‘Robbed’ not once, but twice…?

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Well, another Canadian priest facing theft charges.

I have just finished adding the name of Father Robert Couture to the Accused list, and a page with further information.

The charges have just been laid.  Father Couture’s next court appearance is 14 May 2013.  I don’t have the start time – the file isn’t on record at the courthouse yet.  I will try again tomorrow.

There are a number of articles posted on the page – scroll down and read through.  As you will see, Father Couture has served as Chaplain for the Fr. Nicholas Point Co. 4375 branch of the Knights of Columbus in Tecumseh, Ontario.  How many years he has been involved with the KOC I have no idea – I happened on that one newsletter from 2009 and that’s all I have at this point.

Also, Father Couture has been been elected or acclaimed as trustee for the French language Separate School board many times.  He was first elected as trustee in 1991.  As far as I can tell he held that position steadily until recently.  In fact, he may still be a trustee?  I could find no record that he was reelected in 2008.  I don’t have information beyond that.

Interesting too that Father Robert Couture once worked as a page in the House of Commons, and equally interesting that he was Research Assistant to Liberal Member of Parliament Eugene Whelan.  Whelan was Minister of Agriculture during the Pierre Elliott Trudeau government.

And then, well, this is really quite intriguing:  Not once, but twice, Father Courteau reported that he had been robbed while he was saying Mass!  One break-in/theft occurred in 2003, and another in 2009.

I find it hard not to wonder exactly what happened there?

Anyway, that’s the info I have to date.  I will keep looking.  If anyone can add details please send them along to me (cornwall@theinquiry.ca) or post as a comment.


Father Rheal LeBlanc csc, a Holy Cross Father,  has a court date tomorrow morning:

Wednesday, 10 April 2013:  9 am, “to be spoken to,”  Welland, Ontario courthouse (102 East Main Street)

As always in these courtdates, it will probably be short and sweet.  It is doubtful that Father LeBlanc will be there. Sometimes there are things of interest which happen at these “to be spoken to” court dates, but in truth most of the time it is over in the twinkle of an eye and another date has been set.   I usually try to go to local cases when I feel I am free to do so – most of the time I feel it’s been a waste of time, BUT, sometimes it can prove to be interesting. I suggest that those who go sit as close to the front as they can – it’s often very difficult to hear what is being said so the closer tot he front the better 🙂

If anyone sees media coverage or knows the outcome of Father LeBlanc’s court-date please pass on the word.


In case anyone missed it, Father Daniel Miller‘s next courtdate is 2 pm, Friday 19 April 2013, Pembroke Ontario courthouse.

Enough for now,


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10 Responses to ‘Robbed’ not once, but twice…?

  1. The “thefts’ while Couture was saying mass leaves me wondering as well. Not once, but twice!
    I was also stunned to learn that the diocese (according to CityPulse News) has recovered a total of $169,000.00 from their insurance company! I have only heard this on CityPulse and no other News outlet, but I am assuming this is correct or they would not have announced this on the public airway. Mike.

    • Sylvia says:

      Scroll down on the Father Robert Couture page Mike – there are a number of media articles there re the charges and several mentions of the insurance company and the $169,000. Here are two:

      Savel asked KPMG Forensics to do an independent audit. KPMG completed the audit in 2011 and discovered “a minimum” of $169,000 was missing.

      The diocese filed an insurance claim and recovered the $169,000.

      Diocese spokesman Mark Adkinson says the Diocese notified police after a regular financial audit of expenses at Ste.Anne Parish in Tecumseh turned up some irregularities. “There were some expenses that were being charged to the Parish that weren’t normally things would be charged to a Parish. They were a lot higher than we thought they were. There were just a lot of accounting irregularities, and then we also found a bank account in the Parish’s name which we didn’t know about.” The audit yielded over $180,000 in irregularities, and insurance has recovered $169,000.

  2. I hate to rail on about this, but my KISS formula has caused me to do some very basic math. If you total up the amounts both from the alleged theft, and the amount apparently received from the diocesan insurance company, I get a figure of approx. $338.000. That’s pretty damn good coin in my books! The diocese isn’t doing all that bad after all. Mike.

    • Sylvia says:

      I believe Mike that that $169,000 was to cover $169,000 of the estimated $180,000 theft BY Father Couture, i.e., the money which seems to have mysteriously disappeared while he was at helm NOT the money which he alleges was stolen during a break-in while he was saying Mass on those two occasions.

      I am sure there was also insurance coverage for the latter, i.e. the two ‘breakins’ and’thefts,’ wouldn’t you think? I am also quite certain that after the ‘breakins’ and ‘thefts’ there would have been parishioners and others who poured money in to help poor Father Couture get back on his feet after all his money was stolen? and perhaps even the diocese anted in?

      • Brunelle Brenda says:

        All I can say is those Insurance premiums that the Church must pay each month must be awful high.

        I know with my insurance policies, if I make too many claims they will drop me as a client. I wonder how many claims the Church can make before they are dropped as a client? Whatever the number is, their premiums must be over the top!

  3. Brunelle Brenda says:

    Fr. Robert was at ST. Vincent de Paul in his early years as a priest. I can’t recall if he was associate Pastor to Chris Quinlan or Fr. Al Williams. The circle of friends in crime get smaller and smaller. My shock was the notice that was put out on the sign of Ste. Ann’s Parish, Former Pastor, Father Robert Courture has been charged by the OPP.

    Tells me how important and sacred money is to the church, they advertise and report theft to police.

    Pedophile rapist of children, never is advertised on church property, and never reported to the police by the Diocese. So, the almighty dollar is the bottom line for this church, it is more valuable then the innocence of young children.

    I wish I could post the picture on this site of the sign with the message, but for some reason I am unable to do this. UNBELIEVABLE.

    Incidentally, this priest was a good family friend of ours, certainly one I trusted. He married our daughter at St. Anne’s, he baptized our grandchild and when he went on leave…. he emailed me asking for my prayers, and he would keep me in his prayers.

    • Sylvia says:

      I was working at getting that picture posted Brenda – once I was able to see it more clearly and read what is on the sign I realized that the picture is just that of the lady changing the sign. There is nothing on the sign about Father Couture, and nothing about charges being laid. If you re-read the caption you will see I believe that Barb Bateman is changing the announcement board to announce a Spring Dance on Friday April 1? (I can’t see the second numeral) As I see it the picture highlights the sign for the parish and it happens that meanwhile the announcement board being changed.

      The caption under the picture reads as follows:

      Barb Bateman of Ste Anne Parish in Tecumseh changes the announcement board outside the historic church at Tecumseh Road East and Lesperance Road April 9, 2013. Father Robert Couture has been charged by OPP.’ (NICK BRANCACCIO/The Windsor Star)

      If the board had a message re Father Couture it would have been in quotes – but, the thing is, that is not the message on the announcement

  4. Brunelle Brenda says:

    Thanks Sylvia, that makes more sense to me. When I looked at this picture and read below it, Father Robert Couture has been charged by OPP, and the notice of Barb changing the sign, I just connected the two as being the same message.

    Well, I feel better knowing that the church does not publicize on their property one crime (theft) and silence another crime (rape). In this case, I am glad I was wrong.

    Thank you for the clarification.


  5. Really interesting and rather pointed observation that Brenda makes is the speed in which the diocese reported these financial “irregularities” to police.
    That didn’t happen (for some reason, maybe their phones weren’t working) when Sylvestre was prowling the streets of London. Mike.

  6. desiree gagnier says:

    Does anyone else find it curious that there
    has been such a public rush to judgment by so many officials of the Dioceses.
    Why are they making so many strong comments before the courts deal with this?
    stay tuned! My sources tell me that much of this is deception and railroading.
    I do not trust these people!

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