How utterly despicable!

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Hearings resume at 09:30 this morning (Wednesday, 30 May 2007) with Cathy Sutherland, a memebr of the Victims Group, taking the stand. 

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The transcripts from Tuesday 29 May 2007 cross-examination of C-4 are up.  I read through.  The bulk is C-4’s cross-examination followed by a couple of Justice Glaude’s rulings. 

I will address in point format:

1. Here is the letter of apology addressed to C-4, dated 30 December 1997, and signed by Father Charles MacDonald (Charles F”). 

The letter was read into the record yesterday by C-4 at the request of Dallas Lee.  C-4 has a publication ban on his name.  I believe therefore that in order to retain his anonymity C-4 replaced his own name with the word “sir.”

“Dear Sir,
I realize now I should have said or written these words to you a long time ago. I honestly didn’t realize you were hurting. What’s done is done but I want to tell you, sir, that I am very sorry for causing you any hurt or pain.

It was never my intention to hurt you. I wish I could change things but again I am sorry. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

Sincerely,
Charles F.”

The apology was penned two months after C-4 spoke to Project Truth officers.  It was hand-delivered to him by his brother who apparently was still in contact with Father MacDonald.

C-4 later disclosed the letter to Project Truth officer, Joe Dupuis.

3.  I understood yesterday that C-4 had disclosed his abuse to no one before he talked to Project Truth officers.  Not so.  He had told his wife.

4.  C-4 was contacted by Project Truth officers in the Fall of 1997.  At that time the OPP officers were apparently contacting altar boys at parishes where Father MacDonald had served.  That was the first time a police officer from any police department had contacted him regarding Father Charles MacDonald.  He was never contacted by anyone from the Cornwall police.

5.  It seems C-4’s mother saw a change in her son or sensed something untoward had happened during his 1982 trip to Eganville with Father MacDonald.  C-4 testified that when he told his parents he had been sexually abused by Father MacDonald his mother immediately said “It happened at the cottage, didn’t it?”

6.  The day after C-4 told his parents he had been abused by Father MacDonald they  went to see Bishop Larocque.  Some time after that meeting his mother called C-4 and asked him to call the bishop.  He did not. Larocque never called him. We have no idea what Larocque said to the parents, we know only that Father MacDonald’s letter of apology was written 30 December 1997.

7.  David Sheriff-Scott, lawyer for the diocese/Bishop Durocher, passed on cross-examination.  Not one single question!

8.  Mark Crane for the Cornwall Police Service honed in on the fact that at the preliminary inquiry Perry Dunlop passed a business card to C-4’s wife.  Crane also wanted to know if Dunlop discussed his lawsuit with C-4’s wife.  The answer was negative.

9. Mark Ertel, another in Charlie’s revolving door of lawyers, asked C-4 if anyone, Crown or victims assistance staff, ever discussed the problems he, C-4, might encounter at trial because his testimony did not indicate a lack of consent.  When the answer was no, Crane asked: “did anyone ever suggest to you that there was a pretty good chance that Father MacDonald might be acquitted on your evidence?”

10.  Justice Normand Glaude discussed ODE’s (Overview of Documentary Evidence).  He ruled that the ODE to C-3 will be entered as an exhibit.

11. Glaude also ruled on the matter of the OPP Freedom of Information request.  It seems the documents in question and requested by Ledroit Beckett were already in possession of the OPP prior to the inquiry.  I believe that means the OPP is ‘free’ to disclose them.

Comments

I am disgusted.  Totally disgusted.  A letter of apology!!!  How many times have we heard Charlie’s lawyers vouchsafe his innocence in the Weave Shed?  How many times?

Just think about it.  Had justice been done and Charlie obliged to stand trial in the true sense of the word that apology to C-4 would have brought down Charlie’s whole house of cards.  Yes, I know there would have undoubtedly been challenges to the apology’s  authenticity, but a decent Crown could handle that challenge quite handily.

Imagine?!  That letter sitting there all these years while victims were painted as liars and accusations hurled at those who dared to accuse a priest of such dastardly deeds.  A letter from a Roman Catholic priest apologising for taking sexual advantage of a naïve young Roman Catholic who spent eight years of his young life as an altar boy, serving for priests whom he revered and understood to be alter christus (another Christ) during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. 

And Charlie’s lawyers – and Charlie himself – knowing the letter is there!  And they preparing to defend the indefensible – all set to portray a 48-year-old Roman Catholic priest sexually accosting a young 17 or 18-year-old Roman Catholic boy in the middle of the night as an act of “consensual” sex?

How despicable!! How utterly despicable!! 

I can say no more….

Enough,

Sylvia
(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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