Enough said

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I have sent my email to Father Roscia. I preferred to hold the communication from Father Rosica to me and withhold my comments on the same until I had responded to him in person.  When I made that decision I also decided that I would post the exchanges verbatim to ensure that I do not inadvertently misrepresent either his words or mine.

There are three exchanges between Father Rosica and me.  I have posted them in order, (1) the 13 August 2010 email I sent to a general contact email on the Basilian website;  (2) the 18 August ’10 email from myself to Father Rosica; (3) the 18 August ’10 email from Father Rosica to me; and (4) my email response of this morning, 19 August ’10, to Father Rosica.

I have Xed out Father Rosica’s and my personal email addresses.  I have also Xed out my home phone number.

I have taken time to meditate on this.  At this moment in time I believe I have said all I want to say, both here on the blog and in my reply to Father Rosica.

No. Correction.  I earnestly hope and pray that those who contact Father Rosica with allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of a Basilian priest are not treated like this.

Enough said.

Here are the copies of the emails….


From: Sylvia [xxxx.xxxx@xxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2010 3:09 PM
To: [contact email address on Basilian website]
Subject: Father Kenneth O’Keefe

An article appeared in the online edition of the Catholic Register yesterday:  “Basilian priest charged with abusing Ottawa student in 1972.” In the last paragraph the author Michael Swan lists Father Kenneth O’Keefe’s different posts as follows:

In O’Keefe’s 60 years with the Basilians he was stationed at 14 different posts between 1950 and his retirement in 2006: Richmond Hill Novitiate from 1949-50; University of St. Michael’s College 1950-53 and 1954-55; St. Basil’s College 1953-54 and 1956-59; St. Michael’s College School 1955-56; St. Joseph’s High School (Toronto) 1959-77; St. Pius X (Ottawa) 1977-80; Assumption College School (Windsor)1980-82; Basilian Fathers of London, Ont., as chaplain 1982-83; Newman Centre University of Toronto 1983-85 and 1992-94; Newman Centre University of Western Ontario 1985-92; and Brescia College, University of Western Ontario 1994-2006.

Is “ St. Joseph’s High School (Toronto) 1959-77” perhaps a typo?  Should it not be (Ottawa 1950-77)?  I have tried to reach Michael Swan by phone and email to clarify but as yet have not heard back from him.

Could someone please clarify this for me?   I have information which puts Father O’Keefe at St. Joseph’s in Ottawa for some of the years in question

Thank you

Sylvia MacEachern

XXX-XXX-XXXX.

________________________________

—–Original Message—–
From: Sylvia [mailto:xxxx.xxxx@xxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 04:22 PM
To: xxxx@xxx.org
Subject: Father Kenneth O’Keefe

I just tried to reach you by phone – too late in the day.

I sent an email via the Basilian website several days seeking clarification regarding Father Kenneth O’Keefe’s cv.  I have had no response.  I did however receive word from Michael Swan of the Catholic Register confirming that  the 1959-‘77 dates referenced in “Basilian priest charged with abusing Ottawa student in 1972” (12 August 2010)  should  read St. Joseph’s High School Ottawa NOT Toronto.

That clarified my initial query.  However I now know that St. Joseph’s HS in Ottawa closed its doors in 1975.  I am told that Father O’Keefe, along with other from St. Joseph’s, started teaching at Pius X in the Fall of 1975.  Could you confirm or refute those dates for me please Father?

Also, the 1992 Canadian Catholic Directory lists Father O’Keefe’s address as 1992: 940 Rex Ave., Ottawa, Ontario and phone number as  613-729-5149.  That is the address and phone number for St. Basil Church, Ottawa, Ontario.  What was Father O’Keefe’s assignment at that time?  Was he assisting at St. Basil’s?  Or was he teaching somewhere in Ottawa?

Thank you for your assistance Father

Sylvia MacEachern

613-XXX-XXXX

________________________________

From: Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B. [mailto:xxxx@basilian.org]
Sent: August-18-10 5:05 PM
To: Sylvia
Subject: Re: Father Kenneth O’Keefe

Dear Mrs. MacEachern,

We have no idea who you are and what your motives are to have such information on one of our members.  Your messages, phone calls and methods of seeking information on others raise many questions and reveal a most unprofessional way of information gathering.  For what purpose?  For what reason?

Legitimate journalists identify themselves, speak about their particular work, tell what agency they work for, and also use common titles to address people to whom they write such as “Dear ….”  It is etiquette and common courtesy.  You have done none of this.

We have no reason whatsoever to share information of any of our members with those we don’t know, and especially those who manifest obsessive behavior and strange needs to gather information on the tragedies and failures of others.

May God grant you peace of mind and heart.

Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.,
Spokesperson for the Basilian Fathers

 ________________________________

From: Sylvia  [mailto:xxxx.xxxx@xxxx]
Sent: August-19-10:06 AM
To: ‘Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.

Subject: Re: Father Kenneth O’Keefe

Dear Father Rosica

To say that I was shocked by your email would be an understatement.  I am floored.  In fact, I  believe that the sentiments expressed in body of your email belie your opening salutation “Dear Mrs. MacEachern” and closing line “May God grant you peace of mind and heart.”

I am a Roman Catholic Father.  By the grace of God, and, forgive me but in light of your email I must say it, no thanks to priests like yourself, I am a practising Roman Catholic.  I assure you that in this day and age of clerical sexual predators in sanctuaries and the protection and cover-ups of the same, it is not easy to be a practising Catholic.

My “motive” for asking two simple questions regarding Father Kenneth O’Keefe’s cv was to clarify erroneous information.  The information was put out by the Basilians.  I did not view the errors as anything sinister, but there clearly were errors.  The latter were corrected in part with confirmation from the Basilians via Michael Swan of the Catholic Register that Father O’Keefe taught at St. Joseph’s School in Ottawa, not Toronto.  However, there is, as I said in my email, still a problem.  St. Joseph’s High School closed in 1975.  Unless those public records indicating St. Joes’s closed in ’75 are in error, there is still an error in the cv.  I believe Father O’Keefe in fact taught at St. Joseph’s High School from 1959-75, and from St. Pius X from 1975-‘80.  Am I in error?

In addition, the 1992 Canadian Catholic Church Directory lists Father O’Keefe at St. Basil’s Church in Ottawa.  There is no reference to this brief return to Ottawa in the cv.  Was Father O’Keefe at St. Basil’s in or around 1992?  If yes, was he assisting at the church, or was he perhaps teaching at a local Catholic school?  If he was not at St. Basil’s then the Catholic Directory is in error.  If he was at St. Basil’s, then the cv is in error (the Basilians place him at either the Newman Centre of Western Ontario or the Newman Centre of Toronto.) I would simply like to know which is correct?

I would think Father that you would be anxious to ensure that there are no errors regarding the whereabouts of a Basilian priest, – particularly when it comes to a priest facing charges of child sexual abuse.  If the information being disseminated into the public domain by the Basilians is in error, then surely you want to know and would be anxious to update or correct that information?  If the information in the public domain is accurate, then surely you should be happy to affirm it?

As for being a journalist, to be honest Father, I fail to see what difference it makes in this instance.  I was not asking a question peculiar to journalists.  I was seeking clarification of conflicting information.  Does one have to be a journalist to get answers from the Basilians to simple questions regarding the movements of their priests?  Further to that, had you truly wanted to know who I am and my motives you could have called me.  (I note however that as much as you say you have no idea who I am you somehow know that I am a married woman, a Mrs., – not a Miss or a Ms.)

As for not using the salutation “Dear Father Rosica”  – I do apologize for that oversight.  When I was unable to reach you by phone I dashed off the email.  I admit that I sometimes send emails without a salutation.  It’s a bad habit acquired through the use of email correspondence.  I did however put my contact phone number at the bottom.  If you needed further information about me you could certainly, as I noted earlier, have phoned: Had you done so I would have readily told you that I am a free lance journalist, and I would have repeated the questions put to you in the email, and I would have explained that my motive is to clarify conflicting information.  Given your stated lack of knowledge of me I am surprised you failed to call.

You say “We have no reason whatsoever to share information of any of our members with those we don’t know…”  I was asking for clarification Father.  I was not asking that you divulge any secrets.  I was not looking for any inside information.  I did not ask anything which is privileged information.  I was simply trying to sort out where the errors lie in public records regarding a Basilian priest.  I turned to you, a Roman Catholic priest and spokesman for the Basilians for assistance.  To whom should I turn Father?

That sentence ended “…and especially those who manifest obsessive behaviour and strange needs to gather information on the tragedies and failures of others.”

The personal affront and “tragedies and failures” of predatory priests aside, you say you don’t know who I am?

I assure you yet again Father, that it is no thanks to priests like you that I still practise my faith. I practise my faith in spite of, not because of, priests like you.

In closing, if you continue to refuse to speak to me and answer my questions would you kindly direct me to someone who could and would?

Thank you,

Sylvia MacEachern

613-XXX-XXXX

I’m going out to cut the grass 🙂

Enough for now,

Sylvia

(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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

14 Responses to Enough said

  1. Sorry I Can't Say says:

    I don’t know how you do it Sylvia. How do you remain a practicing Roman Catholic with examples such as Frs. Rosica, Marshall, O’Keefe, Whyte, ….?

    This past year I have moved from believer to realizing the Roman Catholic Church is corrupt, sinister, self-obsessed, and focused on the furtherance of it’s own interests under the guise of serving God. I do not believe many in the church could rise to any level of responsibility or authority without silently acquiescing or actively participating in the politics, corruption, and public façade that permeates the church.

    I have seen several of the most devout Catholics I ever knew move to a similar position in mere months upon learning the things I now know: priests abusing young boys for decades, other priests covering up, leaders protecting them, the organization lying, withholding information, telling abused boys in confessionals that THEY are the sinners. Many more Catholics will learn and move on in search of the truth.

    Fr. Rosica further displays the church’s willingness to sin in order to advance their own self-interests. One can only call his obfuscation of pretending not to know who you are Sylvia A LIE. HE LIED therefore HE IS A LIAR and HE IS A SINNER. Let’s not dance around the point. He knows exactly who you are, and why you are interested. He lied in pretending otherwise. He then pulled the typical ploy of pretending to pray for you which was another lie. After a lifetime of pretending to pray for good when actually praying for one’s own self-interest, it may be hard for him to differentiate.

    It makes me wonder who the bigger sinners are – the pedophile priests such as Marshall, Whyte, and O’Keefe or the leadership, bishops, spokespersons and others who build and protect the structures, methodologies and perceptions that allow evil to flourish world-wide. Shame on Fr. Rosica. He shows himself as no better than those whose tragedies and failures are coming to the public eye in spite of the best efforts of the Assumptionists, Augustinians, Basilians, Benedictines, Carmelites, Christian Brothers, Diocesans, Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, Marianists, Oblates, Redemptorists, Spritians, Viatorians, and all the Bishops of the church including the Pope. In spite of the power they collectively wield, the truth is still coming out thanks to so many individuals refusing to be silenced any longer.

    I would offer a prayer in closing but somehow it seems wrong.

  2. prima facie says:

    “Sorry I can’t say”,….said it all.

    “But for the Grace of God”.

  3. pat says:

    please call xxx xxx xxxx

  4. Sylvia says:

    Sorry I Can’t Say
    I can’t conceive of life without the Sacraments. That’s why I go. I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s true.

    These wolves in sheeps clothing have hijacked the Church. There are good priests in the Church: they suffer greatly because of sins and crimes of molesting priests and, yes, because of the sins and crimes of those who tolerate, protect and cover-up for those predators. The good priests are unfortunatley – but under the circumstances I would say understandably – tarred with the same brush as the bad. Unfortunately, as I believe I have said before, until the day comes that Roman Catholics can trust that the priest in the sanctuary or wherever he may be is NOT – as far as is humanly possible – a known sexual predator, the good priests will continue to suffer.

    The damage done by these predators is immense. I often call it the rape of the child’s soul, because in so many ways that’s what it seems. Not only was the victim’s childhood innocence violated, his faith is shattered.

    I think I can count on one hand the number of victims of clerical sexual abuse I know personally who will set foot in the door of a Catholic church for anything other than weddings and funerals.

    Do I understand? Yes. I do. It’s like the silence and shame. It’s part of the awful burden carried by the victim. I understand it as far as I am capable of understanding what I see and hear – the spiritual torment endured by victims of clerical sexual abuse.

    You’re right prima facie, Sorry I Can’t Say said it all.

    A thought just crossed my mind. How ironic that clerical predators who have driven countless souls out of the Church have the audacity to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with their sullied hands. And, how reprehensible that Church officials tolerate such sacrilege.

    A final note. I deleted Pat’s phone number.

  5. Cheryl Helena Thomson, in NL says:

    DEAR Sylvia et al.: How very revealing is the missive from Fr. Rosica. Since he tried some psychological analysis on you apparently, let’s return the favor.

    Recently I watched the two 90-min. films, “THE BOYS OF ST. VINCENT” and “UPDATE: 15 YEARS LATER, THE BOYS OF ST. VINCENT”, produced in 1992-93. Eighteen years ago, I was not a Catholic and was not interested in learning about the subject of child abuse, but rather just repelled by it all. I strongly recommend these dramas, now distributed by the National Film Board. They were absolutely excellent, and very educational. In fact, what a GREAT IDEA to hold screenings in every parish today! (Don’t hold your breath.)

    What actually makes these priests tick is not as mysterious as some might think. It’s a matter of reinforcing their self-esteem, and for narcissists this is imperative. Corresponding sado-masochism and passive-aggressive behavior fit right in. An extremely informative excerpt follows, from a link I provide below. As you may recall in these films, the main character was a pedophile priest who subsequently married after leaving the priesthood, becoming the father of two children. Thanks, Sylvia, for everything.

    Quote:

    “…Some repressed homosexual males, however, are unable to have sex with other sexually mature males because they have accepted the social belief that such homo-sex is only engaged in by homosexuals, even if one of them is only ‘dominant.’ Desires to have sex with a male may be very intense, however, and their minds go to work. For them, the only ‘way out’ – in term of possibilities – is to have sex with pre-puberty boys. ‘A young boy is much like a girl,’ they may think, and they then conclude that having sex with a young boy is as close to ‘normal’ as possible, meaning that they are not homosexual. As with all the previously noted rationalizations, these men nonetheless know that society would certainly disapprove of their homo-sexual activities with pre-puberty boys.

    Professionals have a history of looking at men engaging in sex with men or boys and often saying: ‘It was a faute de mieux situation. These men are normal and this only happened because women were not available.’ Yet, given the homophobia/homohating nature of our society, we could expect the real reason explaining these sexual activities to be the opposite of what was noted. (Faute-de-mieux is a completely erroneous analysis, often indulged in by psychologists, the courts, and the Church hierarchy.) These men are having sex with males, not in ways that they may have want to, but in ways corresponding to their rationalizations of what is normal and NOT HOMOSEXUAL, thus minimizing the loss of self-esteem.”

    http://www.youth-suicide.com/gay-bisexual/homosexuality-violence/13-wife-battery-violence.htm

    As you can see from the link, this report makes a telling connection between repressed homosexuality and spousal abuse.

  6. Sylvia says:

    I want to read the link before I comment Cheryl. Will do so later ….

  7. Nellie from Toronto says:

    Father Rosica shows his true colours when he replies to your direct and straight forward questions. What a difference from the carefully crafted press releases and responses the Church makes to the ongoing reports of priests and nuns abusing innocent children and vulnerable adults. His response is the true response of the Roman Catholic Church. Every time they don’t think anyone is looking they show their distain for victims and victim advocates.

    Thanks for printing the truth….

  8. Sylvia says:

    Hi Cheryl

    It’s taken me a while to get back to your blog of 21 August. There was something about it that bothered me and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I wanted to take the time to read the link you provided. Today I finally had a chance to read a good part of the link, but not all. All very interesting and good for discussion, but probably more suited to another forum. However, upon re-reading your blog I realized where my problem with it lies.

    You open with the idea of providing some “psychological analysis” of Father Rosica. You go on to reference The Boys of St. Vincent, and also the main character in the film, a paedophile priest who went on to marry and father children.

    I don’t think your intention was to imply that Father Rosica is a paedophile, but that’s the way I and perhaps others would read it.

    Father Rosica was less than civil in his response to my request for clarification of a few simple facts. I have no idea why. However I am sure you would agree that we can all speculate on the whys of his response until the cows come home, but we can neither conclude not imply from it that he is a paedophile.

  9. Cheryl-Helena says:

    No Sylvia, I was not at all associating Father Rosica with the link on repressed homosexuality/pedophilia/The Boys of St. Vincent movie. Why on earth would I be doing that, since Father Rosica was simply replying to your questions (or NOT replying, so to speak). I simply came across this good information, and decided to post it that day where I thought you would see it. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Again, any reference to Father Rosica was THE FARTHEST THING FROM MY MIND!

  10. Cheryl-Helena says:

    Psychological analysis of priests in general was my intention, bnot any comment specifically referring to Father Rosica. I trust I NOW make myself clear.

  11. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Cheryl-Helena. I didn’t think that was your intent but thought it demanded clarification.

  12. An Old Friend of O'Keefe's says:

    I first met Father O’Keefe in 1983 at U of T and know he moved back to Newman at UWO in 1985, when I coincidently moved to London. I was intermittently involved with or attending Newman at UWO between 1985 to 1993, and I know for a fact that Fr. O’Keefe was a fixture there throughout those years. If he took a brief detour out of London during 1992, I honestly can’t remember it.

    Hope this helps.

  13. Sylvia says:

    Thanks An Old Friend of O’Keefe. That is consistent with what Annie has to say

    I am still puzzled as to why the 1992 Catholic Church Directory lists his address as St. Basil’s in Ottawa. Being that it is the 1992 CCCD the address could be an address submitted in late 1991 – but there seems to be no confirmation that Father O’Keefe was at Basil’s in Ottawa in 1991 or 1992 other than to visit. Perhaps a case of a BIG error in the CCCD. It has been known to happen.

  14. Pingback: TH2: Rosica v. VOX | Catholic Canada

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