Not on duty when groping

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There were initially five men who filed complaints and had charges laid against Monsignor Robert Borne.   In total there were 19 charges – all  related to allegations of sex abuse when they were teenagers.  By the time the case went to trial the number of complainants had been whittled to two, and the number of charges to four.

The two remaining complainants testified at trial.  There are publication bans on the names of both complainants.

The first complainant, whom I’ll refer to as C1, is an adult male who alleges abuse in 1981 at age 18 and/or 19  by Borne.

The second complainant, whom I’ll refer to as C2, alleges abuse in 1979 at age 16.

C1:  I wasn’t in court for C1’s testimony on Monday but did catch his Tuesday testimony.  My understanding from media coverage and testimony of Day Two  is that C1 testified about three incidents which he says transpired at Borne’s quarters in the St. Columbkille Cathedral Rectory (Bishop’s Palace in  Pembroke,Ontario).  C1 was in his final year of high school at the time (Ontario  still had Grade 13)

C1 testified that on one the first of those occasions he had been drinking.  Borne hugged him, tried to kiss him,  and grabbed his bottom.

According to C1, on another occasion he had had too much to drink, had gone to bed in a bedroom in the palace (across the hall from Borne’s bedroom) and awoke to find Borne on top of him performing oral sex upon him.

The next morning, according to C1, he and Borne had breakfast with Bishop Windle

The third and final incident transpired when C1 was again spending the night at the Palace.  I believe testimony was that he was extremely intoxicated and was spending the night at the palace.   According to C1, during the night  Borne entered the room in which he was sleeping.  When C1 realized he Borne was in the room he pretended to be sick, and began to shake and act as though he was convulsing.  According to C1, Borne, who was thinking of calling an ambulance, called in a Father O’Brien for assistance.  (There were several clergy living at the bishop’s palace at the time, specifically the then Bishop of Pembroke, Joseph Raymond Windle and Fathers O’Brien, Dobec and Borne)

An ambulance was not called.  There are no further allegations from C1.


The Borne investigation began when, during the OPP investigation into sex abuse allegations against Monsignor Bernard Prince, an anonymous tipster advised that   a boy, C2,  may have been molested by Monsignor Robert Borne.

Borne had had a very close relationship with C2’s brother.  C2 actually came to know Borne through Borne’s contact  his older brother.  C2 saw the relationship of Borne and his brother as a friendship.  He would often see and talk to Borne when the priest stopped by the house to his or pick up his brother.

C2’s brother was one of the original complainants who had charges laid against Borne.  Those charges were whittled away before trial.  However, as a 15 year old boy C2 had not an inkling that there was a sexual component to the friendship between his brother and Borne.

Over time C2 started dropping by the rectory to see Borne, sometimes with other friends, and sometimes alone.  According to C2, while at the rectory they would watch TV, drink and socialize.  Borne also allowed him to drive his car in preparation for his drivers test.

The evidence is that C2 made two trips to  Griffith, Ontario  with Borne.  Borne was going to Griffith to fill in for the parish priest:  he was to be there to say Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Griffith and the Saturday evening Mass at St.  Joseph, the mission parish in Esmonde.  The trips were therefore overnighters.

On the first  Griffith  trip Borne was accompanied by C2 and another young lad, age 17.  The second trip, which transpired the following weekend, was just Borne and C2.  The pair travelled to  Griffiths, spent the night, then travelled on to  Toronto  to sight see, and, on the way home spent another night in the  Peterborough  area.

C2 has no recollection of the first weekend at  Griffiths.  He does however recall portions of the second.

C2 testified that in 1977 Borne took him on a trip to  Toronto  via  Griffith.  They stopped in Griffiths where Borne fulfilled his obligations at both Esmonde and Griffith.  They spent the night at the rectory.

C2  testified  that he had been drinking during the evening.  He recalls nothing aside the fact that during the night he became aware that Borne French-kissed him and then performed oral sex on him.  He has no recall of anything else before or after:  he thinks he blocked it out.

Both C1 and C2 talked of drinking and/or getting a little tipsy or drunk in Borne’s company.  According to their testimony alcohol was available.  The testimony would infer that Borne himself rarely drank.

Now, to Monsignor Borne’s testimony. ….

Borne, who was attired in a dark suit and grey shirt which was open at the neck, testified that he was born 07 May 1948 and raised in  Pembroke, Ontario.  He attended  Holy  Name  Elementary School  and St. Columban’s Boy’s School. (St. Columban’s was run by the Christian Brothers. It  closed around 1964.  I have also learned that there was an all boys Christian Brothers school in Renfrew, Bishop Ryan.  It closed around 1963)

Borne attended  St. Augustine’s Seminary and the University of  Toronto.  He was ordained in 1974.

From 1979-1981 Borne lived in the rectory of St. Columbkille’s Cathedral in Pembroke.  (The cathedral rectory is frequently called the Bishop’s Palace.)

Borne was one of four priests who served as part-time chaplains to  Catholic  High School.  The school was located beside the Cathedral.  The priests said Masses, heard confessions and provided counselling to students at Catholic High.  The students often went to see the priests at the Cathedral for counselling.  In 1981 C1 was a Grade 13 student at Catholic High.

I will cover the salient points of Monsignor Borne’s testimony, both his examination in chief (his lawyer, Robert Carew,  posing the questions) and his cross examination (the Crown, John Pepper, posing the questions)

(1)  Borne denies giving the boys alcohol.  He admits to having kept alcohol in his residence.

(2) Both C1 and C2 testified that Borne allowed them to borrow his car.  Borne acknowledged that he did lend the car to both C1 and C2 as well as other students.   He did so, he said, because when he was growing up there were priests who were very generous in loaning their cars.  He also said that at the times he loaned it out he didn’t need use of the car.

(3) According to Borne, he invited C2 and the 17-year-old boy to join him for the weekend when he was covering for a priest in Griffith and Esmonde  because, he said, ‘it was not easy being at the rectory with no one to talk to, ‘so, he invited them to go along and they agreed.

Borne testified in his examination in chief that it was the month of March that he took C2 to  Griffith  and  Toronto.

Under cross examination he was asked if he was certain it was March.  Borne said he thought so.

The Crown quickly proved it could not have been March and must have been April.  The trip was made just after C2 got his driver’s  licence, and he drove the car from Pembroke to  Griffith  and for other portions of the trip.

C2’s 16th birthday was April 1979.

Borne swallowed hard.  He agreed it must have been April.  I truly don’t know what difference this makes to anything aside the fact Borne was proven wrong. Unless it all boils down to temperatures….

In his exam in chief Borne testified that, to cut heating costs,  the upper floor of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church was blocked off, both when he was there with both boys, and a week later when he was there with C2.  That meant of course that the upstairs bedrooms were presumably blocked off and sleeping accommodations were limited to a bedroom on the main floor and a pull out couch in the living room.

According to Borne, when he was there with the two boys on the first trip the boys slept on the pull-out and Borne slept in the bedroom.

On the second trip Borne claims he told C2 to sleep on the pull out, but, according to Borne,  C2 said the pullout was uncomfortable and he wanted to share Borne’s bed.

Under cross examination Borne was sure that even though it was April vs March as he had originally testified,  the upstairs was still boarded up.  But then, apparently to prove the point, Borne said that he recalls taking a shower upstairs and recalling how very cold it was! So, the bathroom was accessible.  Why not the bedrooms?

C2 testified that he had been drinking in the evening.  Borne testified the boy “seemed perfectly sober.”

In his examination in chief, Borne testified, as mentioned above,  that C2 didn’t want to sleep on the couch because it was too uncomfortable, and that he wanted to sleep in Borne’s bed with Borne.  The pair, according to Borne, got into bed, both clad in undershirts and undershorts.

This whole scenario became a bit of a problem for Borne under cross examination.

In relation to his testimony regarding C1, Borne had said he wears pyjamas.

The Crown asked why, when it was so cold, did he go to bed in his undies, and why not his in pyjamas?  And would it not be logical , asked the Crown, when he was travelling with and having overnighters with a 16-year-old boy, that Borne take his pyjamas?

Borne, who seemed to have such excellent recall when talking about what he did and did not do virtually every minute of the trip, doesn’t recall if he took his PJs.

So, back to the pair – the priest and the 16-year-old boy –  getting into bed in their undies.

C2, said Borne, in his examination in chief,  began to talk about an evening where he, C2,  had gotten “wasted,” and something about a sexual encounter with a  girl. They talked about that.  Then, again according to Borne, as they were lying in bed, side by side in their undies, they talked about sex.

And then, according to Borne, the conversation progressed to a point where C2 told him he didn’t mind sex with men or women.

After that, said Borne, there was “mutual groping.”

Borne denied the French kiss, and he denied fellatio. But, there was this groping.

Under cross-examination the Crown hypothesised that Borne had no reason to believe that C2 knew of the “romantic relationship” between Borne and C2’s brother.

Borne took exception to the word “romantic.”“I have difficulty” he said, “ with the word romantic.”

Borne had trouble too when asked is he would agree that the relationship was sexual.

Finally, Borne was asked if there were aspects of  a sexual relationship to the relationship.  Yes.  A flushed-faced Borne agreed to that.

Borne also agreed in his cross examination in chief that, while C2’s parents agreed their son could make the trip with Borne, they  would have been unaware of the relationship he had with their other son, a relationship which had recently come to an end.

Under cross examination Borne agreed that the sofa bed probably would not have been uncomfortable if it was not pulled out to make a bed.  And he agreed that the boy probably could have slept on the couch.  He denied that he was eager to share the bed with the boy

Asked about the conversation he allegedly had with C2 as they lay side by side in bed clad in undies, Borne reiterated that they talked about sex.  And he again said that C2 told him that he was open to sex with men or women.  When the Crown questioned the age of the men the boy might be interested in Borne said he gathered that the boy had had sex with older men before, and, I do believe he followed that up with wondering if the boy might be ‘free.’

However, despite the admission to  ‘groping’ Borne denied that he wanted to have sex with the boy and said he wasn’t interested in sex with him.

When the Crown said, “but you groped him” Borne’s prompt response was ‘yes, and he groped me’!

Asked where he groped the boy, Borne said in the genital region.

Asked how long the groping carried on, he said about 5 minutes or less.

Borne denied that the purpose of the groping was to get sexual pleasure

Asked repeatedly what was the purpose of the groping Borne finally replied:  “Sometimes we act impulsively and without strategizing.”

Asked if he knew the boy was 16, Borne replied “I guess I knew.”

When the Crown said there was no reason C2 would have know Borne was gay, Borne replied “I’m not gay, but no, he would have no reason to know.”

Borne testified that he had no problem sharing the bed with the 16-year-old boy.

Borne agreed with the Crown that he put himself in a position of temptation by going to bed with the boy.

He agreed that he put himself in a situation which almost any member of the Church would criticize.

He also agreed he put himself into a position of betraying some serious promises he had made.

As for the morality of the situation, it was only when the Crown introduced the concept of morality that Borne  mentioned the word!  Once the word morality was on the table Borne testified that he thought he stopped the groping because he became aware of the morality of the situation.

As I said before, Borne denies performing fellatio on thee boy.  He testified in fact that after this five minutes of ‘groping’ he rolled over and went to sleep.

Asked if he was not excited or titillated, Borne’s reply was:  “I don’t think I was.”

He denied having an erection.  He doesn’t know if the C2 did or didn’t.

The Crown questioned if Borne and C2 were lying face to face in the bed.  Borne could not recall.

When the Crown posited that Borne had no information that the boy had previous sexual involvement with another male, Borne said that the fact that the boy said he was open to it led him to believe he must have had some such sexual experience.

Aside his allegations, C2 recalls nothing.  He can not counter any of Borne’s assertions as to what he, C2,  said or did that night.

(3)  Borne had not many, if any, a kind word to say about C1.

In his examination in chief  Borne testified that C1 used to show up at the rectory uninvited, often drunk. Sometimes, according to Borne, C1 would call late at night and Borne would pick him up and bring him back to the rectory. On several occasions Borne decided it would be better for C1 to spend the night at the palace.

Borne claimed that he allowed C2 into the palace and to stay over and so on because he knew that the boy  had difficulties at home.  “I was trying to be that image of Church which reaches out to everyone” he explained

Borne was adamant in his examination in chief that he did not seek C1 out and tolerated all of this because he didn’t want to worsen whatever concept C1 had of the Church.

Indeed, said Borne, he felt intimidated by C1.  He never knew, he testified, how short C1’s fuse was.

Asked in his examination in chief if he had any physically attracted to C1 Borne replied “Absolutely none!”   He then elaborated, and seemingly by way of explanation as to why he would not be attracted to the teen,  that C1 was belligerent and hostile.  He then reiterated that he was not attracted to C1 at all.

On another occasion  he denied any sexual interaction with C1  because “I had no interest in him.”

Later again in his testimony Borne denied any interest in C1 because “of my fear of him” and because of his “surliness.”

Borne complained that if there was alcohol in the rectory C1 helped himself to it and that “I don’t recall any occasion I drank with him.”

According to Borne, C1 prided himself on being an intellectual and he was always questioning everything about the Church.  I got the impression that Borne was annoyed that C1 asked questions?

Also, according to Borne, C1 had concluded that Borne was homosexual and “always went at me about that” to the point that Borne – according to Borne – had had enough and would sarcastically say:  “Oh yeah yeah “

Later Borne testified that as an aside he should mention that his close friends tell him they often don’t know if he’s joking or serious, and so he’d tell C1 “Oh yeah, yeah, I’m a homosexual and I go up to Deep River.”  The message here I presume was that he was joking when he said that and not to be taken seriously.

Under cross examination Borne denied the Crown’s suggestion that C1’s family were devout Polish Roman Catholics.  For one thing said Borne, the mother was not Polish, and, for another they sometimes missed Mass:.  “They were a little less than devout” said Borne.

When the Crown made reference to C1 as a teenage boy, Borne was quick to say:  “He was 19.”  He then agreed with the Crown that that’s a teenager.

When the Crown suggested that Borne allowed C1 to drink in the rectory, Borne replied ‘You didn’t have to offer anything, he’d take it….It wasn’t as though I gave to him and I don’t think I ever offered it.’

Asked if he ever talked to C1 about taking alcohol without permission Borne said he did, but it didn’t get him too far.

From the testimony of C1 and C2 we cold conclude that Borne often invited the boys upstairs to his quarters in the rectory.

The Crown managed to elicit that there would be no alcohol available on the ground floor living room quarters of the rectory, and that Borne did have alcohol in his room upstairs.

Asked by the Crown if he spoke to C1’s parents about the boy’s drinking, Borne said no.

When the Crown said there was nothing to stop him from doing so, Borne went on a ramble about C1’s father and mother and then wrapped it up with the claim that he didn’t want C1 to think he was tattling!

In his examination in chief Borne had complained about C1’s surly behaviour and drinking and so on.  The Crown suggested that Borne didn’t even have to let C1 into the rectory.  Borne agreed, but said “that’s not what we’re trained to do.”

Asked then if he was on duty at these times, Borne said yes.

Asked if he ‘on duty’ when he was groping C2 the answer was “no.”

During his examination in chief Borne said that at some point he realized “I was being bullied and harassed by [C1]”!

Under cross examination Borne agreed that he said he was being bullied and harassed by this teenage boy.  He also agreed that he was living in a sort of community – that there were others in the rectory. Still, he claimed he felt “intimidated” by the teen!

C1 testified that one morning after staying the night he, Borne and Bishop Windle had breakfast together.

Asked under cross examination  if he and C1 had breakfast with Bishop Windle after one morning after C1 stayed the night, Borne said it was possible.

 (4)  Since the charges were laid Borne claims he has no status in the Diocese.  He testified that he rents a house from the diocese and receives a small stipend.  He said his family have been very supportive.  He visits with family, and takes his mother shopping once/week.

He believes that if we were to ask anyone who knows him if he committed these assaults they would say “absolutely not.”  Borne believes those who know him know that he is not a forceful man.

That’s it for now.  It was not impressive.  Not a word from this Roman Catholic priest about teaching those boys right from wrong. Not a word about helping those whom he claimed had drinking problems.

Disgusting.  He is unfit to be a priest.  Regardless the verdict, he is unfit to be a priest.

The verdict will be rendered tomorrow morning:  10 am, Pembroke court house.  I have learned from past cases not to presume a verdict.  I know what I think it should be.  I know what I hope it will be.

We shall see.

Pray that justice is done, both in and out of the Church.  Keep all those who filed complaints against Monsignor Robert Borne in your prayers.  Tomorrow will be a tense day for all.

Enough for now,


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50 Responses to Not on duty when groping

  1. Julie says:

    Thank you for the information that you have provided Sylvia. Congratulations to the victims for coming forward and holding Borne accountable. I pray for their continued strength as I imagine tonight will be a very difficult night for them as they wait for a verdict tomorrow. Here’s hoping it is the correct one.

  2. Ceilidhe says:

    Thank you for letting us know what has been happening in court, Sylvia! If this man is still considered a priest by the Catholic Church after the trial ends, the good priests of our diocease need to resign as a group. In what universe is it acceptable for a grown man to provide alcohol to minors and bed down with under age teenage boys? This is a crime and a sin even if you are not a priest! The fact that he and a teen boy had breakfast the next morning with Bishop Windle just goes to show that other church officials were aware of his issues and did nothing to stop him. Pathetic.

  3. Julie says:

    You know, after reflecting upon these details, I am struck by something that is particularly telling for me. After admittedly “groping” a 16 year old boy, Borne stated that he was struck by the morality of the situation so he stopped, rolled over and went to sleep. To sleep? Personally, if I’m in a situation where my morals have been in conflict with my behaviour, the last thing I could do would be to simply go to sleep. I have to wonder if he has any idea just what he was saying in that claim.

  4. Sylvia says:

    That’s a good point Julie. You’re right! How could he, a Roman Catholic priest, just roll over and go to sleep after ‘yielding to temptation’ to such an extent – with a 16-year-old boy?!

    He wasn’t prostate on the floor begging God’s forgiveness? He didn’t relocate himself to the couch? He didn’t order the boy out of the bed and to the couch? He just, well, -rolled over and went to sleep?

    Good point!

  5. Dan says:

    A big thank you Sylvia for your determination to keep the spotlight on all of this. I am of the 5 you refer to and I have been reading your blog the last few years and especially last few days and am struck by the similarities to my own story(started when I was 15, dined with Windle, drove his car, had drinks in his room etc) in the testimony that was heard. May it will provide closure to the many affected by this scandal and for the good folks of Pembroke….

    • TLWST says:

      Dan why couldn’t you all come forward, because he waited until you were 16 to attack which sadly is the age of consent? Congratulations on your strength for telling your story. I guess Windle knew and covered? I am very sorry you had to deal with this situation.

    • Inhisservice says:

      Dan, I feel so badly for what you experienced and the scandal associated with it. So many hurt because of this evil and deceptive behaviour. I hope you know, even in the midst of your own healing, that Borne, Windle and the cast of characters are in no way representative of the priests of the Diocese of Pembroke. I know a few priests. They speak openly about the pain they feel about this deception and the evil perpetrated upon young people or anyone. To answer the question that some present (or that others like prima hyperventilate about) priests have heard whispers of impropriety about Borne for years – only whispers. Nothing concrete, no discussions with any victims, just rumor and suspicion. What could they do with that? No one will act on a rumor. All the priests could hope for is that someone would step forward and tell their story. Thankfully that happened. I firmly believe that evil and darkness always get ‘found out’. This is what has happened with Borne. Doubtless there are a number of others who could share their story since his antics appear to be widespread. The good priests of Pembroke, and there are many, should not be condemned for matters that authorities kept secret and covered for.

      • Larry Green says:

        Inhisservice, you said “To answer the question that some present (or that others like prima hyperventilate about) priests have heard whispers of impropriety about Borne for years – only whispers.” What do you base this claim on? I have more reasons than one to believe that such a claim is totally false.

        • inhisservice says:

          If you have reasons to refute this, spell it out. I know that many priests have said that there were rumors about Borne’s antics. They could not bring anything forward because these were rumours without concrete facts or victims who had stepped forward.

          If you are suggesting that there are a few, some who knew more, I don’t doubt it. I am merely suggesting that for the larger number, there were rumours and whispers which could not be acted upon because there was nothing solid to base the talk on. I am not lying.

          If you have cards, show them Larry.

    • Larry Green says:

      Dan do you know Jeff?

    • Sylvia says:

      Were you one of the ‘complainants’ who had his charges thrown out Dan? Am I understanding you correctly?

      I would like to talk to you sometime Dan. If you agree, would you send me your phone number and a convenient time to call, preferably next week? Send to:

      • Dan says:

        Yes Sylvia – I am one for which the charges were thrown out.. I never figured why.. i will respond to the email link you provided – sure I will chat to you. I now live in Vancouver.

        And no, I don’t know Jeff, larry.

  6. Dan says:

    I was 15 and an altar boy when we began our relationship. In fact, I met him at my sister’s confirmation in my hometown in Northern Ontario. Obviously, Windle knew and so did many others who never questioned why he was sharing a bed with me numerous times at the bishop’s residence and his parents when there were all these empty rooms… I didn’t reject the advances and although I thought I was gay, I was not mature enough to understand the damage that would nevertheless be caused by the sneaking around and the games he played, the promises he made etc… Finding out that I wasn’t the only one some years later was a blessing and very freeing I guess.

    • Inhisservice says:

      Bless you for your courage Dan. You have nothing to apologize for. You were 15 – a difficult age at the best of times, let alone in this context. Those who knew of this behavior and did nothing, will have much to answer for. In this life or the next.

  7. Dan says:

    No worries – I too have a few friends who are priests (and have met some of their friends who are priests) and some of them are gay and I would never paint all priests with the same brush. These friends have played a big part in my healing and coming forward. Thank you.

    • Inhisservice says:

      Good for you Dan. In the midst of a horrible week, your courage and honesty and healing are a consolation! I will pray for you and your intentions. You sound like a good person.

    • Inhisservice says:

      Dan: a question. Did Borne drink with you fellows and if he did, to what extent? Is it your feeling now that the liquor was used as a way to make the victims more ‘agreeable’ or in the hopes that you would have lapses in memory. Just wondering if you have thoughts about this in retrospect.

  8. TLWST says:

    inhisservice, Ray, or others…do you think the church will ever change their stance on homosexuality? What is the church’s stance? I get so confused. I know a couple of years back, they wanted us to sign a form against gay marriage, which my husband and I wouldn’t sign. I don’t many people of my generation who have any issue with gay individuals. Why is this viewed as a problem? If we all accepted people for who they are, then young people who were confused over sexuality could openly discuss it and choose a healthy avenue for a relationship instead of being manipulated by priest or others with bad intentions.

    • TLWST says:

      Sorry I meant to say, I don’t know ANY people of my generation (not our friends anyway and I am 39 and my husband 42) who have ANY issue with the issue of gay marriage. We do not view it as something that needs to be cured, or held at bay. Let people have healthy (adult mature) relationships. My father in law always says to me well I don’t have a problem with gay people but they shouldn’t use the word marriage? My husband and I always say the same thing, that is the same as prejudice against black people in the past, when people say okay okay you can ride the bus but you have to sit at the back. True acceptance has no boundaries.

      • Inhisservice says:

        The first challenge is one of linguistics. The very definition of marriage is a union of MAN and WOMAN. If folks want to live in some kind of civil union, they will. Using the same language as marriage seems ridiculous to me – I mean some men refer to their man as their husband – does that make them the wife? Kind of strange…………..maybe a new vocabulary is needed.

        If I wish to broaden the definition more can I? I want two wives? Why can’t I have my definition if you have yours? Of course the Supreme Court has solved the question of polygamy!

        I find it a bit odd……

    • Inhisservice says:

      The church teaches that human sexuality is oriented towards the relationship of man and woman in the Sacrament of Marriage. The will of God is that men women were created for each other. They are physically oriented towards their life as a couple and of course procreation, the gift of children. Those who are not married are called to live a life in keeping with their chosen vocation. Fornication, adultery, homosexual ACTS are viewed as sinful and not in harmony with the will of the Creator. This is black letter Christian doctrine and has been since the beginning of the church – cf writings of St. Paul.

      The question of those who believe they are homosexual is the difficult one! These attractions exist. Their orientation exists. Why? We don’t know. The church would say that if one is oriented to be homosexual, fine but to act on this is sinful. And under no circumstances could gay ‘marriage’ ever be accepted? Thats a given.

      There is still the raging debate (I think!) about whether one is born gay or ‘becomes’ gay because of other factors (relationships with a parent, limited exposure with persons of the opposite sex etc.) God only knows. Some have this all figured out – especially Hollywood and the media! It is more complex than that, I think.

      As in all other matters of our Christian life, people will choose the way to live their lives, hopefully in accordance with their own conscience. This by no means that the church will rubber stamp it, just because of societal trends.
      It is good question and a difficult circumstance. Rather mysterious, I would say. As one person said to me once, about another, it’s not as if this person woke up and said, “you know what, I think I will be gay! Ya, thats it! Let’s have all the ridicule and bullying!”

      For those who would say, lets get modern, forget dogma the question remains: where, in any place in the bible, in the teachings of the church, do you find support for such a move? Is it in keeping with the teachings of Jesus?

      …….for what it’s worth!

      • Tim Dooling says:

        To inhisservice. Have you planted yourself in this forum in order to change the Channel?
        This was about a Priest charged with sex abuse crimes. Why are you trying to change it to a discussion about homosexual partners, or theories about whether or not one is born gay? these were not in the discussion untol now. Just what are you trying to provoke???

    • Ray Selbie says:

      As for my part, I believe that the scriptures against gay lifestyle are sufficient to tell me what God thinks. Suffice it to say that I am not arrogant enough to believe that the scriptures are wrong or just orientated in ancient cultures.

      This is another whole question however, I am convinced from my four years living in St Augustine’s Seminary that homosexuality is the main cause of the current problems -after all- sex between two people of the same sex in gay or lesbian. The artificial line between a minor and an adult does not change the fact that it is sex between people of the same sex. The abuse of a child is of course another whole area of perversion added to the preference for sex with people of the same sex.

      I know that this is against what people under 50 have been taught and thus accept however, I will side with the scriptures and the official position of the Church.

      By the way, I would not in any way condemn a person for their sexual preference but I refuse to believe that the word ‘orientation’ is anything but a word trap as it presupposes that God has created a third fourth etc. sex and that the scriptural admonitions against such behaviour is wrong. I also am thankful that the Canadian Constitution allows me to hold the tenents of my Catholic Faith on this issue as long as I am not in any way abandoning the rights of gay and lesbians. For me, this lifestyle is no more or less sinful than adultery-sin is sin is sin!! I would not discriminate against a fornicator or adulterer or gay person.

      It is a fine line however, acceptance of people for what they choose is not a licence to in any way negate from their civil or human rights. The Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly upheld the concept of marriage being between a man and a woman and the Reference that opened the floodgate to gay marriage did not adress this but only said that the government had inherent powers to change the law on marriage and it so did.

      For civil marriage, I accept this decision even though I do not agree with it and cannot acccept it as God designed. Perhaps it is time for the Government to get out of the marriage business and leave it to the religious institutions that created it in the first place. The laws relating to Family are strong enough with some tweeking for common law spouses rights to get rid of the need and purpose of civil marriage.

      I do not want to start a whole new round of accusations but you asked for my opinion and you have it. We should concentrate on how we are going to heal the wounds that Borne and his kind have created.

      Ray Selbie

      • Leona says:

        As a female survivor, I can not accept your view that this is a homosexual issue. It does a great disservice to all of the female victims of clerical sexual abuse to propose such a reason. Sexual abuse is about power! This discussion has definitely veered off the rails.

        • Ray Selbie says:

          My apology. I did not mean to say that homosexuals are the sole criminals in this area. There are gay and straight criminals however, most of the sins that flourish in the catholic clergy surround homosexual acts i.e. sexual acts with men. I did not mean to diminish those woman that have been abused and they must also see justice and find peace.
          Ray S.

  9. Tim Dooling says:

    Bourne found guilty- sentencing has to wait until April.. Going by the record of these things, do not be surprised if he gets off with time served.

  10. Cougar says:

    First of all, thank you to Sylvia for this web site, and sharing all of the information pertaining to this case with us.

    As fellow classmates of Victim One, we have been devastated by this case. We – his fellow classmates – are so sorry that we didn’t know what was going on!! That he didn’t feel that he could reach out to us!! Catholic High was a small school, and a good school . .with lots of good, kind students!! We are grateful for the courageous young men who have come forward, and we believe that there are more victims out there but not enough evidence for the charges to hold up in a court of law . .but there is another court that Bobby will have to answer to! There are so many victims in this . . .so many lives have been negatively affected by Bobby’s actions!! We are all shaken . .and in a way that we could never have imagined!!

    Thank you also to Ray for his thoughtful writings . . you would have had great sermons as a priest!! And to Dan for sharing his experience . . .we think that there are many more Dan’s out there!

    May God help those who have been affected by this, and may the healing begin for everyone.

    • Sylvia says:

      Cougar, your words of support will, I am certain, mean a lot to C1. I commend you for reaching out to him in this forum to let him know that you and other of his former class mates have been following this, have been thinking about him, and really do care. I am sure he will deeply moved when he reads your words.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    It is about time that the bishops be charged with their crimes. The Penn State scandal indicates that school administrators are being held accountable. The same rule should apply to bishops such as Windle.

    Penn State fired Paterno and president Graham Spanier on Nov. 9, four days after Sandusky was arrested. Athletic director Tim Curley and a vice president, Gary Schultz, are accused of perjury and failing to report suspected child abuse. Both have stepped down from their posts.

  12. Elizabeth says:


    Yes, Windle is dead. Sorry, I was thinking about Bishop Wingle. (St. Catherines) He’s presently A.W.O.L. and has some explaining to do re: his knowledge in the Donald Grecco case.

    • Larry Green says:

      Elizabeth, I couldn’t agree more with the notion that Bishops such as Windle should be dragged into the courts to face charges of some kind which should range anywhere from negligence to accessory to rape. This breeding ground for pedophiles has to be stopped one way or another.

  13. Sylvia says:

    Inhisservice, slow down please. If you have a lot to say please get it posted in one blog instead of five or six.

  14. Folks,

    This story is a tragedy on every level. Victims have been profoundly wounded. The Church in Pembroke has been deeply wounded. Yet it has all been necessary. The Church must take whatever steps needed to: a) rid itself of such predators and make restitution if so required, and b) ensure that no cover-up ever occurs again. Unless we can prove that we are doing this

    I am deeply appreciative of Sylvia’s efforts this week. Her coverage has been truthful and complete (a fact attested to in a related comment thread here by another person who also attended the trial) and she has done yeoman’s duty in keeping this entire sad affair in perspective. For those who have stated otherwise, I can only recommend that you examine the coverage in sources like the Ottawa Citizen which corroborates every statement of fact that Sylvia has provided. It is people such as she who are acting as a needed disinfectant for the Church for by holding the Bishops ‘feet to the fire’ she is ensuring that the people we should be MOST concerned about (victims) are not ignored. She deserves our prayerful thanks… and she has mine.

    To throw in my two cents, I too think that Borne will be defrocked. It happened to the other priest convicted from our Diocese (Prince) and I cannot see how he could escape the same fate. Like it or not, Borne now stands as a convicted sex offender. He has no place among clergy. The same should be the fate of every other clergyman who shares the same criminal conviction. It blows my mind when I consider that there are still men pretending to stand ‘in persona Christi’ when they have been convicted of such a horrific abuse. It is a small miracle that there are still faithful in the pews given the feckless Bishops who have permitted convicted sex offenders to publicly celebrate the sacraments. We priests may be few in number, and we are all over worked… but help like that we do not need.

    Fr. Tim

  15. Sorry: It should read: Unless we can prove that we are doing this, we do not deserve any benefit of the doubt and we must carry the culpability for any complicity for failings past until we do so.

    Fr. Tim

  16. Larry Green says:

    Fr. Tim, is you’re parish on the border of the Pembroke diocese ? What is the next parish on either side of you within the Pembroke diocese? Just curious , Arden and I were just having a discussion about this.

  17. Larry: Not quite. Above Mattawa, there is Astorville, Corbeil and Bonfield on the Ontario side and Temiscaming on the Quebec side. I am one hours drive past Deep River.

    My best to all of you. You continue to be in my prayers.

    Fr. Tim

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