Very very very strange

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News of Bishop James Wingle’s whereabouts broke right here on Sylvia’s Site.  That was followed by the text of the abdicating bishop’s email to Monsignor Fitzpatrick.  Now it’s official. 

03 August 2010:  Bishop Wingle breaks his silence 

03 August 2010:  Letter from Bishop Wingle read at Masses 

03 August 2010:  Bishop Wingle breaks silence on disappearance 

A few comments:

(1)  In his 31 July 2010 email Bishop Wingle wrote:

as I had announced in the letter that I sent to the Diocese last April, at the time of my resignation, I have now completed the first part of my sabbatical which I spent in the Holy Land in a time of prayer and rest.

The inplication is that, in his 07 April 2010 letter of resignation, the Bishop revealed that he would spend the first part of his sabattical in the Holy Land in a “time of prayer and rest.” 

Not so.  What Wingle wrote in his April resingation letter Wingle was: “As I take a sabbatical centered on prayer and personal renewal…” 

Note that Wingle made not one reference to the Holy Land.  Nor, for that matter, did he advise that his “sabbatical” would be broken into two parts. Nor, for that matter, did he mention that after his abdication he would spend time “doing some writing and research on a catechetical-pastoral project.”

 The truth is that Wingle did NOT give his flock a single clue as to his sudden departure, where he was going and what he would be doing.  He just said he was leaving. packed his bags, and, he was gone!  No one presumably knew why.  No one knew  presumably knew where.

Presumably, in fact, not even diocesan officials or his fellow bishops knew of Wingle’s whereabouts …..until now. 

Given that Anonymous spotted Wingle in Jerusalem in May and given that Wingle was presumably very open about his identity I find it passing strange that no one in Canada knew of his whereabouts.  I also find it passing strange that if the bishop was so up front about who he is with the Catholics in Jerusalem he did not at least see  fit to let his shell-shocked flock and clergy back in St. Catharines know his whereabouts.

(2)  Did the Bishop purchase a one-way or return ticket?

(3)  I mentioned this before and raise it again:  Who is financing Bishop Wingle’s journey?  I don’t know how much four months of room and board in the Holy Land would cost, but I’m sure it’s not cheap.  Add to that the costs for room and board at wherever he’s heading to do his research.  Add to that travel costs. 

This is a little sorti which is running into the thousands upon thousands of dollars. 

Is the bishop financing this get-away out of his own pocket?  or are diocesan funds picking up all or part of the tab? or is there a benevolent benefactor somewhere?

(4)  In his email Bishop Wingle writes to Monsignor Kirkpatrick:

“I would be grateful if you would extend my sincere thanks and assurances of my well-being to the clergy and faithful of the Diocese.  I am deeply appreciative of their expressions of concern…  “

What expression of concern?  How does Wingle know that people are expressing concern?  From media reports online?

(5)  Monsignor Kirkpatrick wrote to all parishes: 

“Given all the speculation in media, I think it is important that you read the following letter at all Masses this Sunday and that you also post a copy of it on your bulletin board.”

 What does publishing a personal email from Bishop Wingle to himself achieve?  True, it confirms that Wingle is in the Holy Land.  But, we heard of that from sources in Jerusalem nearly three long months ago. 

Why wait three months to confirm? 

Why confirmation in such a bizarre manner?

Why did Kirkpatrick decide to broadcast what was seemingly a personal email?  Why did he not just advise that he had received an email from Bishop Wingle and that the bishop is alive and well in the Holy Land?

(6)  The Toronto Star wrote two articles on Bishop’s Wingle’s mysterious disappearance.  All was quiet.

St. Catharine’s Standard dispatched a reporter to Eganville.  The day the article – 31 July 2010:  Where on earth is Bishop Wingle? – appeared in the Standard the silence was broken.

I don’t see anything particularly untoward in the article. 

There is one thing which strikes me as strange.  His nephew was unfortunately and tragically killed in a car accident last February (may God have mercy on his soul).   The Bishop did not return for the funeral. 

That aside, there is reference to an un-named priest who served in Eganville currently facing sex-abuse-related charges.  The priest of course is Monsignor Robert Borne.

That’s it.  It seems that the people in the small community of Eganville hold Wingle and his family in high regard.  And it seems no one had a clue where the bishop might be.

What’s the problem?

The silence was broken on the the same day the article ran in the Standard.

First a hurried email from the bishop to Kirkpatrick, his “replacement.”  Presumably this is the first contact between the pair, and yet the Bishop doesn’t so much as ask Kirkpatrick if there is anything he, Kirkpatrick, can’t find, or anything he needs some backgrounder on. 

 And then an apparently equally hurried decision by Kirkpatrick to publicize the hurried email far and wide throughout the diocese.  There is no indication that Kirkpatrick either sought or received Wingle’s approval to publicize this personal correspondence. 

“Given the speculation in the media. I think it is important you read the following letter at all Masses…” 

Why?  Why is it so important to read the email word for word?  And why call it a letter when it was clearly an email?

It’s all just strange. Very very very strange.

Enough for now,




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35 Responses to Very very very strange

  1. Greg says:

    Wow. speculative journalism with no real facts, or information. is this your day job?

  2. Sylvia says:

    Feel free to add what facts you have at your disposal Greg.

  3. Greg says:

    Thats the point. There are none. Why make allegations and investigations into things nobody really has any information on. Its in bad taste, and very classless. When more information comes out, then start looking at the facts. Until then, what is the point of investigating something that may have absolutely to do with what is being broadcasted on your sight?

  4. michael says:

    I agree 100% to Greg’s Comment

  5. John says:

    Michael and Greg….I follow these blogs very closely, I will add FACTS that I know. Below are 3 e-mails that I sent to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, IF Wingle handed in a resignation, I am quite certain that this is who it would have been handed into…read the e-mails and then respond.

    John Says:

    August 1st, 2010 at 1:41 pm
    From: CECC / CCCB (
    Sent: July 26, 2010 10:07:04 AM

    Copy of: This is an enquiry e-mail via from:John Mac Donald

    Christine….below are 2 e-mails that I sent to Msgr. Patrick Powers back in May. To date there has been no reply from Msgr. Powers. As you can see in the first e-mail, your name was mentioned to forward the information on to. Could you please get back to me to show reciept of the information.

    ————————————————————– From: john macdonald ( Sent: May 21, 2010 12:39:28 AM

    Msgr. Patrick Powers: It has been a week since I wrote you a letter concerning Bishop Wingle. I was certain that I would have heard back from you by now. Could you please get back to me confirming that Christine Choury was forwarded this information.

    Thank you,
    John Mac Donald _____________________________________________________________

    From: wildcard233@hotmail.comgensec@cccb.caSubject: Bishop WingleDate: Thu, 13 May 2010 19:07:29 -0400

    Msgr. Patrick Powers: In a story written about Bishop Wingle’s resignation from his diocese, there is a Christine Choury (a spokesperson for the CCCB) quoted as saying……..”If you find out where Bishop Wingle is, than tell me.” It seems that the former Bishop Wingle has surfaced in Jeruselam, and is concelebrating mass there. He’s friendly with the Fransiscan’s at the Holy Sepulchre, and may be staying with the Legionaires of Christ just outside of the city. Could you please let Christine Choury know this, and she can send me an e-mail confirming that she has recieved the news of his whereabouts.

    Anticipating a reply,
    John Mac Donald

    The preceding e-mails were sent to Msgr. Patrick Powers (General Secretary) CCCB and to Christine Choury (Communications Director) CCCB.

    As you can see the first e-mail was sent in Mid-May as Christine Choury seemed concerned about Bishop Wingle’s whereabouts. I have followed up on sending these e-mails, but to date have recieved NO reply.

    All of this makes me wonder just what a Director of Communications job description entails.

    John Mac Donald

  6. Lina says:

    Some people do not like what you are do Sylvia. I am sure it goes with the territory.

    I agree with this….’it is evident you do a lot of research and I am totally impressed with you for keeping on top of everything with the Catholic Church and I thank you for giving me and others an outlet!’


  7. michael says:

    It seems most of the people who write on this site are people who do not go to church or have no faith at all. May be they are baptised christian, but not practising or not happy people. By the way Bishop Wingle was on our local TV station last week. So no more stories about him for media. Now they have to go after someone else.

  8. Reality Checker says:

    Now that’s a low blow Michael….and just HOW do you know I have no faith and/or go to church and/or are happy???

    You God???

    If you don’t like what’s posted here – what are you doing reading it???

    Trolling the web? Huh Michael?

  9. Sylvia says:

    Greg and Michael, what “allegations” have been made?

    Yes Lina, you are right, some people really don’t like what I do, and, yes, it absolutely goes with the the territory. Thank you for your kind words.

    John: Good for you. I will add to that. Sometime in May I sent an email to Monsignor Kirkpatrick asking him to confirm that Bishop Wingle was, as was blogged on this site, in Jerusalem. No reply.

    Michael: FYI – I was at Mass this morning. I am a practising Catholic.

    Further to that, there is nothing which demands that those who blog on this site must be Catholics, practising Catholics, “baptised christian” or anything else for that matter.

    Are you aware michael that the majority of victims of clerical sexual abuse stopped attending Mass when or shortly after they were molested? Are you aware that large numbers of the families and friends of sex abuse victims stop attending Mass when they find out? Are you aware that the damage done by clerical molesters has been rippling throughout the Catholic populace and church for decades? It’s a sad, but perhaps very understandable consquence of Church authorities protecting and/or recycling molesters and treating victims like liars.

    Perhaps instead of looking down your nose you might consider praying for the victims and their families?

    As for happy, could you kindly define happy?

    Finally, you say Bishop Wingle “was on our local TV station last week.” Could you please give us a few facts?

  10. Greg says:

    my point is that there is no need to chronicle every move every single cleric is doing at every time. What say, Bishop Wingle had a terminal disease, or that he had lost someone close to him or any other of the thousand personal issues that these men have, and is 100% none of our business. He could simply have needed to retire, and if any other 63 year old person did, nobody would be batting an eyelid. If Wingle was involved in any scandal,his resignation would not be as public as it is, he would have been secretly transferred to another dioces. or As far as I can tell, this site circulates around sexual abuse in the catholic church, and I think its way too early to start posting information on something nobody has any idea on. Especially when there is 0 information to report. A Key of good journalism is to fact find first, report second.

  11. Lina says:

    Greg your input is important. The way I read your post(s), you come across very upset & that is very natural.

    There is a good Catholic priest that said in the Diocese of Pembroke ON.
    There is a purification going on. He continued to say publicly here when things began to break in the media, “lets get the lights on and deal with all of this filth”.

    Another Catholic priest visited this very website Greg & made this comment:
    “Sylvia,…Thank you for your website! I am grateful for two reasons: first your site is accurate. There are far too many blogs throwing wild allegations about. Yours is a refreshing change.
    Also, please accept my assurance that we priests who have faithfully ministered to the people of this Diocese(PEMBROKE,ON) for many years do not want to have predators in our midst…..”.

    Greg…I hope this helps a little.

  12. Sylvia says:

    Sorry Greg, a bishop can’t get “secretly” transferred to another diocese. It doesn’t/can’t happen that way. Not with bishops. Impossible. Priests, yes. Bishops, no.

    The fact is that, for whatever reason, Bishop James Wingle abandoned his flock. That’s a fact. The mysteriously unanswered question is: why?

    Yes, he could have just wanted out, but there are surely more honourable ways of getting out than this? I think that at the very least the faithful of the St. Catharine’s Diocese deserved a personal farewell. Ditto for that matter his clergy and fellow bishops.

    The whole thing has been handled very poorly. Bishop Wingle could have spared himself and others much angst had he announced the date of and reasons for his departure at a Sunday Mass. So simple.

  13. michael says:

    Most of the faithful of the diocese of St.Catherines, including me and my hafily and all parishioners and our priest have no problems with bishop Wingle’s early retirement. We know him very personally last ten years. People who go to church are not bothered by stories. I accidently came accross this web page. I do not know how many read it.
    I went through with all your earlier blogs. In one of those the guy from Cayuga who accused Grecco went to Dunnville priest for consolation and happy in talking with him. You could make a study about that priest, how popular he is among the parishioers as a pastor??????. Where as this guy at that time had a wonderful priest in Cayuga to whom he did not tlk. As far as I know this guy went to the diocese with his story of abuse and settle it outside the court asking some money. The diocese ( I think it was Bishop Wingle) did not give him the money, so he went to the court.
    I very much appreciate Greg’s comments and in my encounters, most of the people have Greg’s opinion.
    Regarding going to church, Faith is something personal. Church does not bother, now a days, people who do not go to church, but takes care of the people who go to church.People who do not go to church for various reasons, abuse cases may be one among many reasons, but not the only reason. That happens in all churches. Why many people in the protestant churches change one from another?

  14. HJM says:

    michael, you are assuming about what happened at the diocese, do you have facts that the man from Cayuga asked for money it was never about money it was trying to reach out for help. The reason this man went to the Dunnville priest was that was the town he lived in and went to church, he went to the diocese from advise from the Dunnville priest, he went to the diocese to stop a molester because he thought they would do something about it, he not only met with Pizzacalla also sitting in that meeting was Wayne Kirkpatrick. He went to the police after finding out Grecco still had access to children as a councellor. Those are facts and what he has been through is hell, I know that because my name is Michael Blum and I am that man.

  15. michael says:

    I just heard the story I wrote from many people, the way the stories are written in this web page without knowing the facts. You may be right.
    By the way I too was so called ” sexually Abused” by not a priest but a man when I was 13. I do not consider it as an abuse, because I enjoyed it. If I was under 10, certainly it would have been an abuse, because I would not know anything about sex. Why did these so called “abuse victims” did not go to the police or to the family, when they are 17, 20,30, 0r 40 years of age???. I told my mom about it immediately about it. The guy touched me was 26 years old. I just wrote him off. But I do not believe that I have been abused. I believe that is the case with every one who is older than 12 years of age, they went to these guys again and again for material gains and physical pleasure . I may be wrong.None of the so called victims have denied money asked for millions of dollars.!!! millions of dollars !!If I felt I am hurt, I which I do not, I will never ask for money ,but that person to be put in jail. I hope you will not ask for money. These kind of abuses happens among family members each and every day, I know it with facts, since I deals with school children and families. This does not mean what happend in the past is right. Certainly there are evil people in the world, But there are many goo ones too. There are many good thing in the Catholic church , more than bad happenings, that is why there are over one billion strong catholics in the world.
    People take issues differently, so I do not believe everything happens in life is as a result of one mistake. I am not here to blame you, but I am sorry that you have been abused and you did not have the courage at that time to tell others what happend to you. Hope you will be able to bring a closer to your issue

  16. HJM says:

    michael, I cannot believe what you just wrote, over 12 and enjoying it…so called sexual abuse? I will just say you have not walked in my shoes or been through what I have, there are reasons children do not bring these things up against priests until later in life and if I have to explain that to you that would be a sad thing

  17. John says:

    Michael…Who are you to sit in judgement of people who post on this site? Who are you to question our faith? Michael, in post #9 Sylvia asked you a question about Wingle being on TV last week, you have yet to answer that question. Below is your post from earlier where you question people like me that post on here…..Do you know me at all? “YOUR” church is being attacked from within, not from the outside. Take a good look at what is happening.

    “It seems most of the people who write on this site are people who do not go to church or have no faith at all. May be they are baptised christian, but not practising or not happy people. By the way Bishop Wingle was on our local TV station last week. So no more stories about him for media. Now they have to go after someone else.”
    Greg……Below is your post from earlier. You say that Sylvia is being speculative. Greg, Sylvia is merely asking questions. One thing that some of us that follow this site have learned over the last 15 years or so, is that if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then there is a good chance that it is a duck.

    Some of us HAVE asked questions to those that should know. I have written the Canadian Confrence of Catholic Bishops (as you can read in post #5). Sylvia has written Msgr. Kirkpatrick to no avail. It was not until the media became involved that Wingle felt the need to get in touch with “HIS” parishoners, so to speak. It is just what he said in his e-mail to Kirkpatrick seemed to change drastically from what he said in his letter of resignation.

    So as I said earlier….”If it walks like a duck, if it looks like a duck and if it quacks like a duck…………

    One last question to you Greg….Why do you think the Director of Communications for the CCCB does not feel the need to write me back when I answered a question that SHE was asking?

    “My point is that there is no need to chronicle every move every single cleric is doing at every time. What say, Bishop Wingle had a terminal disease, or that he had lost someone close to him or any other of the thousand personal issues that these men have, and is 100% none of our business. He could simply have needed to retire, and if any other 63 year old person did, nobody would be batting an eyelid. If Wingle was involved in any scandal,his resignation would not be as public as it is, he would have been secretly transferred to another dioces. or As far as I can tell, this site circulates around sexual abuse in the catholic church, and I think its way too early to start posting information on something nobody has any idea on. Especially when there is 0 information to report. A Key of good journalism is to fact find first, report second.”

    My point is………………………We were looking for “FACTS”.

    Have a great day,
    John Mac Donald

  18. Sylvia says:


    I can not believe what I am reading. An adult sexually abusing a teenage boy is no big deal?

    First a question. What did your mother do when you told her a 26-year-old had made sexual overtures of some nature to you?

    Now a comment…

    You say that you “enjoyed” your sexual altercation with an adult male. Being male I you understand far better than I that the anatomy of the male body is such that it responds to sexual stimulation, whether the stimulation is welcome or unwelcome. That’s the way God made the male body and that’s just the way it is.

    Whether you believe you were abused or not, you were abused.

    Why do you suppose the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church deems that priests who sexually abuse children under age 18 should be penalized?

    Why do you suppose the Criminal Code of Canada stipulates that it is a crime to sexually abuse children under the age of 16? i.e.,

    Section 151 – Sexual Interference:
    If you are under 16 years old, it is a criminal offence for someone to touch your body for a sexual purpose with a part of their body or any object, directly or indirectly.

    Whether you “enjoy” it or not is irrelevant. As men who abuse young boys know all too well, a boy that age does not have the maturity to make such decisions, but that doesn’t mean that the child’s body won’t respond and that the boy may, for that brief moment in time, experience a misplaced and confusing sense of pleasure.

    It’s like the child who is a ‘brittle’ diabetic who has to watch every single calorie he consumes or he could die. If a trustworthy adult seduces the child with a huge chunk of chocolate cake lathered with fudge icing, and assures the child that it will be good for him and will do him no harm, will the child eat the cake? Probably.

    Will the child enjoy the cake? Yes. His taste buds are made like yours and mine – chocolate tastes good.

    Is the cake good for the child? No, it could kill him. If it doesn’t outright kill him outright it will make him desperately ill.

    Does the fact that the child enjoyed the cake make a difference to the outcome? No, absolutely not; – whether he enjoyed it or not it will still make him desperately sick after the fact and in fact might kill him..

    You should report your molester to police Michael. If he did it to you chances are good that he has molested and is still molesting other young boys. You should definitely go to police.

    Michael Blum, don’t let this bother you. This Michael is not only very confused he also needs to get his facts straight.

  19. michael says:

    John , I am so glad people like Greg and myself opened a conversation about some of you losers.Why don’t you cling to the catholic church, if you are not happy. Join the pentecostal, yahovah witness etc.MSGR. kirkpatrick or cccb does not need to reply to silly web site like these.The catholic church become stronger and stronger, people like you attack. God bless you and give you peace of mind. As greg said, is it your day job, or nothing else to do in life??by the way Bishop Wingle is one of the holiest men in the catholic church.No matter how far you go, you will not get any gossip story to write. By the waywho are you that the diocese to reveal the facts to you or reply to your or your friends emais?????

  20. michael says:

    John,I mean why do you cling to the catholic church???

  21. Reality Checker says:

    Michael has to be the most disgusting and perverted TROLL I have come across yet!!!


    I’ve got a sense about me that it’s just someone from a far away land trying to instigate trouble and upset – for God sake – he can’t even speak or write English!!!

    What are you trying to do Michael – play God???

    LOSERS??? Screw you!!!

  22. John says:

    Michael….I am so very happy that you seem extremely passionate about your Catholic faith. There is never anything wrong with being passionate.

    What there is something wrong with is that a 13 year old goes to his Mother and says that a 26 year old man abused him and the Mother MAY have said nothing.

    Michael, I think that you need to do a little reading up on pedophiles, or do you think that you were the SPECIAL one. The only one that this 26 year old man molested and then stopped.

    What is truly bothering me the most is that YOU say that you are now working with school children. Let’s say little 13 year old Tommy walks up to you at school and says, Hey Michael, Mr. So and So (his 26 year old teacher) just pulled down my pants and touched my penis. What do you tell Little Tommy Michael? Oh Tommy, that’s just NORMAL….it happened to me to when I was your age, and look at how NORMAL I have turned out to be. Is this what your answer would be Michael?

    A few other points with you Michael:

    1…What Catholic Church are you attending that teaches you to run around calling people “losers”?

    2…How do you know whether I have approached the Catholic church to speak to them?…Just for your information…I have tried on MANY occasions to speak open and honestly to the local Bishops and the Nuncio, only to be shut down at every turn.

    3…You ask “Who am I, for the Diocese to reveal facts too?…Michael, I did not ask for facts…..THEY DID…Christine Choury asked the question, I answered it, I just wanted confirmation that she recieved the information.

    Get you facts straight Michael before YOU try to attack. One final point, for the third time now….Sylvia has asked you once and I have asked you once…..When was Wingle on TV last week as you stated earlier. The difference between us and you, is that we back up what we say and write.

    Have a beautiful day,

    John Mac Donald

  23. michael says:

    Mr.Reality checker,
    I delibrately wrote my opinions in a harsh way. I wanted to check the character of people who write in this web page. From your filthy language, it is very clear that you too really are like hypocrites whom Jesus condemned.
    But I certainly appreciate Sylvia for her prudent and sincere comments in this web page, though I may not agree to her opinions and comments.
    People can have different opinions, but after reading your words on this web page,I feel, you are not worthy of writing anything in this web page. You will be doing damage to the person who runs this web page. You do not have even the gut to write e your name in this web page.I do not honour a person without a name.”Reality checker?? what is that? We do not know who you are.
    I certainly understand Sylvia is trying someting good for the church in her own way, which I may not agree. But there may be many who like it.
    I wrote that Bishop Wingle came on TV.That’s it. Do not think that I am a fool. There was some typing errors when I typed it.I now even doubt about your credibility. Who knows you are one of those accused??. I do not trust you at all.

  24. michael says:

    I wrote on this web page , how I FELT at that time. Each person haNdle difficult situations, in different ways. I know that. It is a crime. I too, do believe that. I did not say that it is OK. The accused should be punished. I certainly will tell them to report them to the police immediately. I was only suspecious of why some of them are asking millions of dollars, which I do not think will bring closer to the mental and suffering of the victims of abuse. And finally whose money that they ask for?? Not bishops or Priests!!. But of poor lay people like you and me who contributes a lot to the church ( Our parents and grand parents)!! . Thanks for expressing your opinion.

  25. Reality Checker says:

    Okay “God” (aka Michael) – WHO gives YOU permission to say whether I am worthy or not to post on this website??? Is it YOUR Website??? And WHO are you to judge me???

    I really don’t think Sylvia has any difficulty or qualms about What I post on HER website.

    You see Michael – Sylvia KNOWS WHO I AM!!! That’s all that matters! I’m NOT going to identify to some bimbo on any on-line forum goading me!!! My name isn’t STUPID!!!

    You have some strange ideas “MR.” Michael – strange indeed!!! And for you to be around children with your strange thoughts and ideas irks me!!!

    Much Love from:

    “MRS. Reality Checker”

  26. Reality Checker says:

    Hey Michael…..I’m spookey – really spookey…..


    You’re right – you shouldn’t trust me!!!

  27. John says:

    Michael, let me repeat some of the comments that YOU made…

    “John , I am so glad people like Greg and myself opened a conversation about some of you losers.Why don’t you cling to the catholic church, if you are not happy.”…(This is what YOU wrote in post #19.)

    “I do not consider it as an abuse, because I enjoyed it. If I was under 10, certainly it would have been an abuse, because I would not know anything about sex.”…(This is what you wrote in post #15.)

    ” I was only suspecious of why some of them are asking millions of dollars, which I do not think will bring closer to the mental and suffering of the victims of abuse. And finally whose money that they ask for?? Not bishops or Priests!!. But of poor lay people like you and me who contributes a lot to the church ( Our parents and grand parents)!! . Thanks for expressing your opinion.”….This is what you wrote in post #24.

    In post 19 you call me a loser.

    In post 15 you do not consider abuse a crime unless you are under the age of 10.

    In post 24 you seem to think that victims are ONLY after millions of dollars of “poor lay peoples” money.

    Michael let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a victim of sexual abuse by a priest here in Cornwall. The priest in question walked out of court a free man after facing 19 charges against 7 victims because it took too long for the case to come to court (6 years). The priest walked on a charter issue (11b), called the Askoff Ruling.

    At one point I had a civil lawsuit in against the church. Those around me knew that it bothered me deeply suing, because I saw my Father’s hard earned money being dropped into the collection plate each and every Sunday. I come from a family of 10 children, and regardless of what was needed at home that $20 was put into the church envelope each and every week.

    During the course of the criminal trial the defense lawyer for the church and the priest makes victims out to be money grubbing liars. Believe me when I say that to ME no victim of clerical abuse enters into any of this looking for money. The first lawyer that I went and met with upon stepping forward gave me three options to deal with things…..

    1…Charge criminally
    2…Sue civililly
    3…Deal with the Diocese

    Every other lawyer that I dealt with gave me the same options, as a matter of fact the Police gave me the same information.

    Here is a question that I would like you to ask YOUR local Bishop….”How much money is spent defending the priests that abuse?”

    Michael it will amaze you (if he answers you truthfully) the amount spent defending in comparison to the amount paid out to victims of those priests.

    About 10 years ago Michael I stood out in front of a few churches here in Cornwall handing out letters to parishoners asking that very question to church officials of the Cornwall Diocese. At some churches I was well recieved, at others I was called the “devil”, and nothing but a troublemaker.At one Church they actually called the Police on me and had me thrown off the Church property.

    This is just a little information about me Michael, but again I just want to finish with this for the 4th time now….

    You said the Wingle was on TV last week….Could you please tell us when and where?

    Wishing you well,

    John Mac Donald

  28. Sylvia says:


    The idea that clerical sex victims are after nothing but money is a red herring perpetrated by lawyers retained by dioceses to defend clerical molesters. The idea is to paint victims as money-grubbing liars – it deflects from the abhorrence of the criminal and sinful actions of the molester priest. You, unfortunately, seem to have fallen for it. I suggest you read a little more of the other side of the story, the victim’s side. I agree 100% that a settlement won’t make the pain go away, but I will also say that for most victims that “win” is as close as they will ever come to an acknowledgement by Church officials that the abuse actually transpired, and/or that it might have been prevented, and/or that they were molested because Church officials willfully protected and/or recycled a known clerical molester.

    After years and years of following the heart wrenching stories of victims, seeing Church officials give defence lawyers their marching orders to do whatever it takes to get “Father” off the hook, reading account after account of the lies and deception entailed in ‘reintegrating’ molesters into a parish, and the lies used to ensure distraught parents that “Father” would never be in a parish setting or around children again, I am all for the lawsuit.

    What does it take for Church officials to be honest with victims? What does it take for Church officials to get rid of priests who prey on the young? When will Church officials in Canada identify the priests now serving who are known clerical molesters?

    So, I back the lawsuits 100%. I personally see them as one small way of holding Church officials accountable for years of lies, and/or deception, and/or cover-up, and/or tolerance of what should be seen as intolerable behaviour on the part of any Roman Catholic priest.

    Pay heed to what John says. All victims and “alleged” victims pf clerical sex abuse have a painful story to tell – of their abuse, and most often also of their dealings with Church officials. Neither are pleasant.

    They’re not money grubbers Michael. Don’t fall for the lie.

    John makes a good point. Find out how much money your diocese has paid out in legal fees defending accused clerical molesters.

    As for Reality Checker, you have her all wrong. She is a great lady. She has been following this site for years. Over the years I have come to know her personally – I have nothing but the deepest respect for what she has stood for and accomplished in her own life in ‘doing the right thing.’ She has a heart of gold. She speaks her mind. And, she is a whistle blower. Like most whistleblowers, she has paid a heavy price. She can not reveal her identity. It’s that simple.

    As I have said in the past, passions can run high on a blogsite such as this. Over the years those who have followed it have seen victims ridiculed and belittled and demeaned time and time again. Many of those who blog have endured great personal suffering. Don’t for a moment think that you won’t get a passionate response when you hurl insults at those who aren’t Catholic or practicing Catholics, AND refer to victims as “losers,” AND say sexual abuse is really no big deal unless the child is under ten. That’s just too much. If you’re going to hurl insults, demean victims and make outrageous statements about sexual abuse don’t be surprised to find out that you have pushed people too far, and don’t be shocked that you are taken to task – passionately.

  29. Lina says:

    You said: “seeing Church officials give defence lawyers their marching orders to do whatever it takes to get “Father” off the hook,,,etc.”

    I’m from the Pembroke ON area, where there is an on going case going on against Monsignor R. Borne. Is it true this Monsignor in question has to pay for his own legal defense fees? That the Pembroke Diocese(the Church) does not pay one cent towards those fees? I ask this because…
    this was told to me by a elderly couple who resides in a seniors apartment home. That a Roman Catholic priest, told them (a group a seniors)after Mass to not worry about their money they put in the collection plate because not one cent goes towards this Monsignor’s defense team/lawyers. He reassured them there is no need to worry about where their money is going.

    Thanks in advance,


  30. Reality Checker says:

    Just to remind everyone…..

    Scroll down on Sylvia’s heading – “New” – to….July 07, 2010

    “Gay priest commits ‘$1.3M sin’”

    Although this is an American situation where the priest in question stole from the collection plates of the small diosese he over saw and alledgedly spent it partying it up at brothels etc. in New York City what is stopping the same situation from happening in Canada???

    How do you honestly know where the money from the collection plates are going???

    The situation with Rev. Kevin Gray went on for years before anyone caught on to the theft!!!

    Is there transparency and accountability with the monies received?

    And yes, I would bet $$$ your collections are going to pay for the defences of accused priests in the dioseses or – some rich lay person has donated to help with “Father’s” defence. Why do you think the accused priests use such highly expensive law firms – they certainly wouldn’tbe able to afford such high cost law firms??? The diosese would also have insurance!!! A question would be – how much are they paying for insurance premiums?

  31. John says:

    Lina…A certain ex-policeman friend of mine always taught me to carry a tape recorder. Just a note to the seniors IF they can get that same priest back at the residence to repeat that same statement…..You are never too old to learn how to use a tape recorder.


  32. Sylvia says:


    I will get an aswer for you. I was on the phone this am to Msgr. Douglas Bridge. He directed my to Father Proulx. Father Prulx is away. I sent a follow up email to Msgr. Bridge with my questions. I received a response from Monsignor: “Fr. Proulx is the peson who is aware of all the details of the points to which you refer. Please call him upon his return.” I am now trying to find out when Father Proulx will return. I feel like the hamster on the proverbial treadmill:) Anyway, as soon as I have answers I will let you know.

    Having said all that, and awaiting Father Proulx’ return, I will say that most dioceses cover the legal defence costs of their accused clergy.

    The CCCB 1993 guidelines From Pain to Hope touch on the issue:

    7. An accused priest is encouraged to engage the services of a lawyer who shall not be the diocesan lawyer. Suitable arrangements would have to be made regarding the covering of legal expenses, taking into account the financial situation of the diocese.

    In 1995 the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, Ontario implemented a “Protocol for priests who are the subject matter of criminal proceedings or civil litigation.” The protocol entitled accused priests – civilly or criminally – to full coverage of legal costs, full salary, car allowance and other benefits until the completion of all legal proceedings, including appeals and any civil litigation which might arise. It also covers provision of legal assistance and costs for any diocesan clergy interviewed in relation to the allegations.

    Believe it or not, according to testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, as long as he “maintains his innocence” an accused priest is afforded these ‘perks.’ I’m not sure if that protocol is still in situ in Alexandria-Cornwall – it was, to say the least, a bit of an embarrassment when its existence came to light at the inquiry.

    But, rest assured that such a protocol or guidelines do not or did not exist in isolation in Alexandria-Cornwall.

    Reality Checker mentions insurance. Yes!

    Once upon a time most if not all dioceses carried insurance which covered these things. However, with the escalation of sex abuse charges or lawsuits premiums have become astronomical, and in fact in some instances insuring agents have flatly refused to cover sex abuse in certain dioceses.

    Intersting too that insuring agents can dictate a diocesan response to sex abuse allegations. For example, again from the Cornwall Public Inquiry, reference to the Alexandria-Cornwall dioceses insurance:

    “We as a diocese are required by the terms of our insurance policy coverage to advise our insurers of any possible claim. We are also required to not admit liability.”

    I now await contact at some future date with Father Proulx.

  33. Reality Checker says:

    Thanks for jarring the memory Sylvia. There was something in the back of my mind about the diosese in Alexandria-Cornwall defending their priests when I made my last post but I just couldn’t recall exactly what it was. I now remember those “protocols” coming to light at the Inquiry.

    Aside from that – isn’t Bishop Lahey’s lawyer charging something like $800/hr for his defense??? WHO’S PAYING FOR THAT??? AND WHO CAN AFFORD A LAWYER AT THAT PRICE??? His eastern diosese said they weren’t going to cover the costs- but at that price – come on – someone’s definitely paying for it!

  34. Lina says:

    Thank you Sylvia for trying to find out the answer to the question who is really paying the legal fees of Monsignor Robert Borne.

    I ask this priest if he has any thing in place to say to his parishioners if the media ends up in the church yard asking questions. By the way, this is where Monsignor R. Borne’s hails from; I mean this was his family’s parish church since he was young, as far as I know.)

    Anyway, this priest replies to me:

    Hi There!
    “All matters concerning the media have been worked out well in advance. Any and all media requests are referred to our diocesan spokesman who lives here in Pembroke. He will handle, and has up to now, all media inquiries.”

    The other question: “By the way…did you know Father at the Pembroke Diocese website they have the priests’ names but their pictures are gone, there not there? I remember your photo was there once & it’s gone. Do you know why they did this?

    This priest replies to me:

    “I am not sure why the photos were taken off the diocesan website. Blessings!”


    It is like I was reading/hearing a well rehearse script.


    • Sylvia says:

      Hi Lina

      I received a reply from Father Proulx: “The Diocese of Pembroke does not cover the legal defense costs of clergy charged with sexual misconduct nor does it have an insurance to cover such costs”

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