The Bishop knew

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Yesterday I said I would post a little more information regarding Monsignor Robert Borne.

This is short, but important.  By 2000 “the diocese” certainly knew what Monsignor Robet Borne was up to.  Bishop Brendan O’Brien knew.  And Borne was left ministering to the unwitting and vulnerable flock.

What I want to pass on relates to the allegations of one of the complainants whose charges against Monsignor Robert Borne were dismissed before going to trial.  I don’t know where exactly this complainant fits into the sequential order of complaints, but, since I referred to those who testified at the Borne sex abuse trial as C1 and C2, I will refer to him as C3.

I have both talked to and met with C3.  This is not specifically about C3’s allegations against Borne, but rather about what I – and I am sure others – would view as cover-up.  After talking to C3 I was bothered by the fact that O’Brien knew and did nothing.  I contacted C3 and asked if he would allow me recount that portion of his ‘story.’  I truly feel that people need to know.  C3 readily agreed.

Some day, perhaps, with C3’s permission, I hope to tell more of his story, but, for now, these details.

These then are, in small part,  C3’s allegations:

(1)  C3 alleges he was 15 when Monsignor Robert Borne first made sexual overtures toward him.  When the boy questioned him about the propriety of such activity,  Borne told him that: “God wants us to love one another.”  He readily admits that he agreed.

(2)  C3 spent nights at the Bishop’s Palace in Pembroke.  During such visits he dined with Bishop Windle.  He often had breakfast and lunch with the nuns.  The nuns, he told me, loved him.

(3)   Sometime in the late 90s – around the Fall of 1998 – C8 was struggling with what had happened.  He confided in a friend.  The friend talked to Bishop Brendan O’Brien – he told the bishop that C3 was struggling because of the sex abuse.

(4)  Bishop O’Brien was going to be in  Ottawa  on business.  C3 was in  Ottawa  at the same time.  A meeting was arranged at the Cathedral.

(5)  O’Brien asked C3 if he wanted to talk there at the Cathedral or go elsewhere. C3 didn’t want to be around the church – he said he would prefer to go to a coffee shop which wasn’t too far away.  He doesn’t recall the name of the coffee shop now, but it was, he believes,  in the  Murray Street  area.

(6)  At the coffee shop C3 recounted at least some of his allegations against Borne.  Bishop O’Brien’s response?  ‘I need proof.  Where’s the proof?’

(7)  C3 had the proof.  I am not going to disclose the proof for fear it could be construed as tainting the evidence of others who may come forward with allegations at a future date, but, C3 had proof.

(8) According to C3, upon hearing his ‘proof’ O’Brien’s instant response was” “what do you want?”

No Episcopal sympathy.  No apology.  None of that.  No.  Just a cool;“What do you want?”

That was it for C3.  The meeting was over.

(9)  C3 continued to struggle.  He had been seeing a psychiatrist for several years.  He was in poor health.

Many months later C3 spoke to a lawyer.  About two to three years after the  Ottawa  meeting with O’Brien, a settlement was mediated.  According to C3, it would defray the costs of his long-term therapy.

(10)  C3 was contacted by Pembroke police.  It was out of the blue he said.  To this day C3 has no idea who gave his name to the police, or how they tracked him down

No matter, as a result of that contact charges were laid

(11)  The charges were dismissed.  Consensual.  A priest telling a 15-year-old boy that it’s all alright because God wants us to love one another.  Consensual.

(12) Once upon a time C3 wanted to be a priest.

 As you all know, my vocabulary on these matters is lacking….

Heart-breaking.  Disgusting .

I weep for the victims.  I cringe at the cover-ups .  I fear for the children.  I am ashamed of and totally disgusted with our bishops.


Does anyone have any details on the financial mess which allegedly surrounded $100,000 and Father Paul Hamilton back in the late 90s to early 2000s?  I have heard bits and pieces from various people over the years, and a little more over the last couple of days.  There is talk that there was a diocesan investigation of some fashion, and many believe that Hamilton was removed from ministry because of some sort of financial indiscretion.  The talk in the diocese is that Hamilton squandered the funds gambling and travelling and that the diocese said they/it would replace the missing dollars.   I believe it relates to funds which were to be used to build the new Holy Rosary Church in Belleville.  If anyone has any information please contact me at  There is enough talk from different sources that there must be something to it.

A final note here.  The word is that Bishop Brendan O’Brien, now the Archbishop of Kingston, has ordered priests of the archdiocese not to comment on the lawsuit – they are to direct inquiries to the diocese.

Enough for now,



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6 Responses to The Bishop knew

  1. 1 abandoned sheep says:

    Re: The Bishop Knew. Shortly after Bishop O’Brien left Pembroke for Newfoundland , I was speaking with a Priest of the Pembroke Diocese. I mentioned it must be a little akward since they still did not have a new Bishop.
    His response was–Could you not hear the sigh of relief in Ottawa from the Priests of the Pembroke Diocese when he left? Even with no Bishop yet we are better off ! He was often not around, and when he was you could not get an answer from him on the same-sex marriage problem ( which was new and current at that time). No, we do not miss him.
    I got the same impression when we were in Newfoundland 2 years ago. The indication was they did not miss him either. Now Kingston has the weight of his prescence for a time.
    In Ottawa he was known as the guy who likes to attend Knights of Columbus gatherings {deleted]
    The My 2 cents-worth campaign would really get to him.

  2. Sylvia says:

    I deleted a few words 1 abandoned sheep – no need of them

  3. Mike says:

    Re; The Bishop Knew.
    Sylvia, if you again have the opportunity to speak with C3, a question regarding the next bishop following O’Brien (Richard Smith, now in Edmonton) would be very much in order.
    That’s all I can say for now. I will be in touch. Mike

  4. Lina says:

    After reading Sylvia’s post: ‘The Bishop Knew,’ I was somewhat surprise at first and now I’m not.

    Bishop Joseph Raymond Windle who ordained Msgr. Robert Borne died in September 1997.

    Nevertheless, the two Bishops that followed the late Bishop Windle are NOT dead.

    We know in April 2009, the first charges were laid against Msgr. Robert Borne.

    One just need to look at Borne’s timeline while he was an acting priest. He was ordained in April 1974 and the first charges against Borne was in April 2009.

    There is this long span of 35 years. That’s a lot of years!

    These two men, Bishop Brendan Michael O’Brien and Bishop Richard William Smith were around during Msgr. Robert Borne’s time span.

    it makes me wonder what sort of information these two former Bishops of the Diocese of Pembroke ON still know about Borne?

    It makes sense to me that these two Bishops have information that can shed more light about Borne. The question is what do they know and are they willing share or admit what they do know about Borne’s unpriestly activities?

    There are people in the Pembroke Diocese who have not yet come forward with their valid information that can help in this Borne case.

    To them I say it’s NEVER too late to come forward with that information of yours.

    Just do NOT go to any priest in the Roman Catholic Church with that info of yours.

    Please…go to the POLICE. If it makes you more at ease go with your lawyer.

    I truly believe it’s just too quiet and something is really brewing and that there will be more information about Borne that will eventually come out about him.

  5. Mike says:

    Both O’Brien and Smith have intimate knowledge of these matters. Alas, this information is very likely to never come out, for it interferes with “climbing the ladder”, or any further possible promotions.
    Yes (in response to Lina) Borne is not the only one. There IS lots more coming. Mike

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Mike, there is a youg man I met over in Bosnia a few years ago, who was living in the Eganville area aroun the time of Borne’s tenure there. He told me he had been abused by a Priest from the Valley.
      This fellow ( the last I saw him was 3 years ago) was attending school in Rome, and lived the summers in Medjugore. Perhaps you already know of this case.

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