Whose fault was it?

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I am both intrigued and disturbed by the profile of Father Ken Greer. A few thoughts and questions:

(1)  Media reports indicate Greer sexually abused five boys while he  served in Dysart, Saskatchewan. 

Also, according to media reports, Greer was parish priest in Dysart 1969-1975.  

In 1999 Greer entered a guilty plea to the charges.

(2) According to the Regina Archdiocese centennial publication Faith Alive (2010), from 1975 to 1993 Greer served with the Canadian Forces as military chaplain.

In other words, Greer went from Dysart to the military.  Although technically he still ‘belonged’ to and remained incardinated in the Archdiocese of Regina, he was physically gone, both from Dysart and from the Regina Archdiocese.  From the day he joined the chaplaincy corps this molester was off across the country from one base to the other serving as chaplain for our military and their families.  That means he was saying Mass, hearing confessions, preparing children for their first Communion and first Confessions,  and, of course, dealing with altar servers before, during and after Masses.

As I query on the page, is it really sheer happenstance that Greer decided to become a military chaplain in 1975? 

I can not help but wonder if there was a sex abuse complaint filed with the diocese in the mid 70s?  I can not help but wonder if there were deals and/or promises made, and on the heels of that Greer was whisked away, out of sight and out of mind.

Yes, of course, I could be wrong.  But given the way reports of clerical sexual abuse have been handled by diocesan officials over the years, this just has that look and smell about it. It  would not surprise me in the least.  Did Archbishop Charles Aimé Halpin know that Greer was a molester?

Either way, in 1975 a clerical child molester was off across the country, serving unsuspecting and trusting military families .  It is known that Greer served in  CFB Cold Lake, CFB Esquimalt, CFB Trenton and probably North Bay. 

I shudder at the thought.

(3)  After his career as a military chaplain came to an end (probably mandatory retirement due to age), Greer was back to the Archdiocese of Regina.  Halpin was still Archbishop of Regina.

There is a one year discrepancy in dates re Greer’s return.  According to Faith Alive Greer served as military chaplain from 1975-1993, and at St. Gerard’s Roman Catholic Church in Yorkton  1992-1997, but the 1993 Canadian Catholic Church Directory lists him at Yorkton so he probably left he military sometime in 1992.  Perhaps official paperwork for his release was not completed until 1993>

The real question here regarding Greer’s return to ministry in the Regina Archdiocese is, yet again, :  did Halpin know that Greer was a molester?  And, for that matter, did whoever administered the archdiocese while the seat was vacant (April 1994-June 1995) know? And, when Joseph Mallon took the archdiocesan reins in June 1995, did he know?

(4)  I don’t know when Greer was charged.  I am trying to get further information.  It would seem however that he was probably charged in 1998, hence the Lethbridge, Alberta address in the 1998 and 1999 CCCD. I have no idea what took him to Lethbridge.  Family?  Friends? I am trying to find out.

(5)  Five young lads molested and the trial judge, Provincial Court Justice Denis Fenwick,  came up with an outrageous conditional  sentence of 18 months concurrent for each of  the five offences.   No jail time!

This, I would say, is a judicial scandal heaped on the shoulders of a Church scandal.  A disgrace.  An absolute disgrace.

Note that in handing convicted clerical molester Father Gilles Doucette a similar conditional sentence Justice Justice Mona Lynn Dovell turned to Fenwick’s ruling as follows:

Defence counsel referred the Court to a transcript of the sentencing decision of Fenwick, P.C.J. in the case of R. v. Kenneth Greer, dated August 9, 1999, a 65-year old Roman Catholic priest at Dysart, Saskatchewan, who plead guilty to five acts of gross indecency against five individuals between the years of 1968 and 1974.  The learned Provincial Court Judge in that case sentenced the priest to a conditional sentence of 18 months concurrent for each of the five offences.  It should be noted, however, in that case the accused plead guilty and thus the complainants did not have to go through the trauma of testifying at trial and the accused had realized his actions were illegal and immoral and had actively sought treatment for his illness. 

She added:

45]    It is always necessary to also consider the provisions of  s. 718.2(d) in that an offender should not be deprived of liberty if less restrictive sanctions may be appropriate in the circumstances and as stated in s. 718.2(e) in that all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all offenders. 

There you go!  Anything but imprisonment is “reasonable” for these clerical molesters who have raped the very souls of their victims.

I have a few comments on this:

(i) Note the old judicial saw to rationalize the kid gloves: “the accused plead guilt” and thus “the complainants did not have to go through the trauma of testifying.”  And, “the accused had realized his actions were illegal and immoral and had actively sought treatment for his illness.”

An illness?  This evil perversion is an illness?   These offences against God, Church and man are an illness?  They’re not sins.  They’re not crimes.  They are an “illness”?

Who was it Who said:  “But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.”? (St. Matthew 18:6)

Did Our Lord Himself really have it all wrong?

(ii) As for the molester pleading guilty, how many years did it take for them to acknowledge their guilt?  Is it not a touch strange that admission of guilt came only after they were ‘caught.’

(iii) And as for sparing the victims “the trauma” of  testifying at trial, I can’t help but wonder who in truth is being spared with these 11th hour guilty pleas?  If the idea is to spare the victims any further trauma then why not acknowledge guilt when the charges are first laid?

(iv)  How long precisely do judges think it should it take for a Roman Catholic  priest entrusted with the care and guidance of souls to some to the  ‘realization’ that molesting children is both illegal and immoral?  Twenty years?  Thirty years? Forty years? Or, only when they get caught?

Does it matter if the clerical molester’s ‘realization’ is synonymous with his being caught, charged and subsequent recognition that he’s not going to get off with it?

(v)  How long do the judges think it should take for clerical molesters to seek treatment?  Twenty years?  Thirty years? Forty years? Or, only when they get caught?

(6)  Why is Father Ken Greer, a convicted child molester, is permitted to publicly assist at Masses and function as a priest at funeral homes? Who gave him faculties to say Mass?  and, why?

Has Father Greer no shame?  Does the Archbishop have no shame?  Do diocesan officials and all those who know and allow this scandal to continue have no shame?

I do believe the perversion of child sexual abuse has been transcended by a unhealthy tolerance and inexplicable sympathy for abusers.  These men have proven themselves unfit to bear the title “Father.”  They should be laicized (defrocked) to ensure they can never again use the priesthood to deceive, betray, seduce and/or bring scandal.   Let them work out their own salvation as laymen. 

Lest we ever forget:

But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.”?

(7) In 2000 the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld the conditional sentence.  The justices apparently agreed that Greere’s loss of job and reputation was punishment enough.  Whose fault was it he lost his reputation? And how did he lose it?

According to the 20 January 2000 CBC report

 “His [Greer’s] reputation has been ruined. And that can’t be recovered…That’s lost. And at 66 years of age, that’s all most people have, is their former work reputation.”

Again, whose fault was it that Greer lost reputation?  That was Greer’s doing.  No one else’s. 

Was that truly one of the reasons the court upheld Fenwick’s conditional sentence? It certainly looks that way.  If yes, how does that wash as an excuse NOT to incarcerate a clerical molester?

And what of Greer’s victims?  What do they have?  Thirty-five years or so after their innocence was so cruelly violated, and their trust was so selfishly betrayed, and their souls were so godlessly raped by a Roman Catholic priest, what do they have?

If anyone can fill in any information on Father Greer please post a comment or contact me at cornwall@theinquiry.ca


I have posted two articles regarding the Canadian input to the Apostolic Visitation in Ireland:

 (1) 23 December 2010: Prendergast conducts first phase of Irish Apostolic Visitation 

Note the following:

Jesus had many reasons to reject His chosen Apostles, the “antecedents of His bishops and priests of today, but He does not do this,” Prendergast said. “Rather He constantly takes them aside to teach them, and, through them, He teaches us His followers.”

What is the message from Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendegast sj here?  Recycle molesters?  Don’t “reject” molesters by laicizing them?  Is that it?  Take them aside and teach them and then, and then …recycle them?

Am I reading it wrong? 

(2) 17 January 2011: Child abuse won’t happen again: Pope 

If Toronto’s Archbishop Collns truly is anxious to prevent “this evil” of clerical abuse and “deal with it effectively” wherever it is found, then perhaps he would consider dealing with it effectively in his own backyard in Canada.  Perhaps he might urge his fellow Canadian bishops to reveal the names and release the records of all known clerical molesters in Canada, both those who are currently functioning as priests in Canada and those functioning as priests out of the country?


There is a half day booked for motions re the Father Lucien Lussier charges tomorrow (18 January 2011):   10 am, Cornwall, Ontario courthouse.

Enough for now

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Bishops, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Cornwall, Ireland, Scandal, Treatment centres, Vatican and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Whose fault was it?

  1. Sylvia says:

    One thing I forgot. Greer’s current address in an upscale neighbourhood in Regina (Williston Dr.) There are children in the neighbourhood. There is a park not too far away

    Do the neighbours know that Greer is a convicted molester?

  2. Newfoundland Dog says:

    Sylvia, after posting Whose fault was it?, I think you well deserve a good night of ‘the sleep of the just’. Here’s one who shares your frustration and admires your efforts, on this site, to present every aspect and opinion on the issues addressed. How many good Catholics, I wonder, are unaware of the extent of the problem of clergy sexual abuse and how the Church is actually handling it? Would to God that every Catholic was made aware of your site! I’m passing along the word every chance I get and I hope all your readers are doing the same.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Thank you Newfoundland Dog 🙂 Yes, unfortunately many many Catholics have not the slightest idea of the extent of the problem. I know many myself who just don’t want to hear about it. I don’t understand that at all – I wish I did.

  4. just another victim says:

    I have to wonder if these guys are convicted sexual abusers, how did they get pass ports to get into the States to have treatment and why treatment in the States and not Canada? They have a criminal record someone with a drunk driving conviction can’t get a passport, but a child molester can?

    The fault only lies with those who do the crime and those who cover it up.

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