Unanswered questions

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The best laid plans of mice and men…

I had unexpected but very welcome company this morning and for lunch.  Then, mid after noon when I was all set to get to work on the phone I discovered that my phone line is dead.  Dead as a door nail.  Thankfully I still have access to the internet and email.  The problem has been reported to Ma Bell and the technicians will be around to fix it by noon tomorrow.

Oh my, do I miss my phone 🙂

Anyway, I did some work on the Father Joseph P Moore page.  There are a few things I need to sort out there before I post.

For now, I will post the email exchange which transpired after I attempted to get further information regarding convicted child molester Father Michael J Walsh’s long-term service with the Archdiocese of Halifax. (I will post the info re my attemtps to get answers from Ottawa’s Vicar General Monsignor Beach later this evening or tomorrow.)

…………………………….

 

On 01 February 2011 I attempted to contact the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Halifax, Deacon Robert Britton.  I had questions regarding Father Michael J Walsh’s service with the Archdiocese .  I knew that Deacon Britton was familiar with the Father Walsh situation hence me decision to contact him.

I left a message on the Deacon’s answering machine.

The following day I received this email.:

—–Original Message—–
From: Marilyn Sweet
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 2:20 PM
To: cornwall@theinquiry.ca
Subject: Sylvia’s Site Contact: your calls to the Archdiocese of Halifax

To: Webmaster

From:
Marilyn Sweet
msweet@catholichalifax.org

Message:
Dear Ms. MacEachern,

Please forward your inquiry to this email address.

Thank you.
Marilyn Sweet
Archdiocese of Halifax
msweet@catholichalifax.org

 

I replied:

—–Original Message—–
From: Sylvia [mailto:cornwall@theinquiry.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 6:12 PM
To: Marilyn Sweet
Subject: Re: Sylvia’s Site Contact: your calls to the Archdiocese of Halifax

Thank you.  I have a number of questions which I had hoped to ask the Chancellor.  I will direct them to you Ms. Sweet.   First I must ask are you correctly identified as the Archbishop’s Secretary, or a spokesperson for the Archdiocese, or both?

Here are my questions regarding Father Michael J Walsh:

(1) The Archdiocese

When did Father Michael J Walsh arrive in the Archdiocese of Halifax?

When did he leave?

What information did the Archdiocese have on file regarding Father Walsh’s conviction?

I was told that the archdiocese did not have Father Walsh’s date of birth. Is that fact?

According to Church directories Father Walsh became incardinated in the Archdiocese of Halifax and then changed his incardination bask to Grand Falls, Newfoundland.  If that is accurate, when did Father Walsh become incardinated in Halifax, and when did he change his incardination back to Grand Falls?

I know that Father Walsh was at St. Mary’s Basilica, St. Peter’s in Dartmouth and St. Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs in Halifax.  What other churches did Father Walsh assist at or which other rectories did he live in during his years in the Halifax Archdiocese

Was Father Walsh in the Archdiocese of Halifax in 2003?  According to  The Story of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Harbour Grace & Grand Falls Newfoundland he was working in Montreal in 2003.
.

(2) St. Mary’s Basilica

When did Father Walsh move into St. Mary’s?

When did he leave?

(3) Hospital Chaplaincy

Where and when did Father Walsh attain the required credentials to be a hospital chaplain?

When and by whom was Father Walsh hired to serve as a chaplain at the Halifax Infirmary?

When did he start working at the Infirmary?

Did he work at the Infirmary for the duration of his time in the archdiocese?

Was he an employee of  the Archdiocese?

Were any staff at the hospital advised that Father Walsh was a convicted child molester?  If not, why not?

I was told that all chaplains in the archdiocese now undergo criminal checks.  When did such criminal checks become policy?

Would a priest who is a known child molester or sexual predator  be hired today to serve as a hospital chaplain in the Archdiocese?

(4) St. Peter’s in Dartmouth

When was Father Walsh assigned to assist at or live at St. Peter’s in Dartmouth?

Did he live in the rectory?

When did he leave?

Who was the parish priest at St. Peter’s and was he aware of Father Walsh’s background?

(5) St. Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs in Halifax

Why and when was Father Walsh relocated to St. Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs in Halifax

Given the upset of the St. Peter’s parishioners, why were the parishioners of St. Thomas Aquinas not told that Father Walsh is a convicted child molester?

Is it true that after parishioners learned of Father Walsh’s conviction Archbishop Mancini limited Father Walsh’s ministry to that of his chaplaincy at the Infirmary?

If yes, when.?

why?

what were the limits imposed?

Was Father Walsh advised?

Father Mallon knew of Father Walsh’s conviction but seemed to think there was incident of sex abuse.  What were priests in the archdiocese told of Father Walsh’s conviction?

When did Father Walsh move out of the rectory?

(6) Canon Law

When and where did Father Walsh attain his licentiate in Canon Law?

When and where did Father Walsh attain his Doctorate in canon Law?

When did Father Walsh first start to work with the diocesan Marriage Tribunal?

Did Father Walsh provide any canonical services related to allegations of child sex abuse?

Did Father Walsh provide any assistance in the compilation of the archdiocese’s sex abuse protocols?

(7) Review

I was told that the Pastoral Council from St. Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs requested a review or inquiry. Is there in fact  a review of the manner in which Father Walsh served in the Halifax Archdiocese under way or has one been conducted?

If a review was conducted, could I please have a copy of the report?

If no review was conducted and none is under way, why not?

I was also told that the Archbishop’s tone in dealing with parishioners from St. Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs people was arrogant and dismissive. Would Archbishop Mancini agree or disagree with that observation?

Those are my questions.

Thanking you in advance for your time,

Yours truly,

Sylvia MacEachern

 

Eight days later I received the following response: 

From: Marilyn Sweet
Sent:  Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:21 AM
To: cornwall@theinquiry.ca
Subject: Sylvia’s Site Contact: your calls to the Archdiocese of Halifax

February 9, 2011

Dear Ms. MacEachern,
In response to your inquiry concerning Father Michael James Walsh and his time in the Archdiocese of Halifax, I can advise you that

1. Father Michael James Walsh, a priest of the Diocese of Grand Falls, NL, served in the Archdiocese of Halifax from 1997-2009, as Hospital Chaplain in the Veterans Hospital Building. 

2. Father Michael James Walsh was not incardinated in the Archdiocese of Halifax at any time.

3. Father Michael James Walsh does not have a degree in Canon Law.

The Archdiocese will not be providing further information on this matter.  You may wish to contact Father Michael James Walsh directly.

Marilyn J. Sweet
Communications Officer
Archdiocese of Halifax
902 429-9800 x 312

 

I replied:

—–Original Message—–
From: Sylvia [mailto:cornwall@theinquiry.ca]
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2011 11:53 AM
To: Marilyn Sweet
Subject: Re: Sylvia’s Site Contact: your calls to the Archdiocese of Halifax

Dear Ms. Sweet,

Thank you for your reply.  I am obviously disappointed at the inability to get clarification and/or answers to my questions.

You say that Father Walsh did not attain a degree in Canon Law.  Did Father Walsh serve on the tribunal?  or is that the other Father Michael Walsh and it is he, not Father Michael J Walsh who has the Doctorate in Canon Law?

Thank you,

Sylvia MacEachern

 

No response.

So, was that Father Michael J Walsh serving on the tribunal?  Today I checked online.  I see that Father Michael Walsh JCL is identified as Associate Judicial Vicar ( JCL indicates a licentiate in Canon Law.)  I assume therefore that there are errors in the 2010 Canadian Catholic Church Directory and that (1)  it is this Michael Walsh JCL, not Michael J Walsh JCD, who should be listed as Associate Judicial Vicar, and (2) Michael J Walsh is erroneously shown in the index of priests as having a doctorate in canon law (JCD) and there is no indication that Father Michael Walsh has any canon law credentials.

I am guessing then that Father Michael J Walsh did NOT serve on the marriage tribunal.  But, that’s just guessing.  The question remains unanswered

So, we now know from the diocese that convicted child molester Father Michael J Walsh served in the Halifax Archdiocese from 1997 to 2009. He does NOT  have a degree in Canon Law.  He was never incardinated in the Archdiocese of Halifax.  And we know from other sources that he was saying Masses and hearing confessions at various churches within the Archdiocese, and that parishioners were not advised that he is a convicted child molester, and that  fellow workers at the hospital did not know.

The spokesperson for the Archdiocese refuses to answer all other questions.

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