teenager…
    Forgiving my family for not recognizing a predator.
    Forgiving a male institiution that is founded on a belief in god, is as wealthy and powerful as a small nation but will not offer up employee records on a man they know and knew was hurting the children entrusted in their care?
    Forgivng a man who would not even look me in the eye when he called me a liar.
    Forgiving a man who will not admit he hurt me and others and instead would choose to continue to have them recount the sordid things he did to their not even fully matured young bodies?
    And yet I can’t help but hope that he will realize and take responsibility for his sins/crimes. I would like to forgive…
    Forgiveness? I don’t know what that is?

    • Brenda Brunelle says:

      Monica,

      I feel as though you have mirrored my inner most thoughts. As I am certain, all survivors echo each and everyday.

      I too have children that grew-up with a mom that hid her abuse. I too have a husband that so lovingly supports me, but also at times feels ashamed for wanting to love me. IT is overwhelming how misuse of power can continue to hurt and damage people that are one step removed from the situation.

      Your questions, your thoughts, your emotions are all indications of healing and signs that you are beginning to believe that you were never at fault for what happened and it sounds like you are beginning to place the responsibility back on to the institution that owns the problem.

      I am so sorry that you must wait so many months for your schedule trial. Please know that you are not alone on this journey, all of us here on Sylvia’s site are standing strong beside you, for you and with you.

      I do live in Windsor, and if he does not plead guilty and the trial does move forward, I will be with you in the courtroom to support you and your family in anyway we can.

      My husband and my children support your family during this most difficult time.

      You will someday be able to forgive him. Not to give him peace, but to finally give yourself permission for inner peace that was taken from you as a young girl.

      You did not nothing to have this happen to you, and you owe no apologies.
      I wish for you peace and much strength. When the burden feels to heavy to carry, let us carry it for you. Give yourself permission to take a break, you deserve it.

      With a loving heart, and strong understanding.

      Brenda Brunelle

  26. Sylvia says:

    You have a long await ahead Monica – about eight more months. Hang in there. By all means write a victim impact statement. Write it again and again and again if you need to. And perhaps it would be good to ask your children if they would like to write one too. And your husband. I think, if they wish to do so, they would be allowed to give a VIS in court too.

    As for forgiveness, pray for help. It doesn’t come overnight, but it can and will happen. That may sound trite, but God knows you and your innermost being. He created you. He knows your needs more than you know them yourself. Ask for help Monica. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a plea for help. Ask at the start of the day, and again at the end of the day. Keep asking. It will come.

  27. Leona says:

    Monica, this journey as a survivor is certainly not easy. It is hard as a survivor to acknowledge the secondary victims, (our families) of this horrific abuse.
    The work that you are doing in revealing the crimes of Del Monico, is healing for so many. Thank you so much for your courage in coming forward.
    If it is any consolation, know that you are not fighting this battle on your own. There are so many behind you in spirit. As much as the church would like you to feel that this was an isolated incident, it is part of a much bigger picture of deception in the church. The forced release of the L.A. Archdiocesan files makes it evident that much more work needs to be done to bring the hierearchy into the awareness of how to treat victims who’ve been harmed, and how to make the church a safe place for all.
    Kepp listening to your inner voice, the one that allowed you to acknowledge the crimes against you, to speak out, and hold the church accountable. You are strong and have the support of so many survivors who walk alongside you in spirit!

  28. monica says:

    Thank you Brenda, Sylvia and Leona for your warm and encouraging words of wisdom.
    I do believe in the power of being heard and held by those who understand and I thank you for that.

  29. monica says:

    Sylvia’s Site offers a way to feel connected, understood, not separated…
    Thank you.

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Martin Luther King,jr)

    Copied from a comment on Brene Brown’s Blog in response to the above quote:

    “Dr. Gordon Neufeld calls our biggest fear “facing separation”. Anytime we face separation we automatically experience frustration, alarm and pursuit. These primary core emotion happen to us all, but if we can feel vulnerable enough and experience our “tears of futility” then resilience is born. Love and light are the opposite of separation and give birth to creativity and emergence.

    When I am in pain, I move into alarm and want to protect myself. When I am able to connect with LOVE/GOD and feel deeply moved to tears then I am healed…otherwise my heart hardens, my vulnerability diminishes, and I become angry, judgmental and start trying to control everyone and everything…and the house gets cleaned.”

    P.S Brene Brown’s YouTube video on shame is very helpful. Check it out!

  30. Sylvia says:

    An advance reminder to all that Gabriel Del Bianco’s trial starts 15 October 2013 in Sarnia, Ontario. I just checked and start time is 10 am. The courtroom is booked for “about” 8 days.

    Those who are within driving distance of the Sarnia courthouse (700 N. Christina Street) mark your calendars and please do your best to be there to give support to the complainants. It is also always nice to hear news from someone who has been in court watching and listening – it is impossible for the media to report everything.

    A reminder too that the first charges were laid in April 2011. It’s been a long long wait for trial. After all this time, trial is less than a week away. Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

  31. Sylvia says:

    I heard via the grapevine that the trial may have been delayed for a day and is in fact starting this morning. That would explain the lack of media coverage from yesterday. If it did start today there should be some media coverage this evening.

  32. Amber says:

    Minimal press coverage so far, considering how much there was when the charges were laid.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his victims who have to relive the whole sordid mess again, and recount how his abuse screwed up their lives.
    Will he go to jail? My guess is no. Sadly.

  33. Amber says:

    It’s true. I hope he goes to jail for a long time, but I also know how our system works. I have little faith that, even if he is found guilty, he’ll do the kind of time he deserves – if any. My guess is house arrest and probation. Believe me, I am disgusted by my own prediction but the reality is, our society looks the other way, blames victims, minimizes the impact of sexual violence, condones abuses of power and generally makes women responsible for the actions of men. Even when they are just girls at the time.

    I sincerely hope I am wrong. And I hope that speaking the truth in the public realm will be empowerment enough for the brave women who have stepped forward and named this monster. They are believed, honoured and supported. However, this doesn’t mean that the system will do the same.

  34. monica says:

    The inadequate system of justice does not dissolve us of our responsibility to share our story and disarm the monster. Knowing that you have done what is within your power to stop him is empowerment enough. Telling your truth and standing in solidarity with others who share similar stories is a positive outcome. Not speaking out, will not affect change in the system. Worst case scenario, the publicity and legal costs will permanently cripple him and his ability to continue in the capacity of harming young women as a counsellor. My motto is tell me what you can do, not what you can’t.

  35. update says:

    Accused mentioned in windsor news cbc 6 pm

  36. Sylvia says:

    Thanks update. I tried to find something on the CBC website but no luck. I will try later in the evening – sometimes things take a while to transit from on air to the website. If anyone happens upon it please send a link :)

  37. news says:

    hi it was on last night (thurs) just the news anchor stating He was in court the case started this week and mentioned fathering a child the poof on to the next story. Now if i imangined this damn i have a talent in something please be patient as you find the blurp

    • Sylvia says:

      I moved your comment over here so it stays part of the thread.

      I don’t doubt for a moment that you heard what you heard on hews last night. I believe you 100%. I just wish the clip was available online. It’s not there, at least, not yet :(

  38. Ex- catholic says:

    I wish I could be there at this trial!! I live so far away now.
    My thoughts are with all the victims… I’m disappointed with the lack of media coverage. Media needs to shine the light on this criminal and let the people know how brave the victims are by coming forward to protect others.
    I hope this ends well… as well as it can end… Damage has been done already but something needs to be done to stop other people from being victims in the future.

  39. Maggie says:

    I happened to stumble upon this while on the internet this evening http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2013/10/20131018-210214.html

  40. monica says:

    Cut + paste response from the article in the Sarnia Observer
    This is not a figment of these women’s imaginations. The only reason I even know where Wallaceburg is on the map is because in the late 80′s I met 2 victims (separately) and they told me about what DelBiianco had done to them – and another young woman from the community shared that she’d heard the rumours about him – so it extended outside the Catholic community as well – this wasn’t a secret in Wallaceburg. All the adults that had suspicions should be ashamed of themselves for not protecting these teens – these *children*. That they’ve gone on built lives – however damaged they might be – is a testament to their deep strength and I am so proud of them for stepping into the lion’s den that the courts are. This case has been a long time coming.

  41. Sylvia says:

    Those who have allegatiosn against Gab riel Del Bianco can contact the Lambton OPP detachment: 519 882-1011. Ask for the Crime Unit.

  42. news says:

    wow sylvia you are the first non paid (re therapy) person to use those words for me i am stunded at my reaction odd and yet postive. thanks

  43. Miecul says:

    Guilty….

    Former Catholic priest Gabriele DelBianco, 57, was convicted Monday on three of 18 charges related to sexual misconduct involving four teenage girls.

    Sentencing has been set for May 14. The convictions relate to two of the women, now in their 40s.

    http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/2014/02/24/george-delbianco-acquitted-of-sexual-assault-charges-on-two-of-four-women

  44. Sylvia says:

    Sorry everyone – this is another of those pages which my temperamental software decided to close off to posting. I just discovered this – thankfully – when I came to give an update.

    And the sad news of the day is that Gabe has been convicted on only three of 18 charges. I suppose the good news is that he has been convicted period, but, that;s crumbs from under the table.

    I am hoping and praying that the Crown will appeal.

    Here are two articles re the verdict:

    24 February 2014: “Gabriele DelBianco found guilty on three of 18 sexual assault charges” & related articles

    Please keep the victims in your prayers – a hard day.

    Looks like the Diocese of London chose well in retaining Andrew Bradie? Well, I’m assuming the diocese picked up the tab?

  45. Sylvia says:

    Four years! He has been sentenced to four years. Cuffed and taken into custody.

    Well done all of you who found the courage to come forward. Well done.

    I will post the article later, for now will cut and paste below:
    ………………………………….

    Former Windsor priest sentenced for sex crimes

    The Windsor Star

    Trevor Wilhelm
    May 14, 2014 – 12:38 PM EDT
    Last Updated: May 14, 2014 – 5:12 PM EDT

    SARNIA — Deliverance from decades of guilt, anger and anguish came with the barely audible “click” of handcuffs.

    Gabriele Del Bianco, 57, a sex offender and former Windsor priest, was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison. He will also be on the federal sex offender registry for the rest of his days.

    One survivor of Del Bianco’s abuse clasped her hands over her face and cried – for once, tears of joy – as her former tormentor was shuffled out of a Sarnia courtroom in cuffs. She said later that watching Del Bianco in his last moments of freedom allowed her to feel something she hasn’t experienced in a long time.

    “I feel free,” said the woman, whose identity is under a court-ordered publication ban. “I’ve been saying since the beginning that each step of the process was humiliating and hard, but the weight on my shoulders kept getting less as I went and now I’m done. I did everything within my power to take care of him and he’s been taken care of. So, I’m happy.”

    “To be able to watch him and clear that click, that was good. He’s in jail and he can’t hurt me, so I’m done.”

    The former priest served in Windsor as associate pastor at St. John Vianney church and part-time chaplain at Brennan high school from 1985 to 1987. He was administrator at St. Rose of Lima in 1987 and 1988. After that he was associate pastor at St. Gregory in St. Clair Beach and part-time chaplain at St. Anne high school from 1988 to 1990.

    He was also pastor at the former Sacred Heart church in Windsor from 1990 until 1994, before leaving the priesthood in 1995. Several years later, allegations of sexual abuse began to surface. He fathered a child – now in his 20s – with one of his victims during his time in the Windsor area. Testimony during the recent trial indicated Del Bianco reached a settlement for a one-time $10,000 child-support payment.

    Del Bianco’s trial began last October in Sarnia for 18 sex charges involving four girls in the 1980s and early 1990s. He was acquitted of sexual misconduct charges involving two women but convicted of abusing the other two. He was found guilty in February of gross indecency and two counts of sexual assault.

    Del Bianco abused girls on church property and in the basements of their own homes while their parents were upstairs making the priest dinner.

    “I feel that we have all been robbed of so much joy,” the victim said Wednesday in court before sentencing. “Uncomplicated joy that comes from a world that makes sense. What Gabe has done doesn’t make sense. And, even more importantly, what God has allowed Gabe to do has left so many of us without faith.”

    In handing down the four-year sentence, Superior Court Justice Joseph Donohue said he needed to send a strong message to others in positions of authority over children. He said parents take their children to church for “moral edification, not degradation.”

    He also pointed to passages in scripture condemning people who mistreat children.

    “This is not a new thing, to take a severe view of breaches of trust with children,” said Donohue.

    Defence lawyer Andrew Bradie, who asked for a sentence of two years less a day, said he was “disappointed” with the judge’s decision.

    “I’m hopeful that, to some extent, this puts behind some of the pain that the complainants have suffered,” said Bradie. “I know my client is prepared to deal with it. He is glad that this part of his ordeal is over. He will get through this, I’m confident.”

    Before his sentencing, Del Bianco apologized to the two victims he was convicted of abusing and said he hoped the trial brought them closure.

    “I regret deeply the pain that I have caused,” he said.

    “I apologize to them for my immaturity, for disappointing them and breaking their trust in me.”

    Del Bianco said he went to counselling and has left behind his “childish sense of self” and parts of himself that he “detested.” But he added that he doesn’t expect to be forgiven.

    “I can’t expect that from you, but I do hope your future will be less and less overshadowed by the pain that I have caused,” he said.

    The victim who spoke out Wednesday – about lost faith, emotional overeating, suicidal thoughts, paranoia and the shame and guilt that consumes her parents – said she wants to forgive him. But that is a long way off.

    “I need time to feel safe and heal too,” she said in her victim impact statement. “I am hopeful that with time and support he will ask for forgiveness. I would be willing to listen. Perhaps when all is said and done, we can all find peace.”

  46. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    So Andrew Bradie is “disappointed” eh? Who cares! Mike

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