Too big a mess to leave as is

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Another busy day yesterday.  

A few updates: 

(1) Father Lussier going to trial

Father Lucien Lussier (Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall) is scheduled to go to trial 12 January 2010.  His most recent court date was 29 June 2010. 

Until now all proceedings have been conducted at the Alexandria courthouse.  The trial will proceed at the courthouse in Cornwall, Ontario. 

(2)  Confusion

Oh my.  There is confusion ++ re O’Keefe’s cv.

Read the following:

12 August 2010:  Basilian priest charged with abusing Ottawa student in 1972

Note the dates in the last para of the article.  As I noted at the top of the article, I believe there is an error – St. Joseph’s, Toronto should be St. Joseph’s, Ottawa. 

I have been on a wild goose chase on this particular issue all day yesterday.  According to a 03 September 2006 article in the BC Catholic, O’Keefe taught Archbishop Miller in Grade 9 at St. Michael’s Catholic High School in Ottawa.  The time frame would have been the early 60s. 

I had never heard of a St. Michael’s Catholic school in Ottawa and set out to find out more about it. 

Well, there never was a St. Michael’s Catholic School in Ottawa.  There was, however, St. Joseph’s Catholic School.  

I know that Father O’Keefe definitely taught at St. Joseph’s in the late 60s and possibly early 70s. But what of the early 60s? Where did this St. Michael’s fit in?

I thought perhaps there was a  typo with the city name.   Perhaps it was St. Michael’s College School in Toronto?  I  checked through numerous St. Michael’s College School yearbooks – no Father O’Keefe teaching in or around those years. 

Then I happened on this article in the Register. 

Now O’Keefe is shown as teaching at St. Joseph’s High School in TORONTO from 1959-1977!!! 

I know for a fact that Father O’Keefe was teaching at St. Joe’s in the late 60s and possibly early 70s.  I am now quite certain therefore that there have been two typos in two different articles and that O’Keefe was in fact at St. Joe’s in Ottawa from 1959-1977. I will double check this today. 

And there’s another bit of confusion…

The 1971-1974 Canadian Catholic Church Directories list O’Keefe at St. Joseph’s, and, if I am correct, the Basilians say he was there from 59-77. 

Media reports, however, have said or implied that alleged abuse transpired in 1972 while O’Keefe was teaching at St. Pius X.  Initially I though perhaps the CCCDs were in error.  Now I do believe the error lies elsewhere.  Either the media has the date wrong or it has the school wrong.  As I said, I will get this sorted out today.  It’s now getting to be  too big a mess to leave as is.   Once it’s all sorted out I will update the page.

(3)  O’Keefe is a St. Andrew’s West boy

As mentioned in other blogs, Father Kenneth O’Keefe is indeed from “Cornwall.”  In fact O’Keefe was born and bred in the small community of St. Andrew’s West which lies a hop-skip-and-jump north of Cornwall. 

“Alleged” molester and ex-seminarian-turned-probation-officer Ken Seguin was also from St. Andrews West.  Seguin committed suicide in 1993. 

True, Seguin was born in 1944, and O’Keefe was born around 1930, but, being part of the small close-knit  community which St. Andrews is there is little doubt they would have known each other, at the very least as casual acquaintances. 

Actually, by the mid 60s when Seguin was studying for the priesthood at Ottawa’s Saint Paul University O’Keefe was teaching at the Basilian-run St. Joseph’s Catholic School.  

Downtown Ottawa to St. Andrew’s West is no more than a 50 minute drive by car. 

When O’Keefe was travelling home on weekends and holidays to visit his family in St. Andrew’s West did he ever share the trip with Seguin?  It’s highly possible, is it not?  I can’t help but wonder what Father O’Keefe might know of the tormented Ken Seguin? 

I wonder too how often Father O’Keefe said Mass at the historic St. Andrew’s Church? (1860)   Pre-Vatican II he would have been able to assist in the sanctuary only at a Solemn High Mass, or, given the opportunity, he would have been able to say a Mass on his own – either weekdays or Sunday morning. 

After Vatican II, and with the advent of the Novus Ordo Mass, Father O’Keefe would have been able to concelebrate when he was home for a visit . 

He would have been able to assist with confessions both pre and post Vatican II.  

It is rather uncanny isn’t it?  There is something a little unsettling, at least for me personally, in finding that a priest with no apparent Cornwall connections was actually born and bred in St. Andrew’s. 

For those who don’t already know, Helen Dunlop hails from St. Andrews West.  Yes.  Helen and her many brothers and sisters were born and bred in St. Andrew’s. 

Another reminder that sometimes it truly is a small small world. 

More on all of this as I sift through my mind, documents and dates. 

(4)  The Basilian Farm

In late 2005 O’Keefe joined a small contingent of his Basilian confreres at the Henry Carr Farm in Beeton Ontario.  (Scroll to page 37) 

Beeton lies just North of Toronto.  The Henry Carr farm is actually closer to Bond Head.   

O’Keefe is apparently back at the Cardinal  Flahiff Centre in Toronto.  I would hope that is the case.  It would seem that the farm is closely affiliated with the Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary Schoolin Bondhead.  The Basilians at the farm conduct regular retreats for the students from Father Henry Carr. I read elsewhere that, in addition to filling in at local parishes,  the Basilians at the farm also conduct Masses and hear confessions at the school

Children will be back to school in a few weeks. 

(5)  Bernard Sauve charged

More news from Cornwall:  Bernard Sauve has been charged with the sexual assault of a 22-year-old male.  

 12 August 2010:  Cornwall man faces sexual assault charges 

Those familiar with the Cornwall sex abuse scandal and cover-up may recall that  Sauve managed to wriggle out of his previous sex-related criminal charges.  Those charges – one each of gross indecency and indecent assault – related to allegations of sex abuse of underage boys. 

Regarding the latter charges, believe it or not, it took five years from the time the first complainant went to police to the 2001 “trial” which in actuality turned into a non-trial! 

At the non-trial Sauve showed up with a medical doctor, and, believe it or not, Crown attorney Curt Flanagan actually argued that it was not in the public interest to proceed with the charges.  The charges were withdrawn.  The whole thing was a mess from start to finish.

The long and short: Suave “walked.”  That was the end of that. 

I recapped part of that particular Cornwall horror story under a 14 May 2008 blog entitled  Sorry, pathetic. Disgraceful, wretched lot 

And, here we are nine years later.  Sauve charged – again.  True the allegations haven’t been proven in court, but it sounds as though the 69-year-old entrepreneur is in reasonably  good health.  I suppose, like our recent weather, that could change. 

And yes, if that name rings a bell, Curt Flanagan is the same Crown who decided it would not be in the public interest to pursue the death threats against Perry Dunlop.  He is also the Crown who ensured that alleged paedophile and former Crown attorney Malcolm MacDonald got an absolute discharge for obstructing justice with the illegal gagging of David Silmser. http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/2010/07/01/small-small-small-world/ (scroll down)

(6)  Extradition questions

I have a reply from Justice Canada to my questions regarding the extradition process and fugitive from justice Father Eric Dejaeger.  It’s too late to cover that now – I will leave it for tomorrow.

 

Enough for now, 

Sylvia 

(contact me at cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Basilians, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Cornwall, Perry Dunlop, Scandal, Trials and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Too big a mess to leave as is

  1. PiusGrad says:

    this quote from you, Sylvia, tells me all I now need to know about this site

    “When O’Keefe was travelling home on weekends and holidays to visit his family in St. Andrew’s West did he ever share the trip with Seguin? It’s highly possible, is it not? I can’t help but wonder what Father O’Keefe might know of the tormented Ken Seguin? ”

    From your own words, you clearly have no facts, no information from anyone at all that Father O’Keefe ever shared a ride with Seguin, but you feel quite free to suggest that they must/might have shared some time together, and that somehow the two are linked.

    It is one thing to proceed on facts and information, Sylvia. It is quite another to engage in speculation. Also, in other parts of this site, I have come across efforts to attack priests, without any evidence at all, but using mere speculation and innuendo.

    I came to this site and hoped to find open discussion of the problems with the Church’s handling of all these sordid affairs. Instead, I have found people willing to guess or make up facts and situations to justify their hatred of the clergy.

    If O’Keefe assaulted someone, as charged, he should have his day in court and be convicted on the evidence. The same applies to any and all of these priests, and, yes, even to YOU, should you ever be charged with a criminal offense. We live in a society with a justice system that demands evidence, not supposition and rumour. Sylvia, you engage in the worst kind of mud-slinging when you start to ‘imagine’ whether or not certain people MIGHT have been in contact, and what one of them MIGHT know of the other.

    If this site was supposed to be about truth, fairness and justice, it has strayed from those goals. It is now about vengeance, and that is a sad thing.

    I lived through the Keeler affair. I lived through the shooting at Pius. I lived through revelations about the Basilian cottage when I was quite young. I am now living with the accusations against two of our former teachers at Pius.

    As angry as I am at the priests who sully the cloth, as bitterly disappointed as I am with the hierarchy’s response to abuse by clergy, still I cannot stand by and watch as some of you engage in character assassination and guesswork. To be clear, I HATE what the hierarchy has done in so many parishes and in so many cases. I am almost embarrassed to say I am Catholic at times, as a result of this immoral behaviour.

    Still, I had hoped to find on this site a community working for truth, the light of day, and justice.

    That is not what I am finding here.

  2. Sylvia says:

    PiusGrad

    (1) Re the Ken Seguin reference and your comment: I raised a question. I could also ask is it possible they both attended St. Andrew’s, but that would have been a fool and rhetorical question. Why would I ask the question when I know the answer? And what would be gained?

    The truth is that Father O’Keefe AND Ken Seguin were “linked” as all Roman Catholics in St. Andrew’s West of that day were linked – through, at the very minimum, the practise of their Catholic faith at St. Andrew’s church.

    St. Andrew’s West was a small tight knit community with one Roman Catholic Church. It is impossible that Father O’Keefe and Ken Seguin didn’t know each other and were therefore “linked”: ditto the whole Roman Catholic community.

    There is therefore no need for me to attempt to “link” Father O’Keefe and Ken Seguin. Everyone in St. Andrew’s knew Ken Seguin because Ken Seguin was from St. Andrew’s. What does or would that prove?

    I raised the question of the car ride because for me personally it’s a logical question. It has relevance me and, I believe, for the many who have followed this site since February 2006.

    I don’t have the answer. Had I the answer I wouldn’t raise the question.

    I personally would like to know what Father O’Keefe knows of Ken Seguin. I truly would like to know . I would like to know why Ken Seguin decided to be a probation officer rather than a priest. Why did he leave the seminary? If there happened to be shared trips to and fro Ottawa it is possible that Seguin confided in Father O’Keefe. And so, if someone were to tell me that Father O’Keefe and Ken Seguin did travel together from time to time, I would be anxious to talk to Father O’Keefe. True, I would have to wait until after he has gone to trial, but I would like to talk him.

    (2) You say you found people on this site “willing to guess or make up facts and situations to justify their hatred of clergy.”

    First, please, in this day and age, don’t expect victims of clerical sexual abuse and their families and friends to revere priests.

    That said, those are heavy accusations. Examples please.

    (3) You accuse me of attacking priests “without any evidence at all, but using mere speculation and innuendo.” Could you please show me where I have launched such attacks and against whom?

    (4) You accuse me of mud-slinging. You say I “imagine” who “MIGHT” have been in contact etc. etc. etc.

    Examples please.

    (5) You say you lived through the Keeler affair, the shooting at Pius, the revelations about the Basilian cottage and now the accusations against two former teachers, but as angry as you are you “cannot stand by and watch as some of you engage in character assassination and guesswork.”

    What character assassination and guesswork?

    (6) What are you looking for PiusGrad? If you want to vent your anger and frustration on me, carry on. I can deal with it. But, what are you really looking for?

    You say you “hoped to find a community working for truth, the light of day, and justice.”

    Sylvia’s Site is not a community. I started the site. I operate the site alone. I am one person.

    There are those who agree with some of my opinions. There are those who agree with none of my opinions.

    I post the facts I have on hand. I do research to get other facts. I ask questions.

    I express my opinion. At times I get angry. I try not to blog when I am angry, but, alas, it has been known to happen, and, more than once.

    Beyond that, I pray. I pray that all Roman Catholics will start to understand the plight and pain of the victim of clerical sexual abuse. I pray that Church officials will rid the Church of priests who prey on the young and vulnerable. I pray for the day when Roman Catholics can rest assured that, as far as is humanly possible, the priest in sanctuary is not a known sexual predator. I pray that those who wilfully and knowingly protect and cover-up for clerical molesters are laicized. I pray for the day when those Roman Catholics who were sexually abused as children feel it is safe to once again set foot in the door of a Roman Catholic Church and avail themselves of the Sacraments.

    I also pray for the day that our judiciary reflects the reality that child sexual abuse is an horrific crime, and that society reflects the old adage that children are our most valued asset.

  3. PiusGrad says:

    My final comments.

    Sylvia, you ask me not to expect people in this day and age to ‘revere’ priests. Where did I do so? To quote your own words, “examples, please”.

    You ask for examples of where you use speculation to sling some mud. There are many posts on this site, where you or other writers ‘wonder’ whether something was known or whether something happened. I am not going to list them all. But your own post above is one example and I return to the part you have tried to defend in your last post: “When O’Keefe was travelling home on weekends and holidays to visit his family in St. Andrew’s West did he ever share the trip with Seguin? It’s highly possible, is it not? I can’t help but wonder what Father O’Keefe might know of the tormented Ken Seguin? ”

    To say that something is ‘highly possible’, when you actually have no information, at all, that such a thing occurred, is, by definition, PURE speculation, and to go on from that to link O’Keefe’s name with that of the ‘tormented Ken Seguin’ is again made up from whole cloth. You are not ‘raising a question’; you are suggesting a relationship that you have no idea ever existed, and in doing so imply that O’Keefe might then be somehow connected to Seguin’s transgressions. Otherwise, why raise the ‘question’?

    Finally, to suggest that I am somehow venting anger at you, is sad. On this site, I am finding so many posts that not only vent anger, but also seek to tarnish any and all priests who MIGHT have done something or known something. There is a malice and a nastiness in the attempts by some to place blame on those against whom no evidence is offered and against whom no charges or accusations have been made (examples? check out the repeated attempts to attack Father Lunney from St Pius without a shred of evidence he knew anything or did anything wrong. Heck, Aardvark even tried to link Lunney’s ‘administration’ with the deranged rampage by Rob Poulin, who was a complete psychopath!)

    Here’s what I pray for: that those who have abused are caught and prevented from ever abusing again; that the shepherds of our faith take effective steps to remove from power those that allowed these abuses to happen; that the faithful treat priests as human beings with a tough job to do, with eyes wide open, neither idolizing them nor demonizing them.

    There are still abusers around us and our children; they may be priests, coaches, teachers, neighbours, relatives. We do need to be vigilant and aware, and demand answers when we are met with ‘official silence’. But we cannot allow our righteous anger against the guilty to give us license to engage in speculation by ‘wondering’ if such and such might have happened. By all means, we are all digging for truth, but must deal with what we actually find, without adding guesses to facts.

  4. PiusGrad says:

    I won’t be adding/reading any more posts on this site. I thank you, Sylvia, for shining a light where it has needed to be shone, and for your efforts and energy in so doing.

    A watchdog function is a difficult one, and usually thankless, but I do appreciate what you have done and have tried to do.

  5. Reality Checker says:

    Sylvia – for what it’s worth I don’t agree with all Puis Grad’s comments. This IS NOT a vindictive and vengeful site solely used to demonize accused priests and sling mud as Puis Grad suggests – it’s an avenue for those who followed the Cornwall Public Inquiry to express opinions – ask questions – vent.

    Puis Grad obviously did not follow the testimony of the many witnesses at The Cornwall Public Inquiry. Many questions were left unanswered and NOT asked during the inquiry. I too would like to know if there were shared car rides between Ken Seguin and Father O’Keefe. I ask the question NOT in an attempt to character assinate anyone. I ask the question to better understand WHAT transpired and hopefully prevent similiar situations from ever happening again!!!

    Whether Puis Grad thinks it’s vindictive, speculative or character assination to ask such questions is irrelevant – there are many who do benefit from this site and many who do not…..it’s his choice to post, opine, question, vent, stay or leave.

    IN MY OPINION Puis Grad’s character assasination of Sylvia was a little HARSH!!!

  6. Lina says:

    “IN MY OPINION Puis Grad’s character assasination of Sylvia was a little HARSH!”

    I agree with your comment ‘Reality Checker’ about what was said to Sylvia.

    We all have our different ways dealing with this pedophile/molester abuser topic stuff.

    I have found (myself included) that denial is a strong force that is at work in many of us. To rise about that denial and face those fears can be a very long journey.

    I am grateful to Sylvia & so many others that are working for seeking the truth & justice. So many many have paid a high price for this justice.

    In my opinion, Sylvia is a good hard working soul.
    This statement is so true as many other statements she made.

    “By all means, we are all digging for truth, but must deal with what we actually find, without adding guesses to facts.”

    Lina

  7. Sylvia says:

    PiusGrad, if you do happen to check back, I am sorry you have chosen to withdraw. I also thank you for your comments in post #4. Please keep me in your prayers.

    Reality Checker and Lina, thank you for your input and support.

    You are right Reality Checker, sadly there were so many questions which should have been asked, but were not, at the inquiry. My antenna will forever spring up when Cornwall is mentioned in the same breath as clerical sexual abuse. Like you, I want to understand. I search for answers. I ask questions. I always will.

    And true Lina, denial is a powerful force. I can look back many years and recall moments in time when I saw or heard something which raised unwelcome questions in my mind, questions which I quickly suppressed with a self-reprimand that I shouldn’t even think such thoughts. I try to remember those days – a personal reminder of the difficulty many Catholics may encounter when confronted by the possibility that a once revered priest may in fact be a sexual predator.

    I have come to realize that with news of every predator priest charged comes that inevitable ripple – grown men struggling to find the strength to come forward, others scared to death that someone is going to find out, and countless Catholics wrestling with the very real possibility that a priest they once admired and trusted is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a difficult time for many and, as we see on this site, one which is charged with emotion.

  8. Curious says:

    I think it’s healthy to ask questions and encourage dialogue. I think there have been rare times when a person on this site made a claim about another person by saying it absolutely happened even though there was never proof. I also believe one of the reasons so many people have been able to get away with so much of this stuff for so long is because nobody ever talked about it. What is wrong with a group of people asking questions? If there is absolutely no connection between Father Ken and Ken Seguin, then so be it. But the fact is St. Andrew’s West is a very small village … a hamlet, even. And back around the time these two men were living in that hamlet, it’s a fact everyone knew everyone else.
    Does anyone remember Claude Marleau? He was the complainant in a number of trials in Cornwall a few years back and he testified at the inquiry. I think his testimony about the fact he was “passed around like a beer” speaks to the idea there could have been a group of men who were not only aware of each other’s behaviours but actually supported and encouraged one another in those behaviours.
    Linkages are crucial when we’re trying to get to the bottom of this mess. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking who knew who and under what circumstances and how well. I think it’s wrong to ignore it and continue to let this kind of thing fester in the darkness.

  9. Lina says:

    I also think it’s healthy to ask questions & encourage dialogue.

    One should be careful about rumors. I knew this priest once, I will call him “Fr. D.” This nun had introduce me to him & he helped me for awhile.

    I did not like what I heard about “Fr. D.” throughout the years. I honestly did try to ignore those rumors as gossip. I recall telling this nun that I was glad a priest came & bless my house. I also said “Fr. D.” also helped me. It’s her reaction to this priest’s name that was a give away that something was not right. She didn’t want to go there or discuss him. Her face spoke volumes of fears. She was hiding something. My gut feelings told me so. I wasn’t strong enough to ask her was there any truth about what I heard about “Fr. D.”? All I could think of, I should not talk about a priest like that, it’s a sin. For the longest time there was this silence until I told her if it’s meant for me to have a picture of “Fr. D.” I will eventually get one. Then we talk about something else.

    When the Monsignor Bernard Prince(now defrocked)saga started. An aunt of mine told me another priest’s name came up that was suppose to be link to young boys. She mentioned this priest’s name was “Fr. D.” I ignore it, no real proof but more red flags for me.

    Then Monsignor Robert Borne charges were laid. My aunt brought up this “Fr.D’s.” name again. This time I said very tactfully: “We(I didn’t say you), we should be careful in talking about this dead priest like that.”
    She replied no…because her parish priest told two of his parishioners quote: “I shouldn’t say this but he died of an overdose.” Another red flag? Why would a priest take his own life? He died in the late 1990’s.

    I had to stop listening or thinking about “Fr. D.” because there are no victims & this priest is dead. Even though I believe at times Monsignor Robert Borne may know about him? My personal opinion doesn’t count.

    I did make the mistake of talking to two difference priests about “Fr. D.”. especially to one priest in depth. That was a major no-no. I learn my lesson. I will not talk to any church clergy or official about this stuff again. Stick to facts & leave the digging up to the professionals in the Law & the media, I said to myself.

    If(that is a big if)this “Fr. D’s” name comes up in the future especially during or after this Monsignor Robert Borne saga I for one will not be surprise. Then again I may be wrong about this “Fr. D.” priest, because I just listened & heard too many bad rumors.

    My heart goes out to all victims of abuse especially those ones that are so hesitant for whatever reason they are not coming forward.

    I pray they are getting some help from good qualified medical professionals.

    Lina

  10. Sylvia says:

    Curious, you say “hamlet” for St. Andrew’s West. That’s exactly it. A hamlet.

    And yes, witness Cornwall, linkages are crucial. I call it connecting the dots.

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