It begs the question…

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A few comments:

(1) Court:

Basilian priest Father Kenneth O’Keefe had a court date in Ottawa this morning. As soon as I get news of what happened I will post. 

(2) Father Michael Walsh

I have added a page for Father Michael Walsh.  He was already on the list on the Accused page – I had time to put together a page with more information.

 Here’s yet another case of the all too common recycling of clerical molesters.  I will make a few comments….

Formerly of the Diocese of Grand Falls Newfoundland and now serving in the Archdiocese of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Father Michael J Walsh plead guilty in 1991 to six charges related to sexual abuse of teenage boys in Newfoundland.  

I don’t know what the sentence was, but I do know that he spent some time in jail.

By 1997 Walsh was in Halifax – his address and phone number that of St. Mary’s Basilica.  

I am told that for some of his years in Halifax Walsh was serving as a hospital chaplain.  Which years I am uncertain, but he was definitely functioning in that capacity in 2004. 

I have also been told that Father Walsh was saying Mass publicly in a Halifax church, and in particular I have been told that a group of visiting Newfoundlanders hoping to attend Mass walked out when Walsh showed up in the sanctuary. I am getting more information on this.  I think it was probably St.Mary’s Basilica but am not certain. 

Sometime in the 2000s Walsh earned a licentiate in Canon Law.  He is now Associate Judicial Vicar of the Halifax archdiocese’s Marriage Tribunal.   

A note of interest.  The Monsignor Martin Currie who was Rector of St. Mary’s Basilica for several of the years in which Walsh was there was installed as Bishop of Grand Falls, Newfoundland in January 2001.  He is now Archbishop of St. John’s Newfoundland. 

Did Currie know of Walsh’s past?  That I don’t know with certainty.  I am aware that many diocesan clergy are often kept in the dark when their bishop recycles a convicted clerical molester into their diocese.  However, Currie was not only Rector of the Basilica, he was also Vicar General and Chancellor of the archdiocese.  How could he not have known? 

Some questions on the recylcing of Father Michael J Walsh: 

(i) Which Church officials were party to the decision that it would be right and proper to recycle Walsh into the Archdiocese of Halifax?

(ii)  Were the Roman Catholic faithful in the Halifax archdiocese ever advised that Father Walsh is a convicted child molester?  If not, why not?

(iii) Over his years in Halifax which Church officials knew that Walsh was a convicted molester and chose to keep the secret from the trusting flock?

 (iv) Why did Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, Archbishop of Halifax 1998-2007, allow Walsh to function as a priest in the diocese for all those years?

 (iv) Which Church officials decided that the sick and dying would benefit from the spiritual counsel of a convicted clerical molester?

 (v) What and/or who prompted Walsh to pursue studies in canon law? 

I am truly beginning to wonder if there are any Canadian Bishops who are opposed to (a)  subjecting unwitting Catholics to known clerical molesters and sexual predators and (b) wilfully putting children and vulnerable Catholics at risk.

It begs the question, does it not: How many Father Walsh’s are bouncing about our dioceses these days, their abhorrent sins and perverted crimes known only to to the bishop and a select few tolerant souls and kept secret from all others?

****

A final note here on some confusion regarding Father Walsh’s incardination.  Walsh was/is a priest of the Diocese of Grand Falls, Newfoundland.  Until 2000 all Canadian Catholic Church Directories show him as incardinated in Grand Falls. 

The 2000 an 2002 church directories to which I have access indicate that in those years he is incardinated in the Archdiocese of Halifax.  Then I jump to the 2010 directory – that shows him incardinated in Grand Falls, Newfoundland. 

Rather strange.  I checked the Diocese of Grand Falls website – Walsh is listed there with the priests of the Grand Falls diocese and shown as “retired.”  He is obviously now incardinated in Grand Falls, whether that is still, or again I don’t know.

Did Walsh become incardinated in Halifax for a spell and then, for whatever reason, become re-incardinated in Grand Falls?  I don’t know.   Bottom line, he is a convicted molester from Grand Falls, Newfoundland who was recycled and has been serving for many years – and continues to serve – in the Archdiocese of Halifax. 

(3)  Acknowledgement

Yesterday at 5:25 pm I received an acknowledgement from the Chancery office of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alberta:    

Dear Mrs. MacEachern, 

We acknowledge receipt of your message. Thank you.

This was in reply to my email of 30 August 2010 asking for Archbishop Richard Smith’s response to the allegations of the Pembroke Priests for Justice.

That’s it to date.  No comment as yet from either Archbishop Brendan O’Brien or Archbishop Richard Smith.

(4)  Busy month

There are a series of court dates this month: 

(5)  Articles

Two media articles posted:

(i) 31 August 2010:  Vatican official seeks ‘closure’ on abuse 

I don’t understand what’s going on here.

(ii) 31 August 2010:  Under-fire Irish Cardinal vows to join Pope on visit to Britain

First word that the resignation of the two auxiliary bishops of Dublin has been reversed, and now a defiant Cardinal Sean Brady says he will accompany Pope Benedict XVI during the Pope’s visit to Scotland and England.

It all bodes for trouble.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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2 Responses to It begs the question…

  1. Sylvia says:

    Re Father Michael Walsh…

    There were two specific incidents when visiting Newfoundlanders were shocked to find him saying Mass – one incident was at the Basilica, the was at a church in nearby Darthouth.

    And, the hospitai in which he was serving as Chaplain was the Victoria General. I will update the page shortly.

  2. Cheryl Helena Thomson says:

    Since I am here in St. John’s, Newfoundland (moved here last year), I have attended two special services at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, celebrated by Archbishop Martin Currie – namely, Christmas Eve, and the Anniversary Commemoration of the March 9, 2009 Cougar Helicopter Crash. I would very much appreciate suggestions as to how I might be able to influence Archbishop Currie to come forward with pertinent information on Father Michael Walsh. My e-mail is rosaryhelena@gmail.com

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