Well, sadly, it looks as though the Pembroke Priest for Justice, Truth & Integrity (PPJTI) have gone undercover. I had contact from Jennifer Green (Ottawa Citizen) advising she had not heard back from them. She wondered if anyone had heard from them. I had.
I just tried to send an email to PPJTI. It bounced back.
What does this say? Well, certainly they have gone undercover, at least for now. And, at least for now, silence will again prevail.
I can speculate all I want as to the whys. I have no idea. They did not advise and I just don’t know. Perhaps they are re-assessing their tactics? Perhaps they have opted for a different approach? Perhaps they feared for their vocations? Perhaps they got cold feet? I just don’t know.
Will we hear from them again? I certainly hope so.
Meanwhile, for those who have expressed concerns regarding the PPJTI allegations, I have, as I mentioned previously, sent emails to both Archbishops Richard Smith and Brendan O’Brien asking specifically for their responses to the allegations contained in the PPJTI letter. To date, there has been no reply from either of the Archbishops.
I find myself at an awkward juncture here. I believe that should a similar circumstance arise in the future I would hold until I know the identity of at least one priest. For a variety of reasons I didn’t want to and don’t want to go that route. I believe however that hopes have been raised which, at least for the time being, are dashed. I don’t want to be party to that again.
Do I believe the PJTI is legit? Yes. I said so at the beginning, and I still do. I would not have posted the letter had I believed otherwise.
How many in the group? I don’t know. I have reason to believe that perhaps it is one priest speaking for a group, witness the following email 26 August 2010:Q & A between PPJTI and me:
Q: Can you tell me how many priests agreed that it was necessary to take this action?
A: Suffice it to say that there are many priests who are very upset about these matters but are afraid to have there names stand, for obvious reasons.
Do I believe their allegations are valid? I can say only that I believe it is possible. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Catholic faithful have learned that a bishop failed to respond to allegations of clerical abuse against one of his priests. Furthermore, in light of the information I have regarding Father Lorne Whalen, I believe it is indeed possible that the Priest’s allegations are valid.
I will add here a response I received 26 August 2010 from the person fielding the PPJTI emails.
“ I know priests who alerted Borne‘s behaviour to both O’Brien and Smith. Smith became bishop of Pembroke in 2002 and was appointed Archbishop of Edmonton in 2007. I personally know priests who spoke to him and alerted him about Borne.”
I had hoped, and still hope, for particulars on this, ie., in what manner were the bishops alerted, who did the alerting, and what was the response.
For now, we will have to wait. I am terribly disappointed. That I suppose is easy for me to say when it’s not my neck on the chopping block. Still, I pray PPJTI is simply regrouping, has not gone deep underground and has not lost heart and courage.
What more can I say?
My sincere apologies for this unwelcome news.
Enough for now,