There’s nothing “historical” here

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Another one charged Friday – charges laid Friday (23 September 2011) for offences allegedly committed 18 September 2011.

I have added  the name of Father Jose Silva to the Accused list.  As you see, Silva. also known as José Gildásico de Sousa Silva, is a priest from the Diocese of Oeiras, Brazil. Ordained in 2003 the 34-year-old priest has been serving in the Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario since 01 October 2009.  That means that Silva was ‘taken in’ by Bishop Tonnos.

The alleged assault occurred 18 September 2011.

The complainant is an 18-year-old boy who alleges he was sexually assaulted after he was invited by Silva, in the midst of some sort of parish festival, to the priest’s residence to see a guitar.

There’s nothing “historical” about these allegations is there?

First, I commend the compliant for contacting police rather than going to the diocese.

Second, I hope this lad is treated better by one and all than was The Skateboarder.  In other words, let’s pray there are no private investigators dispatched by the diocese and/or Silva’s lawyer to try desperately to dig up dirt on the lad and/or start a smear campaign of lies geared to discredit him.

And yes, let’s hope and pray that justice is done and that the lad’s family supports him through this difficult time.

I wonder what brought Silva to Canada?  I know he was serving in a Portuguese parish in Hamilton and that as a Spanish-speaking priest he would be deemed an asset to the Portuguese community.  But, from what I can sort out the Diocese of Oeiras is small and not exactly bursting at the seams with priests.  These are the stats I found from Vatican Information Service in 2008, the year Silva landed in Hamilton:   (area 15,096, population 133,140, Catholics 119,826, priests 12, religious 8) .

Could the Oeiras Diocese spare a priest?

Did the Hamilton Diocese need Silva more than the Oeiras Diocese?

It’s hard not to wonder in this day and age, is it not? Were there any allegations of a sexual nature of any sort against Silva in Brazil? either to diocesan officials in Brazil, or to police in Brazil?

I’ve been searching for info online, but am lost with all the Spanish.  I will see what I can do tomorrow.

Also posted on the page is the press release from the Hamilton Diocese

23 September 2011: Hamilton Diocese Press Release re charges against Father Jose Silva.

Note the following excerpts from the Chancellor’s statement:

“He came to us with appropriate recommendations from his own Bishop”

“he is a young, popular and enthusiastic priest”

“I  very much regret that there will be much turmoil and speculation while the allegation is being investigated by the appropriate authorities.”

” I remind everyone that here in  Canada  the presumption of law is always ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ ”

The police found sufficient evidence to lay charges.  If the  police were required to presume Father Silva or anyone else is  innocent they would never lay charges.  That said, Father Silva is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.   I do believe that as we await trial and a verdict the public has a right to trust that the police got it right, and/or to believe that the complainant is not lying?

No matter, I can only say that I trust that the Chancellor, Bishop and other diocesan officials and lawyers retained by the diocese are equally mindful of the fact even those who allege sex abuse or assault by a priest have a right to their good reputation.

*****

Pre-trial motions for Monsignor Robert Borne start tomorrow in the Pembroke, Ontario courthouse.  I hope some people can get there to keep tabs on what’s happening.  If we were a two-car family I would be there in flash. The motions may seem rather boring but they are important.  This is when Borne’s lawyer may well try to whittle away at the remaining charges, and there will probably be arguments about what can or can not be entered into evidence.  If you are within driving distance of the court house and free to go please do.

As always, keep the complainants in your prayers.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 

 

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