Breaking news from Pembroke…

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The page for Father Thomas C. O’Flaherty has been added.  I will comment later.


And, below, breaking news, from the Diocese of Pembroke, Ontario.  I will try to get a page together this evening and add Father Howard Chabot to the list:


7/29/2013 4:46:37 PM

Yet another priest of the Pembroke Diocese has been charged with sexual misconduct. Today (Monday) the OPP have charged Father Howard Chabot with gross indecency and sexual assault for an alleged incident in 1985. At that time Father Chabot was serving at the Holy Name Parish in Pembroke. The Bishop of Pembroke, Michael Mulhall has said the diocese will offer its full co-operation to police and will offer support to everyone involved. This is only the latest in a series of charges levelled at priests who have served at the Pembroke Diocese.

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Breaking news from Pembroke…

  1. Tim says:

    Sylvia, this is another blow to my former Diocese.
    I would have to wonder what difference there might have been if previous Bishops had dealt swiftly, and convincingly with previous cases they knew about.
    It is better to swat a mosquito, than to try to destroy a nest of bees with a fly swatter. Tim

  2. Larry Green says:

    Clerical molesters and enablers continue to be exposed in groves and still the old attitude – “ we can’t fault the R.C. priesthood for the sake of a FEW bad ones” remains alive and well. What’s the magic number … how many deranged perverts have to be counted before we can all agree that it is not -by any means- a small percentage of Catholic clergy involved in this terrible life style of organized molestation and cover-up. How many victims have to be counted ,before the secular obligation of our legislative commitment to protect the dignity and rights of every individual , is prompted to take action directly and specifically at the institution of the R.C. priesthood with regard to elements ‘such as eligibility ‘ as well as many other aspects that are deemed by the ‘people’ to be conducive to enabling, nurturing, fostering, aiding and abetting sexual predators on a scale more massive than in any organization ever known to man.
    What will it take to move our democratically elected voices into action and responsible intervention?

    • PJ says:

      I remember when I first went to our parish collar after submitting my statement to the police…my wife came with me. I told him what I did and he shook his head in disgust and expressed his opinion about it being “just a few bad apples” tainting them all. I wished at that moment that the floor would open up and swallow me whole…never forgot that scene. here we are all those years later and the attitude remains the same in that church. Disgusting.

  3. Sylvia says:

    I have added Father Howard Chabot‘s name to the Accused list and opened a page with further info on him.

  4. Lina says:

    This news about Fr. Howard Chabot is so unbelievable and shocking.

    I’m so heartbroken and I’m hurting bad.

    Would somebody please tell me what is wrong with the clergy in the Pembroke Diocese?

    One priest is about being sentenced soon (Fr.Dan Miller) and now another priest comes along and it’s like they are keeping this steady pace and you would think they were in some kind of awful relay race. What a bloody mess.

    To all victims stay strong!!!

    (I thought Fr. Chabot retired early because he had a bad heart condition.)


  5. lynn says:

    Im sorry, but i have known this man practically all my life and have a hard time believing that he committed the things he has been accused of.
    Fr. Chabot did retire because of his heart condition. Not for any other reason.
    Open your eyes Lina, molestation happens in every corner of the world and not just in Pembroke and certainly not just in catholic diocese.

    • Darlene says:

      I agree with you– on ALL counts.

      Once again, I find your comments inappropriate and full of speculation. Your last sentence hints that there may have been other reasons for his retirement, and that is NOT the case. He has suffered from a serious heart condition for many years, and decided to retire after 37 years of full-time ministry. That’s not exactly “early”, as your comment implies. And even after that, he has continued to help out in parishes by filling in and saying masses whenever the regular parish priests have been away.

      • Larry Green says:


        • Larry Green says:

          By the way Darlene and Lynn, would you happen to have a special self serving interest with your attempt to promoting and producing a public attitude of trivializing and turning a blind eye and to clerical sexual predators?
          Reminds me of some people.

        • Lina says:

          Thank you Larry for your posts!

          He was my parish priest for a long time. I knew about his heart condition.

          The Pembroke Diocese has been rock by many scandals.
          The topic is not about what is happening in other corners of the world. We are talking about the Pembroke Diocese.

          If I feel hurt and betrayed I got VERY GOOD reasons.

          Don’t like it…too darn bad!!

          Again thank you Larry!

    • Jean-Louis says:

      In one sentence, you mention having a “hard time believing that he committed the things he has been accused of”, and in the next paragraph, you tell Lina that “molestation happens in every corner of the world and not just in Pembroke”.

      I’m confused as to what your issue is here… are you incredulous because Chabot is being charged with gross indecency and sexual assault, or upset because those who do not know him personally are showing support for victims of sex abuse by priests (regardless of where they are on this planet)?

      You have a right to believe what you want about this priest. You can hold up a poster pleading for his innocence if and when it goes to trial… Just remember that you were NEVER in that room where the offense took place – you just have your “belief” that he is innocent. History shows us again and again that many “great guys” were proven to be monsters (or admitted to it, eventually).


  6. Larry Green says:

    The Pembroke Diocese – for one at least- has long been notorious for excusing and rationalizing ( for the sake of persona) the absenteeism of deviant priests by the ‘appeal to pity’ because of “Heart Conditions.” The “Heart Condition” that they refer to though is not the physical one that their equivocal speech has been steering the sheep to believe. Many of us have “real heart conditions” at very early ages and go on to live productive lives under much more strenuous working conditions than a priest. I have never heard of a ‘real’ Mother or a ‘real’ Father quit being parents because they have a ‘ heart condition’ …except of course if and when it kills them.

  7. PJ says:

    As the sheep (Darlene and Lynn) bleat their pitiful stories, it just shows another example on how these collars manipulate their flocks. To jump at the collars’ defense so quickly shows a complete ignorance of the whole story. I’m sure these sheep would not be so vocally defending their “wonderful” collar if they were on the victims’ side of the fence. Just shows you the ignorance of these people.

    • MJ says:

      VERY good point, PJ. The other side of the fence has an entirely different view. Just because it didn’t happen to you,, doesn’t mean it DIDN’T HAPPEN. Please keep this in mind.

      • Darlene says:

        Speaking of ignorance………………how quickly and easily it is for some of you to criticize and judge people that you know nothing about.

        To have a discussion with shared opinions is an exchange of knowledge; to hurl obnoxious insults at those whose opinion differs from yours is nothing but an exchange of ignorance.

        “Assumptions are unopened windows that foolish birds fly into, and their broken bodies are evidence gathered too late.”

        • Suzanne Herrick-Lee says:

          Darlene, it has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us who have a history, both personal and professional, with the clergy of the Pembroke Diocese, Both Fr Miller and Msgr Borne guilty of sexual abuse…. Both priests that I knew well, and never in my wildest dreams thought they were involved in criminally abusing children and adolescents, but we are only the residuals of this abuse…. What about the victims who had their innocence stolen from them
          I, too, have known Fr Chabot, through a close family connection, since 1971. These charges are again a shock to all….. We must be patient with one another, and especially with the system as these charges will slowly ravel their way through the courts
          Many out there, will be feeling as you and Lynn are, in disbelief, it is understandable as you know this priest in a social presence only, the reality will come out in the courtroom, go to the trial, listen closely, listen with your head and your heart and you will have closure…. It is the only way to find closure, go to the court!!!! I did not know Prince, but have met some of his 14 victims that he plead guilty to, You are all in my prayers…

  8. B says:

    Lynn and Darlene,

    Unfortunately, whenever anyone, clerical or not, is accused of molesting children, supporters always make the same this-person-could-never-offend comments. These render the molested child, again, alone, unheard and questioning their sanity: how can their experience be the opposite of what’s being asserted?

    Molesters, psychologists have discovered, always lie, deny, minimize, reassign blame, feel victimized, etc. They do not have the capacity to be truly self-aware, or to fully understand how their victims feel, so they compartmentalize their crimes away. In light of this, the only solution is the church to clearly label all those convicted of child molestation, so that victims will know they have been heard, and supporters will recognize when they have been duped.

    Yes, Lynn, molestation happens everywhere. That does not make any incident less appalling or worthy of inquiry, but more.

  9. Lina says:

    For those who want to see this website closed down.

    I like to see this website continue and NOT be closed down, because it’s very informative, anyway how would we had found out important news about predator priests in the Pembroke Diocese.

    Do you think that info about ex-Msgr. Bernard Prince, Msgr. Robert Borne, Fr. Dan Miller, etc..would be found written in your parish bulletin or do you honestly believe you would get weekly update from your bishop. I don’t think so!

    Predator priests have oodles of help and prayers but it’s the victims of these priests that are in need of all the support they can get.

    “Sylvia’s Site” is one of many sites that help clergy abuse victims.

    Thank you Sylvia!

  10. Ceilidhe says:

    Fr. Chabot was my parish priest for many years. He baptized one of my children. I thought that he was one of the good priests, the ones that are far and few between it seems! It absolutely floored me to read about charges being laid against him. I’m shocked because, like other child molesters, he never molested any children in my presence! Does this mean that I condemn the victim(s)? Absolutely not! I commend them for coming forward and speaking to the authorities about the abuse so that other children are protected from him. It is very important to know who the abusers are and to weed them out of the priesthood. This is how we stop them!
    I am so disillusioned with the Catholic Church. I’ve attended Mass all my life, been involved in parish activities, etc. and it sickens me that they are still protecting them by harboring these men! As far as the blind-faith Catholics who don’t believe that these men are doing this, you need to wake up. They are doing it, and the Church is condoning it by their silence and lack of action. What do you think would happen in a place such as a hospital when parents complain to the administration that one of their employees molested their son? Do you think the hospital would just move the employee to another department or another floor and not inform the police? Do you think they would discourage the parents from calling the police themselves? Can you imagine that happening at a hospital, a school, a children’s camp, a day care center? And if it did happen this way, would you keep going to that hospital or other facility, letting them provide care to your child and continue to give them your money? Interesting analogy isn’t it? And don’t kid yourself, it’s about the money. Until every Catholic who attends Mass STOPS giving them money, they will not change their ways! Then and ONLY then will they act.

    • Tim says:

      Ceilidhe, you are so straight-forward in your analysis, and , OH, so correct.
      When we provide them with money they buy insurance to cover for law suite, and Lawyer expenses. Then they keep the accused or guilty Priests in some kind of comfort for the rest of their lives.
      Stop the money—Stop the abuse ! Tim

    • PJ says:

      Ceilidhe, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your post! Your analogy is bang on too. That church continues to act in a criminal manner by what it’s doing. More parishioners like yourself need to step up and speak with actions as well as words. Actions?? Things like putting collection envelopes with nothing in them except a note saying “stop spending my money on abusers” might get some responses. Anyway, God bless you for your support of victims, it’s nice to know there are still some parishioners who aren’t blinded.

      • disgusted catholic says:

        as soon as an allegation comes forward to a bishop, I would assume that he would be required to call the police, immediately -not ask the victim/family if they would like to lays charges. Any profession -ie. teachers, nurses etc.. when this is reported are required by law to report child molestaion…which is a criminal offense.. The same should hold for a bishop………..very serious offense…….

        • disgusted catholic III says:

          Unfortunately disgusted catholic, the bishops don’t have the victims best interested in mind. I have no idea why they’re not charged, when they find out they’ve been withholding evidence of a crime. What do the P.I.’s say? “Follow The Money”

          While on the subject of accountability, why do you think they’re making saints of 2 popes at this time? It’s been proven that the popes knew of these crimes and still done nothing but protect themselves. Making a saint of pope JPII. is just PR work. I would have never said or thought this until a little while ago. “I was blind now I see” All one has to do is seek and you’ll find. It may not be what you were looking for.

          • Disgusted catholic says:

            Yes. I also have a problem with popes being made saints. Not with all the cover up over the years and moving molesters around instead of calling police. !! Unreal !!

        • Claire I Fied says:

          from Pembroke diocese protocol posted by Sylvia ( )
          Report by an Adult
          “In a situation where an adult person alleges sexual abuse while he or she was a child, the Bishop’s Delegate will immediately inform the Complainant of the Complainant’s right to contact the police to commence a criminal investigation. If the Complainant prefers another procedure, the Complainant’s wishes are to be respected.”
          “All citizens who have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is, or may be, in need of protection, have a legal obligation to forthwith report this situation, along with supporting information, to Family and Children’s Services in Ontario (if the child is under the age of 16 years) …The Bishop’s Delegate will ensure that the civil authorities have been notified. The Bishop’s Delegate will assist with the ongoing civil investigation, wherever possible, but will undertake no independent investigative role”

          • B says:

            Exactly, Claire i fied, the protocol is skewed in giving the bishop leeway not to alert the civic authorities when the victim is now an adult (which is when most victims are finally able to begin confronting their abuse). This, unfortunately, allows the bishop to abuse his authority by persuading the victim to request “another procedure.” This protocol should be changed.

          • Claire I Fied says:

            B: I understand what you are saying, but given that an ADULT can speak and decide for him/herself whether to go to the authorities, another person going to the authorities instead of the complainant (for any criminal matter) would be overstepping their authority. As an example: if your car was broken into but there was nothing of major importance to you that was stolen so you chose not to report it, but you told someone else and THAT person took it upon themself to report it on your behalf, that would be overstepping their “authority” and your right to privacy. I don’t know whether the police would simply receive and file the information the person reported for a potential future call FROM you; or contact you to investigate further – they are also bound by FOI

          • B says:

            I can’t seem to comment below, so….

            Claire, if an adult went to a school principal and said that one of his teachers had once molested him, wouldn’t the principal have the duty to inform the police that this crime had been alleged against one of his staff? He would not have to give the name of the victim, just give the name of the perpetrator to the police to check against their records, allow them to investigate, etc. The church should have the same responsibility for the welfare of future or other victims.

        • Claire I Fied says:

          B: As I indicated I’m not sure what the police procedure is for a 3rd party report; and I don’t know what the procedure would be for a school setting – aside from anecdotal stories that a few schools have shuffled the alleged offender off to another school district with letters of recommendation. Suzanne Herrick-Lee might be able to tell you what the in general school procedure is as I believe she may have been a teacher and a principal.

          • Claire I Fied says:

            ^correction: “anecdotal story [complainant was a family member but not me personally] that a school shuffled the offender to another school with letters of recommendation”

          • JG says:

            They(Police) encourage it!!…think “Crime Stoppers”…

    • Claire I Fied says:

      JG: ^ true dat!

  11. Lina says:

    Father H. Chabot was my parish priest at Holy Name of Jesus from 1980 through 1994.

    In one of his sermons he spoke about the time he work with offenders who had broken the law.
    He pointed out that he was able to communicate, build a better rapport with the offenders if he called them by their proper first name. Like Tim instead of Mr. Tim Smith or Smith.
    It reminded the scripture that said: ‘I was in prison and you visited me.’

    My mother died in 1991 and her funeral Mass was at the near by church:
    ‘Paroisse St-Jean-Baptiste’.
    After the Mass there was a light lunch in the church’s basement.
    This is only clear memory I have of that sad day. Fr. Chabot was there, in the church basement and came to me and gave me such a nice hug, I felt like I was being embrace by Jesus.

    The last time I spoke to Fr. Chabot was 2 years ago at Moncion Grocery store in the east end of Pembroke.
    Fr. Chabot remembered me, he look good, he still had that wonderful smile and told me he was busy enough filling in for priests who were away.

    I have such good memories of this priest. That is why I am so filled with mix emotions of bad and good about hearing this shocking news about those charges brought against him.

    I know Msgr. Robert Borne but he was never my parish priest but Fr. Chabot was, for 14 years. This unbelievable news about Fr. Chabot is hitting me harder and so different than Msgr. Robert Borne’s betrayal.


  12. Ceilidhe says:

    I, too, have a problem with Popes being saints. To me, a saint is someone who gives their whole life, everything they own, to others and for others. Mother Theresa was definitely a saint, no question there. She lived like and with the ‘poorest of the poor’ so that she could help them. Mother Theresa didn’t cast judgment on others, didn’t cover for child-molesters, didn’t sit on a golden throne at the Vatican. She rejected the trappings of power and wealth so that she could live her life like Jesus Christ taught us. I don’t see ANY Popes doing that! How different the Catholic Church might be if a woman like Mother Theresa had been Pope!

  13. Disgusted catholic says:

    Well said Ceildihe. Totally agree.

  14. JG says:

    I reply to “Claire” above…
    Your above view on reporting a crime…: “…but you told someone else and THAT person took it upon themself to report it on your behalf, that would be overstepping their “authority” and your right to privacy.”
    That is a full size BULL!…”authority” and “privacy” as it concerns criminal activity!!??
    You are starting to sound like you have an agenda and trying to influence any potential victims in their decisions ….and since this site is primarily concerned with abuse by priests…You are a great pretender, Claire (fox)I Fied!!!
    A Bishop, any person with concerns, can report a crime to the Police and let them decide how to proceed; to suggest you shouldn’t or couldn’t because of limited “authority” or “privacy”???….
    One word…deceptive!


    • Claire I Fied says:

      no agenda JG. I was simply responding to DC’s assumption the diocese would be required to report to the police. I did not say I AGREE or condone the diocese protocol. And as for reporting a/any criminal activity as a WITNESS or VICTIM, yes, report and report. I did indicate in my post that I didn’t know how the police respond if someone else reports on BEHALF of another (ADULT) witness or victim. That’s all on that.

  15. Sylvia says:

    I’m going to blog on the Duty to Report in Ontario and the Pembroke Diocese Protocol. I’s rather convoluted and will be too large to post here as a comment. Before I get that posted I will pass on the sad news that there is no “duty to report” to police in the Pembroke Diocese, or anywhere else for that matter. There is a duty, in Ontario, for all citizens to report to the Children’s Aid Society. That duty is governed by Section 70 of the Child and Family Services Act. Here is a Service Ontario brochure which covers the duty to report in a fairly simple manner. The operative words are “a child” and “the child.” Not children in general, but “a” child, or “the” child.

    We hard about this ad nauseum at that Cornwall Public Inquiry. Many hoped that common sense would prevail, specifically to ensure that children in general are never placed or left at risk following reports of child sex abuse, both reports regarding sex abuse of minors which are reported when the victim is still a minor, and those regarding sex abuse of minors which is reported when the victim is an adult.

    It didn’t happen. Nothing has changed. Nothing.

    That aside, there was no focus on or even interest in a duty to report to police. Perhaps that was because Perry Dunlop was himself a police officer? Or perhaps it is because we are all so attuned to the “duty to report” to CAS that no one ever stops to ask “Why?” Why not to police? When it comes to the safety and well-being of children, why is there no duty to report criminal activity, or suspected criminal activity to police?

    No one in Ontario has a duty to report to police. Not the Diocese of Pembroke. Not teachers. Not doctors. Not nurses. No one.

    And, everyone – except lawyers – has a duty to report to CAS.

    I believe other provinces are much the same – the duty to report being a duty to report to whichever agency is equivalent to CAS in a particular province.

    I will get a post together on this. Meanwhile, read up on the duty to report.

  16. tanya says:

    Paedophiles can be found across a wide cross section of life. They quite usually form a nexus of vested self interest and are fiercely protective of their secrecy.

    It cannot be an accident or an oversight that there is no mandatory duty to report sex abuse against children to the police.

    It may well be that this crucial omission is a deliberate construct to protect and preserve paedophiles who hold public office.

    Am I merely speculating? Could this be simply yet another outrageous conspiracy theory attempting to draw disparate pieces of information together and create an intelligible pattern?

    Alexandria- Cornwell diocese, the Christian Brothers, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Basilians now Pembroke diocese and whoever next. Their crimes and the crimes of others went for decades without investigation from the police or scrutiny from the politicians. Yet even now their is a refusal to protect children with the need for mandatory reporting to police authorities.

    Who in political authority, past and present is being protected?

  17. Claire I Fied says:

    Tanya: the laws, policies; procedures etc. (including the Pembroke diocese protocol Sylvia post) are clear that it IS a mandatory duty to report sex abuse against (minors) CHILDREN . What is less than clear is what the laws, policies, procedures are (and who can report on an adult victim’s behalf) when it involves an ADULT who was a victim of sexual assault when he or she was a child.

  18. B says:


    Sylvia has already clarified your point; what Tanya is emphasizing (like the Cornwall Public Inquiry and many of the posters here) is that this law is misguided and inadequate and needs to be changed. Since pedophiles (despite the assertions of some “experts”) cannot be cured, the revelation that someone has offended in the past must be immediately brought to the attention of the police to prevent further victims from being molested.

    • Claire I Fied says:

      Thanks B. I get the drift now. It appears I read Tanya’s post too literally and as she specified children rather than adults who were children when the assault occurred I was responding in the wrong drift. I don’t see a ‘delete post’ option to remove my comment to keep the flow of the thread going tho.

  19. Tanya says:

    Thank you Claire I Fied and B for your replies.

    What is evident is our unity in our purpose to be advocates of justice for the victims. That is clear from all our sites contributors.

    Because a sex crime committed by a cleric or lay person occurred decades ago it must not be diminished in law. The victims ongoing suffering has been incalcuable. Mandatory reporting to the police of these decades old sex crimes is essential if the victim is to sense that at last their voice is heard and justice finally adminstered.

    Such mandatory reporting to the police will have the added benefit of tracking and tracing the life contour of the predator and exposing their criminality against others in those intervening years. This is as I always assert a criminal pathology that is untreatable. When one such crime there are others.

    I very much dislike the term referred to as ” historic sex crimes”; it is a dangerously misleading phrase. It fails to convey the living daily nightmare existence of the many victims. It is not a one off historic act; its devastating impact is a real presence in their lives.

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