Bad news

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A court date for ex priest Albert Leblanc in the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia courthouse today.  I don’t have the actual time.

I was told that today is for “pleas to be entered.” 

Please keep the complainants in your prayers, and please blog or send me an email (cornwall@theinquiry.ca) with news of the outcome.

*****

I don’t know what to say any more.  I think I have worn out “sick.”  But, I really and truly am sick – again.

The bad news today is that a convicted child molester is merrily pastoring the flock at Holy Redeemer and St. Nicholas churches in Whitney Pier, Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Father Errol MacDonald was charged in 1995.  He was convicted.  MacDonald, a late vocation to the priesthood (1989), molested two boys in 1969 and the early 70s while he was a teacher.  He was sentenced to one year jail and two years probation.  By 1999 MacDonald had been recycled into Holy Redeemer and St. Nicholas in Whitney Pier, Sydney, Nova Scotia.  And, he’s still there!

Sydney is part of the Diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.  That’s the same diocese Bishop Raymond Lahey was heading when he was caught with child porn on his computer.

I have very little information on MacDonald, but enough to see that it must have been Bishop Colin Campbell who agreed to incardinate MacDonald as a priest in the Antigonish Diocese, and enough to sort out that MacDonald was a late vocation – probably well into his 40s when he was ordained, which means he must have been in his late 30s or early 40s when he had a rather belated ‘call’ to the priesthood?

MacDonald was a teacher when he molested two boys.  From what I can see there was nary a word of that dimension of his past life.   If any knew before MacDonald’s ordination, their lips were sealed! 

No matter, Errol MacDonald’s dirty little secrets caught up with him in 1995.  Thanks to the courage of two of his two victims who summoned the where-with-all to go to police, his past caught up with him.

By then, Errol MacDonald was a Roman Catholic priest.

MacDonald was convicted.  But then, look what happened….

Read the CBC news article posted at the bottom of the Father Errol MacDonald page:  a few quotes and quick comments:

(1) Court documents detailed two incidents involving two different boys — the evidence in the first case described fondling and the second case involved oral and anal sex.

Anal sex.  The law of the land in 1969 and the early 70s was that buggery was a crime.  Why no buggery charge?

And look at that.  One year!  A one year sentence.  One year in jail for the destruction of two lives!

(2) When the charges were laid, MacDonald informed the diocese of Antigonish and was sent to a clinic in the United States for six months of treatment. He was then sentenced to a year in prison and two years’ probation.

Did MacDonald not reveal his dark past when he approached the bishop to say he felt he had been called by God to become a priest?  Was he, an aspiring priest, less than truthful?  Did he outright lie?

(3)  Jean Murphy, the chair of the parish council, said members of the council were told of MacDonald’s convictions when they were approached about him becoming their priest.

“I know that the parish council were fully aware and they were representing the parish so they made the decision on behalf of the parish,” she said.

 Why was the entire parish not told that Father MacDonald is a convicted child molester? 

Who would parish counsellors deny such crucial knowledge to fellow parishioners?

Who gave the chair of any parish council or any parish counsellors the authority to make such important decisions on behalf of fellow parishioners and parents? What right does anyone have to usurp the role of parents to protect their children? Why would any Catholic play along with a diocesan game geared to delibrately deceive the faithful?

(4)  Father Paul Abbass, the spokesman for the diocese of Antigonish, said the church believes in redemption and healing and he has no concerns about MacDonald’s presence at Holy Redeemer.

Father Abbass has no problem with a convicted child molester serving the flock at Holy Redeemer! 

Exactly.

And therein lies the problem. 

When it comes to clerical molesters, that’s the great divide which exists between we the laity and so many of our bishops and clergy.  Most of them have no problem with clerical molesters floating around churches, schools, marriage tribunals, universities and/or hopsitals.  Most of us do.

(5) “It is possible for a priest or another employee, actually, who has had a charge like that or a conviction to re-enter the ministry or to be further employed with us, if and when they have met all of the criteria of the policy itself,” he [Abbass] said.

True.  Unfortunately, so very very true. They just slip them in, ever so quietly.  It’s their little secret.  Sad to say, the handful of laity who are made privy to the secret toe the line.  

I have said it before and will say it again, if it’s no big deal and these clercial molesters meet all the “criteria,” then for goodness sake do us all a favour and shout it from the rooftops: “Father X is a convicted child molester.  He’s happy to be here with you.  Once upon a time he made a little mistake, but he told us he hasn’t made a mistake for a long time, and he wants you to know that he’s just really anxious to get back to teaching Catholics by word and deed how to live holy and chaste lives.  He promises that he will strive not to lay a wayward hand on a single child and, he promises too that if perchance he should have a little slip he will check in for further treatment right away. “

How ridiculous!   They should be laicized/defrocked. 

(6) Murphy said there are no restrictions on MacDonald’s interaction with children.

????!!!!!!

Unbelievable!!!!!!

The audacity.  The gall.

(7)  “You know, we all have the right to move on in our lives and if we make errors, I would hope that somebody would be able to forgive us,” she [Murphy] said.

Errors.  These criminal acts were just “errors” ?

A teacher fondling a young boy. An error?

A teacher having oral sex with a young boy.  An error?

 A teacher buggering a young boy.  An error?   

Forgiveness is one thing.  Wilfully placing children at risk is another.  Creating scandal is yet another.  And sullying the institution of the priesthood is another.

And, ….what about the millstone?  That’s biblical.  That’s Catholic.  That’s from the mouth of Our Lord Himself. I can think of no better source.

Father Errol MacDonald should have been and should be laicized/defrocked.  Let him seek his salvation as a layman.

It makes one wonder does it not?  How many others are there?  How many other convicted clerical molesters who have been stealthily recycled are right now blithely, and boldly, and brazenly sashaying around sanctuaries?

How many? 

One final thought.  Is it just me, or are there a number of convicted or known child molesters who were former teachers?

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 when

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Raymond Lahey, recycled, Scandal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bad news

  1. Lina says:

    Sylvia,

    Father Errol MacDonald….fits the pattern what the Bishop do or I should say should NOT do.

    So the Catholic Church is changing their policies to protect the innocence? I don’t think so!

    This priest MacDonald got lots of help! Jean Murphy, the chair of the parish council, and the members of the council who were told of ‘Father Errol MacDonald’ convictions when they were approached about him becoming their priest.

    Jean Murphy said, “I know that the parish council were fully aware and they were representing the parish so they made the decision on behalf of the parish,” she said.

    Father Errol MacDonald a full size well grown up adult made an error and a mistake?

    A mistake is when you put your shoe on the wrong foot or you went to a dental appointment for 9:30 a.m. but your appointment was at 9:00 a.m.

    This priest Errol MacDonald did not make a mistake he committed crimes against the innocent. True, he did do his time but still should not be there as a priest.

    This is a perfect example why the Catholic Church’s leaders like this priest superiors Bishop & fellow priest(s) and laity did NOT care about what this convicted priest did but cared only about the image of the Church.
    And..they have plenty of supporters to boot!

    This Father Paul Abbass, the spokesman for the diocese of Antigonish, said the church believes in redemption and healing and he has no concerns about MacDonald’s presence at Holy Redeemer. This priest is a die heart true Bishop’s man! Must be seeking a promotion to be a Monsignor?

    The laity in THIS situation that knew about this priest ARE enablers in this tragedy. This is what happens when YOU do not question a Bishop’s credibility and you do not see the big picture of this major faux pas. Talk about being in denial.

    A true and wise quote from a Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Pembroke ON. From a Fr. T. Moyle. (pertaining to cover-ups about scandals in the Catholic Church)

    “People understand that there will be ‘bad priests’ in the Church. They won’t understand or accept the fact that you treat secrecy as being more important than justice.”

    In this case, the supporters of Fr. E. MacDonald are NOT even ashamed but are proud of their decision they made.

    This beyond sick… it is a NIGHTMARE that’s real!

    The clergy abuse victims are martyrs in the making. They are the true saints!

    Lina

  2. marie says:

    Any recent news to follow up on the evil in the churches.?
    Thank you, marie

  3. Mike Mc says:

    “It makes one wonder does it not? How many others are there? How many other convicted clerical molesters who have been stealthily recycled are right now blithely, and boldly, and brazenly sashaying around sanctuaries?”

    Sylvia, what you say is so very true!

    In fact, your essay above is one of the most clearest and sensible essays I have ever read. You couldn’t have stated the truth any better or clearer. Sexual abuse is sexual abuse…a crime! Yes, pay the time, get help, …..but DO NOT reinstate this man to the priesthood. This is a crime in itself…..and the Church MUST be held accountable.

    I’m shocked, dismayed, annoyed. I can’t believe this happened.

    The priest made past “errors”. ???????

    The man committed a crime. He will probably commit this crime again. Just give him time.

    Please watch him like a hawk.

    I believe your essay, Sylvia, should be submitted to the Pope. I wouldn’t be surprised if he reacted just like I have. (I know this sounds pretty simple, but I would love to hear the Pope’s response to your views (Bad News) above.)

  4. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Mike Mc.

    I just did a quick look in the new Canadian Catholic Church Directory. I don’t see Father MacDonald’s name in the index. I wonder if he died? Does anyone know?

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