Re-assessing my thoughts

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Several things to make mention of this morning:

(1) Father Jose Silva

Mike Fitzgerald received  the following letter from the Office of the Attorney General

April 2013:  Letter from the Office of the Ontario Attorney General to Michael Fitzgerald re Father Jose Silva ( “The Ministry  will not be making  any further  comment  on this matter”)

Three things of note here:

(1)  The ‘sweet deal’ afforded Father Silva by the Crown and defence “is not common practise.”

(2) The results of the review will not be made public;

(3)  As far as we the unwashed are concerned, the book is closed: “The Ministry  will not be making  any further  comment  on this matter.”

Why are the results of the review top secret?  Does anyone know?

And of course the burning question:  Where to go from here?  Would going to opposition MPPs with the hope of making this an issue in the legislature work?

If this is not “common practise,” was it illegal?  If not illegal, then is it something we can expect to see again?

Anyway, well done Mike.  The outcome I am sure is not what you had hoped, but, you flushed them out.  It’s all top secret.  Any wrong-doing on the part of a Crown is swept under the rug.

Does this bring to an end any and all  Letters to the Ontario Attorney General re the Father Jose Silva “sweet deal”?

(2)  Father Robert Couture

A few new bits of information on the Father Robert Couture scandal:

(1)  Father Couture left on his Leave of Absence in November 2009.  I suppose at the end of the day it makes little difference, but knowing that he left then means that we know he spent several months doing who knows what before he headed off to pursue a B.Ed at Ottawa U.  Was he at a treatment centre?  Was he receiving medical treatment of some sort?  Something prompted him to leave.  What was it?

And why did he opt to get his education credentials and pursue a life teaching rather than as a parish priest?

I have been told too that his departure was sudden.  One weekend he was at Ste. Anne, and the next weekend an announcement was made that he was on leave;

(2)  I was trying to sort out Father Couture’s salary as trustee.  I recall that once upon a time remuneration was quite inviting.  Then, back in 1997 the Mike Harris government slashed the maximum paid to a trustee to $5,000.  Things changed again under the McGuinty government and trustee remuneration began to creep up.  In July 2006 the Trustees for the Conseil scolaire des écoles catholiques du Sud-Ouest.’ were being paid $6821.  The Chair received considerably more.

According to an article in the 31 August 2010 Brampton Guardian Catholic school trustees salaries were frozen at $18,940 a year, “while the chair and vice-chair salaries will stand at about $28,000 and $23,000 respectively.”

I don’t know how many years Father Couture was chair, but he was definitely chair for a few years.

And a couple of new articles posted:

(i) 10 April 2013: Re: Priest stole $180K from his own church, cops allege, by Trevor Wilhelm, April 10.

The sentiments expressed by Burt Stephenson are shared by many.

I am re-assessing my thoughts on this.  You may recall much the same response when Father Joe LeClair was charged, although in that instance people were downright angry that Father LeClair was charged.

In the case of Father LeClair, word of financial indiscretions reached and were published in the local media.  Eventually the archdiocese contacted police: it was not immediate.

I know of a several cases where there were financial indiscretions,  …and the police were not called in and the priest was shuffled off/recycled elsewhere.  That was many years ago, but, nonetheless, police were not called in to investigate, and life went on at the affected parishes.  I concluded that the handling of the clerical offender was the same, be it on suspicion of sex abuse or suspicion of financial indiscretions/theft.  And I concluded that the response of parishioners to such allegations were similar – ie those who felt betrayed and angry, and those who were ready to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to any allegations against “Father.”.

I don’t know the situation with Father Couture.  Were some parishioners ready to talk if police were not called in?  Did some parishioners push to have the case turned over to police?  I don’t know.

I do know that there is many a priest elsewhere who has lined his pockets and police have not been called in. Is that the case in the London Diocese?  or, do Church officials in that diocese routinely call police when there is suspicion of financial indiscretion?

(ii) 10 April 2013:  Video: St. Anne’s Parishioners ‘Shocked And Surprised’

(3)  Father Rheal LeBlanc

Father Rheal LeBlanc’s next court date is:

  09 May 2013:  10 am, pre-trial conference, Welland, Ontario courthouse (102 East Main Street)

Note that this is a pre-trial conference and therefore will NOT be open to the public.

LeBlanc was charged December 2011.  It’s been over a year!

*****

Yesterday I yattered about Spring.  Today most of Ontario is under a winter storm warning 🙁

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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4 Responses to Re-assessing my thoughts

  1. Of interest Sylvia, I also wrote Andrea Horwath (NDP Leader) back in November of last year regarding this very same matter.
    I have received NO response.
    It is so difficult to remain positive and/or constructive in the face of this whitewash, when I lived a lot of my life respecting and looking up to our civic leaders.

    I am now beginning to see how you felt during the Cornwall whitewash. Mike.

  2. MS says:

    “Secret” means there is something to hide.
    “Top secret” means there is a lot to hide.

  3. MS;
    It would appear so. Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, etc. etc. etc……………………….yada yada yada!!! They were all the same.
    It astonished and discourages me when I realize that we are talking about the Attorney-General for the province of Ontario. He and his ilk have put themselves in the same boat as these lovely people I have referred to.
    It is a sad day when we the citizens can no longer question a sordid, ethically bent decision to spirit a catholic priest out of the country when he is charged with a criminal sexual assault. He got off scot-free!!
    Will you get the same treatment if you run a red light? Mike.

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