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Due to the latest events I have updated and added further information to  the Father Joe LeClair page.

The latest events are that the diocesan audit (the second) is completed and police have been called in to probe “financial irregularities” at Blessed Sacrament.

17 September 2011: Police to probe financial irregularities at Blessed Sacrament

According to an entry in the weekend bulletin at Blessed Sacrament. letters – plural – from the archdiocese will be available on the parish website this week, and, a week from tomorrow Msgr. Kevin Beach, the Vicar General, will be at the parish hall after the 11 am Mass to speak to parishioners .

17 September 2011: Entry in Blessed Sacrament Parish bulletin 

At this moment in time, that is all I know.  I felt however that since the police are now in the picture the page should be brought up-to-date.  I have also added Father LeClair’s name to the Accused list.

*****

I have heard nothing of the outcome of the Gabriel DelBianco pre-trial.  Given that it was a pre-trial that is probably no surprise.  I will check this week to see when the next court date is scheduled.  [My error.  The Gabriel DelBianco pre-trial is actually scheduled for 22 September 2011.  Father Claude Lefebvre had a court date 16 September 2011 – his preliminary hearing is set for 17 & 18 October 2011]

*****

I found out that Monsignor Martin Wain, and American, was in fact ordained for the Diocese of Peterborough, Ontario in 1981.  This is rather strange.  In 1982, one short year after ordination, he was down at Hundred Acres Monastery in New Boston, NH.  I am still trying to put the pieces together and awaiting response from the Peterborough Diocese to several more queries.  Once I get a few more answers I will give an update.

*****

I would appreciate copies on any legal documents anyone has which can be posted on the site, either in full of with redactions as requested. I would also appreciate books or pamphlets published by dioceses or parishes which you have but no longer use. Ditto Canadian Catholic Church Directories.  All are invaluable to me in sorting out time-lines and who was where when.  If you can help, please email at cornwall@theinquiry.ca

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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12 Responses to Updated

  1. Confused says:

    I am confused. I thought you blogged the sex abuse of minors scandal. Now, you’re going after finances? Admit it: you hate the Church and its priests.

  2. Confused says:

    Apples and oranges, abandoned sheep, apples and oranges.

    Are you the same?

  3. Sylvia says:

    Confused. If you have been following the site for the last year or more you will recall that there have been a number of articles posted regarding priests and financial irregularities. Because of the negative impact these situations have on parishioners who are often already struggling with a sense of betrayal and loss of trust in their clergy wrought by the sex abuse scandal and cover-up I felt I would be remiss if I did not include these on the site: I adapted the Accused page accordingly.

    Father Joe LeClair is by no means the first priest who has been investigated by police in relation to financial irregularities at a parish. Whether or not charges are laid depends on what the investigators find in the course of their investigation. One way or the other, I will, as I always do, update the information accordingly. If charges are not laid I will certainly make that known. Ditto if they are.

    Please note too that the site has been following the case of Father Yvon Doiron of the Bathurst New Brunswick Diocese since last March. He is facing charges related to allegations of theft over $100,000. His trial is scheduled for 25 October 2011.

    You accuse me of hating the Church and its priests. Far from it Confused. If I hated the Church I would be long gone. As for the clergy, I have great respect for some, little for others, and tremendous sympathy for the many who are painted with the same brush as errant and/or predatory clergy. Regarding the latter, the situation unfortunately but understandably will not change until such time as Church officials defrock all those clergy whose presence sullies the priesthood and brings scandal to the Church.

  4. Cheryl-Helene Thomson says:

    Charges of “financial irregularities” certainly do have a negative impact, as Sylvia explains, on parishioners. There is a sense of betrayal and loss of trust in the clergy, similar albeit different to the feelings wrought by a sex abuse scandal and cover-up. For this reason I want to bring up the current situation of Fr. Frank Pavone, president of Priests For Life.

    Although it is an American organization, Fr. Pavone came to London, Ontario, to arrange for the life-saving treatment of “Baby Joseph,” which made headlines all across Canada earlier this year. Fr. Pavone is incardinated in Amarillo, Texas, since the former Bishop there was strongly pro-life, and several years ago he offered Fr. Pavone full support for the growing ministry, which is now the largest pro-life organization in the world.

    According to the documentation of Priests For Life, full financial transparency, regular audits, detailed financial reports, and all the trimmings as it were, have been regularly forwarded to Amarillo for over a decade now. But, as many have heard, the current Bishop Patrick J. Zurek wrote a letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, accusing Pavone of financial irregularities and lack of obedience, and suggesting that parishioners across America be discouraged from further financial support of Priests For Life. Soon after, Zurek announced publicly that Pavone was “suspended” from his Priests For Life ministry and he ordered him to leave his N.Y. offices, cancel his scheduled appearances, and report to Amarillo immediately. Well, Fr. Pavone has done so, in obedience to his Bishop.

    But the Amarillo Diocese has now retracted any “financial irregularities” comments, particularly since it had to acknowledge the Bishop’s damaging letter to the USCCB, which was not kept confidential as intended, but was ‘leaked,’ perhaps by someone favorable, it would seem, to Fr. Pavone.

    Meanwhile, Bishop Zurek was not in Amarillo to meet Fr. Pavone, but instead has taken a 2-week trip to Rio de Janeiro. Well, everyone on all the blogs and comments and the website http://www.freefrfrank.com, and the Facebook page, are discussing Canon Law, the precise meaning of “suspension,” the links between Priests for Life and other groups, such as the abortion counselling ministry Rachel’s Vineyard, and drawing comparisons with other recently disgraced EWTN ‘stars’ such as Fr. Euteneuer and Fr. Corapi.

    But the Fr. Pavone case is rather unique, and because most of us tend to think ‘in categories,’ in our own mental files or boxes, the bigger picture, I think, has been missed. Sorry to go on at such length! But there is a lesson here.

    Many times we think politics, plain old voting-booth politics, has nothing to do with the sex scandal, or the financial scandal stories in Church news. When “Fourth Trimester Abortion” (as columnist Mark Steyn describes it) becomes case law with the Calgary Queen’s Bench Appeals Court’s recent ruling that no ‘manslaughter’ has occurred and that no jail time is required, after a mother has strangled her own child, a few hours after giving birth (negating the findings of two separate juries) – we think politics has nothing to do with it. But Justice Joanne Veit said the absence of an abortion law in Canada, for so long, means that Canadians don’t have a problem with abortion – I paraphrase – realizing how stressed single mothers can become; and so murdering a newborn baby should be okay, too. That’s really pretty much what she said.

    No abortion law on the books? We only have laws when the electorate votes, and when we support political candidates who support the laws we want to have on those books. Similarly, judges will not give pedophile priests more than ‘a slap on the wrist,’ as long as there is no law in Canada making abuse of a position of clerical trust, for sexual gratification, a special category of offense for which severe punishment is warranted. We are seeing this over and over again.

    Getting back to Fr. Pavone, it was his political activism in 2008, against Presidential candidate Barach H. Obama, which I believe has made him a target.

    Fr. Pavone’s current persecution is so obvious that we are all missing it. Politics. No, not Church Politics, National Politics. In 2008, Fr. Pavone was outspokenly anti-Obama. In 2010, Fr. Pavone paticipated in the protest against Obama’s speaking at Notre Dame University, on the grounds that Obama is pro-abortion, and Notre Dame is a Catholic university.

    The Presidential election is next year. Right now, Obama’s poll numbers keep sinking. Obama needs every vote he can get to get re-elected. So how does this look to Obama and his people? Fr. Pavone needs to be taken out. Excuse me for the language, but this is National Politics, Chicago-Style. Why should we be surprised?

    Where does Bidhop Zurek come in? According to Huffington Post columnist Father Alberto Cutie (Episcopalian), writing on Sept. 19: “His bishop in Amarillo is certainly much more progressive than he is, so there could be some ideological clashes there…”

    In America-speak, “progressive” means Democrat. Do these “ideological clashes” translate into the Bishop’s having Democratic associations? Well, yes. His associations include a relationship with former Mayor of San Antonio, Ed Garza. Garza appointed Bishop Zurek to serve on his Committee on Integrity and Trust in Local Government for the city of San Antonio. But Ed Garza, sharing the Democratic leanings of other Hispanics in Texas, endorsed Obama in 2008, saying: “Senator Obama’s unique ability to bring people together and bridge partisan divides make him the best candidate to bring change we can believe in.”

    I don’t want to suggest that Bishop Zurek himself is being a party to a ‘dirty tricks campaign’ against Fr. Frank Pavone, but the possibility exists that circumstances around the Bishop have been manipulated, with an agenda in mind.

    It is the right of everyone to become involved in politics, in order to influence the society in which we live, so that it protects the vulnerable among us. But the problem with politics is that the other side doesn’t always play fair.

    Fr. Pavone was the only minister of any denomination to be admitted to visit Terry Schiavo, before her death. The politics around that story reverberate to this day. You see, another problem with politics is that, in today’s media, factual reporting of a case can be censored by ‘higher ups’. Fr. Pavone and Terry’s parents know what happened in that hospital room. It was never reported as it happened.

  5. Melp says:

    I feel that inclusion of Father Joe Leclair on your website is confusing to those who see your site as ‘blogging the sex abuse scandal of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada’. – Father Joe has never been suspect in any sex abuse scandal. Further, he has consistantly denied any misappropriation of church funds, and from all reports, he has the full support of most of his former parishioners.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      If Deloitte &Touche could not make sense of where the money went, do you think there might be a problem? If the Archdiocese called in the Ottawa Police to initiate an investigation there might be a problem? If Fr. Joe apologized to the Parishioners, there might be a problem?
      You try to change stations by saying the Blog is about sex abuse only. Look around a little more and you will see there are many reports of thieving Priest in the USA and Canada, and elsewhere on this site.
      Why is you people thinl Blessed Sacrament Parish is above scrutiny? Why do you think Fr. Joe is above scrutiny?
      Many Catholics have fallen into Satan’s trap of developing a cult around a Priest they like personally. They fail to understand Faith , and Jesus Christ, and the Holy Trinity are not approving of your cultisms.
      Faith and Worship , and Trust and Praise are reserved for GOD, not for we poor humans.
      The Catholic Church was around many centuries without the Fr. Joe’s of the world, and will be around when they are gone. Pëople who belong to a cult (whether or not they are aware of that fact), are always protesting that they could not have been hood-winked. Even after there are confessions of guilt, they make excuses because their Pride tells them they could not have been wrong- thus the expression- Pride goeth before the fall.
      I will pray that all of you will have the Grace to accept the truth when it is staring you in the face.

  6. Sylvia says:

    Melp, as 1 abandoned sheep says, there are any articles on the site regarding priests and questions regarding financial indiscretions. Those who follow the site regularly are aware of that.

    The fact that Father Joe has consistently denied any misappropriation of funds is as irrelevant as the fact that he has full support of “most” of his parishioners. Let’s let the police conduct their investigation. If police find grounds to lay charges, charges will be laid. If police can not found sufficient grounds to lay charges, then that will be the end of it.

  7. Melp says:

    I pointed out that your site says beside it’s title ‘blogging the sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church in Canada’. I think you should change that if you are now including finances.
    The fact that the audit company could not discern where some of the funds went only proves that accurate records were not kept. That is not solely the responsiblity of the parish priest but also of the parish finance committee, who reportedly did not even bother to meet for an entire year.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Melp. you missed the part where the fellow who was the treasurer (I think) said that Fr. Joe was a one man band. In my few dealings with him that is exactly the impression he gave me. My way or the Highway !

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