What “good” priest molests children?

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I changed Chatter to Dialogue. Someone contacted me wondering about the choice of the word “Chatter.”  I asked for a suggestion.


I really like it.  I think that’s so much better.  I won’t mention the name of the individual in case he would prefer I don’t, but, you know who you are, and I thank you so much 🙂


 I checked on Father Eric Dejaeger omi today.  He continues to self-segregate.  He does not have a TV in his cell, but there is a TV just outside his cell which he can watch.

Weather permitting Dejaeger goes out for fresh air.  He has access to a  computer “in the classroom.”  There is however, no internet access for anyone in the detention centre.  The computer can be used for such things as writing letters and that’s it.

You may have noticed that the last pictures of Dejaeger show him sporting a beard.  That is his choice.  Shaving equipment is supplied so it’s not a case of an inability to shave.

Finally, according to spokesman J.P. Deroy, Dejaeger is very thankful that the staff at the Baffin Correctional Centre are treating him so well.  He apparently did not expect such treatment.

I tried without success to contact to someone to find out if there was yet another charge laid.  I will try again tomorrow.  As I said, I really do not think it is a new charge but do want to be sure.


Yesterday, as promised,  I posted a new page for Father Ivan Payne, a priest known in his homeland of Ireland as Ivan the Terrible.  Payne was convicted in 1998.  He had been molesting since 1968.  In 2002 he was laicized (defrocked)

From 1974 to 1976 Payne studied Canon Law at Ottawa’s St. Paul University.  During his time in Canada Payne regularly assisted at St. Aloysius Gonzaga RC Church in Gatineau, Quebec, a short 10 or 15 minute drive across the Ottawa River. Payne was actively involved with the parish youth group.  He spent numerous weekends at St. Aloysius rectory in order to assist at masses on the weekends.

After his return to Ireland, Payne frequently returned to visit at St. Aloysius.

Since Payne had been molesting since 1968 in Ireland I for one am hard-pressed to believe he stopped while he was in Canada. I think that is sheer common sense.  I shudder to think how many there may be.

So, with Payne there is the issue of victims here in Canada.  There is also the issue of canon law and the interpretation of the same.

Note that Payne was at St. Paul’s from 1974-1976.  Father Frank Morrissey was Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law during those years.

Then, note that upon his return to Ireland Payne was involved with the Dublin Marriage Tribunal.  Bad enough.

Note that the first sex abuse allegations against Payne were made known to the archdiocese in 1981. And that nothing was done.

And then,  note that in 1985 a Monsignor Gerard Sheehy was pushing to get Payne well-positioned in the Archdiocese of Dublin.   In fact Sheehy had unsuccessfully petitioned one Dublin Archbishop to appoint Payne as assistant Judicial Vicar.  He tried again, and succeeded  with Archbishop Kevin McNamara

That means that after it was known that Payne was a child molester Sheehy was pushing to get Payne a key post in the archdiocese.

What caught my attention here is that Sheehy was not just another priest.  In fact, Monsignor Sheehy, who had his Doctorate in canon Law, was the Chair of the Editorial Board which published a commentary on the “new” (1983) code of Canon Law.  In other words, Sheehy chaired the board which published a book interpreting the code.

The commentary The Canon Law: Letter and Spirit, (published in 1995) was prepared by the Canon Laws Society of Great Britain and Ireland in association with The Canadian Canon Law Society.

Father Frank Morrissey omi JCD was Consultant Editor for the project.

The book is marketed around the world.  It is one of about three or four such commentaries on the code.  There may be more, but there are three which are especially popular, The Canon Law being one of the three.

It is hard not to wonder if Payne had any input, direct or indirect, into the text?  It wouldn’t surprise me.  He would have known Morrissey from his days at St. Paul, and Sheehy obviously had a soft spot for him and felt that molester or no Payne had what it took to serve as assistant Judicial Vicar.

In fact, after the sex abuse allegations became public Sheehy actually opposed Payne’s removal from the marriage tribunal, and that with the unbelievable claim that  “it would likely be the destruction of a good priest.”

A “good”  priest?

Payne, “Ivan the Terrible, a “good” priest?

This?  From a canon lawyer.  From a priest with a doctorate in canon law?

It seems that at that moment in time  Sheehy was more concerned with Father Payne than he was with the victims, or the message conveyed to the faithful  regarding the sanctity of the priesthood, and/or the good of the Church.

What “good” priest molests children?  I know of none.  Not a single one.

Note too it was Sheehy who campaigned to have Payne appointed to a chaplaincy.

Sound familiar?

Sheehy was actually agitating to have this sorry excuse for a priest shipped off to  tend to the sick and dying, or somewhere as a chaplain where, I suppose, Payne could feel good about himself …..and not a soul would ever guess what a wolf in sheep’s clothing he was.

What does that tell us about the minds which have been interpreting the 1983 Code of Canon Law?

We know where Father Morrissey stands on such matters.  Father Morrissey has always objected to defrocking clerical sexual predators.  According to Morrissey  there is $250,00 invested in a priest , ergo it would be a bad business investment to defrock a clerical molester.

Morrissey was instrumental in the compilation of From Pain to Hope, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops sex abuse guidelines which has no problem advocating the reintegration of molesters .

Part of the Pain to Hope team was convicted molester  Father Peter O’Hanley.   Morrisey said O’Hanley was on board as a victim.  Well, victim he may be, but molester he is.  Why would a anyone ask a convicted clerical molester to help hammer out the bishops’ sex abuse guidelines?

I will add another layer to this, something I blogged about Father Morrissey and canon law back on 12 August 2006.  It was posted after certain documents were entered into evidence during the Cornwall Public Inquiry.  It relates to canon law and Father Morrissey omi

The Morrissey/King documents

It seems that back in 1986/1987/1988 Fr. Frank Morrissey was busily helping the world to interpret the new Code of Canon Law. To that end it is known that he had been invited by someone or other to address a group of clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, and that he was working on a draft presentation for the bishops of Canada.

Jeffrey King, a late vocation to the priesthood (age 58 when ordained) but then still very much an Ottawa lawyer, apparently lent a hand in some fashion and provided legal input from a secular perspective.

An area of great concern to the pair seemed to be that of ensuring that bishops could not be legally compelled to disclose any statements made by suspect clerical sexual predators in the presence of the bishop.

As I see it, the object of the exercise was to circumvent the law of the land in such a fashion that a bishop could legally withhold information which could see an alleged clerical molester convicted in a court of law. Why else resort to such convoluted measures?

The following paragraphs then are excerpts of a Jeffrey King document which were read into the record during the examination of Bishop Durocher:

…in my opinion it is essential that there be a thorough understanding by the Bishops of the laws of privileged evidence in our courts.

Evidence that is created either verbally, visually or by way of written record that is communicated to a lawyer in anticipation of litigation is privileged information. There is no law in Canada that will compel disclosure of such evidence. It is therefore essential that a situation be created whereby no Bishop or diocesan authority could be compelled to appear in court to give evidence of any statement given either verbally or in writing relating to a denunciation.

Under the laws in effect in each Province in Canada no one can any longer expect that there is any privileged information within the Church and this would include what is called [the] Secret Archives of any diocese. I suggest that paragraph 3 replace paragraph 2 in that the diocese should provide the accused cleric immediately with a trial lawyer who is distinct from the diocese’s attorney.

Any evidence obtained by way of a statement from the accused could not then be compelled as evidence in any court of law.

By having the lawyers attend such a meeting the laws of evidence would then apply and the information obtained could then be considered privileged information. At all times the diocesan lawyer should be made a member of such an inquiry in order that the information would remain privileged.


There are without doubt good and decent canon lawyers out there, but unfortunately the Monsignor Sheehys and Father Morrissey have had the corner on the market.

I have mentioned in the past that Father John Huels and Monsignor John Redken are both now part of the Faculty of Canon Law at St. Paul’s.

Why?  Why would any Catholic university worth its salt retain these two to teach canon law to anyone?

Any why does not an episcopal soul In Canada do something to get rid of the pair?  (I will make further comment on this tomorrow)

But, then, I suppose, why would anyone want a clerical molester to be assistant Judicial Vicar of a large archdiocese?  Or serve as chaplain to anyone?

And why would anyone call “Ivan the Terrible a “good” priest”?

For that matter, why would anyone think it’s a good  thing to recycle a clerical molester anywhere?

Or why would anyone think it’s fair to ‘reintegrate’ a clerical sexual predator without tell Roman Catholics that their priest is a molester?

According to Father Morrissey’s CV, Father Morrissey

Special adviser to Episcopal Conferences throughout the world for the preparation and implementation of the Code of Canon Law. In this regard, has been invited to lecture to Bishops, priests, religious and lay persons in Vatican City, England, Ireland, France, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Canada, USA, South Africa, Lesotho, Ghana, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Denmark and Peru.

All over the world.  The same molester-friendly interpretation of the Code of Canon Law goes far and wide.

There’s more, but really and truly,

that’s enough for now


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1 Response to What “good” priest molests children?

  1. Larry Green says:

    A “good” priest who molests children . One has to wonder what kind of sick thought proccess would deduce such a self contradictory proposition . Perhaps Sheehy feels that Payne is ” good ” – because- he is so terrible. It seems we shouldnt want to destroy his terribleness because that is his good even if his victims never understand that. Who knows.

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