A few comments, first on the Bishop Wingle puzzler, and then on the blame game playing out re Canadian clerical molester Denis Vadeboncoeur.
Bishop James Wingle
Two new articles re Wingle’s surprise resignation
08 April 2010: St. Catherine’s bishop resigns suddenly
There’s nothing much new. But it certainly does seem that not a soul – or barely a soul – knew that Wingle’s resignation was in the offing.
Strange? I think so.
It also seems that if it was ill health which prompted Wingle’s sudden resignation others were not aware of and had not observed any sign of poor health.
Finally, if indeed Wingle has serious health issues of some sort I am surprised he did not so advise his flock. Generally word of a serious health problem leaks out and becomes the talk of the diocese; that does not seem to have been the case in St. Catherine’s.
In short, I think a sudden unexplained and premature resignation by any bishop in the midst of the sex abuse scandal and cover-up which is sweeping the world is ill-advised. It simply begs questions and fuels speculation.
So, we are left to wait. And question. And speculate.
While we wait, a few observations, thoughts and questions:
(1) Bishop Wingle studied at Western University, which is in London Ontario. Western is affiliated with and King’s College, formerly Christ the King College. St. Peter’s seminary is part of King’s College.
Did Wingle pursue his Philosophy studies at King’s college? I would think he probably did, but am not certain. If indeed he did he would have been at King’s College during the Larocque years. (Eugene Larocque, former bishop pf Alexandria-Cornwall, was Dean from 1965 to 1968)
(2) Look at Wingle’s cv. That information was taken from the 2002 Canadian Catholic Church Directory. It would have been provided by Wingle.
Woked as counsellor with corrections? Does that sound like maybe a probation officer? The actual wording in the directory is: “He was employed five years by the government of Ontario as a counsellor in the corrections system.
Is this the case of a probation officer turned bishop! Is it just me? There’s something about that which is unsettling.
Be that as it may, some questions:
(i) If indeed Wingle was a probation officer , was he perchance a James Coughlan hire? Time wise I would guess he was.
Coughlan, known as the Father of Probation, personally hired or verified ever one of 250 probation officers in the government employ by 1970.
Coughlan frequently turned to ex RC priests and seminarians as his hires – he felt these men had the background to do the job. That alas is how ex seminarian Ken Seguin landed up working for probation services in Cornwall.
And if Wingle was NOT a probation officer, what kind of counselling did he do with correction services? he must at the very least have worked alongside Coughlan et al?
Another thought. Is there any chance that Wingle had actually been in the seminary? perhaps he was in the seminary and then for some reason left? and then perhaps he worked with corrections, and then decided to once again pursue the priesthood a few years downstream, in a different seminary?
I don’t know, – it’ all just seems a rather unusual path to the priesthood.
(ii) Is there any chance Wingle and Seguin’s paths ever crossed? That too is possible, is it not? If yes, I would dearly love to hear Wingle’s observations of the young Seguin.
(3) A final question. Does anyone recall when the big clean up at St. Augustine’s seminary transpired? The word was that the place was filled with homosexuals. In the secular world that may be well and good, but it is not befitting a Catholic facility which educates and forms men to become Roman Catholic priests.
My memory says it was in the mid 80s.
If it was the mid 80s does that mean that Wingle assumed command as Rector and President of St. Augustine’s after the purge?
Father Denis Vadeboncoeur
It looks as though retired and disgraced Bishop Gaillot (Evreux ,France) who was banished to the virtual diocese of Partenia, has taken the low road in laying blame rather than fess up to his own misdeeds.
Gaillot claimed that he “agreed” to take in convicted Quebec clerical molester Denis Vadeboncoeur.
”We were being helpful. We were asked to take in an undesirable priest and we agreed,”
Recent events have shown that once Vadeboncoeur was nestled away in Evreux and, courtesy of Gaillot, graciously given a parish and untrammeled access to children, the convicted sexual predator carried right on preying on and molesting young lads.
While in Canada Vadeboncoeur was a member of the religious order of St. Vincent de Paul. A member of that order has now spoken out and flatly denies that it sent Vadeboncoeur to Gaillot, but rather says that Vadeboncoeur had friends in Evreux and was told he would be welcomed by Gaillot!
“He had friends in that diocese and they told him to come there – that he would be welcomed by the bishop,” Fiset said yesterday. “The community (in Quebec City) did not send him there.”
Wherein lies the truth?
And, in truth, as far as Gaillot is concerned, does it matter? The bottom line is that the liberal minded bishop put a known molester into a parish with ready access to children.
What role Canadian Church officials did or did not play in scuttling Gaillot out of the country is another matter.
My question is why was Vadeboncoeur not defrocked? Being a convicted child molester apparently wasn’t enough to do the job. But why not defrock the predatory priest after he presumably trotted off to France to the beat of his own drummer?
And why was he not tossed from the order? Or, was he?
Unfortunately I am having some trouble with the new blog software. I have been trying to work around it but fear the day will come in the not too distant future where that is impossible. So, oh joy, am once again looking at themes 🙁 Be prepared – once I find something which seems to fit my needs I will have it changed.
Enough for now,