“Clear conscience”

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A little more now on two Diocese of Pembroke priests who used the sanctuary as a platform to declare Father Howard Chabot’s  innocence.

I spent a good part of today on this, tracking down stories to clarify and confirm, and trying to get in touch with both priests

The priests in question are (1) Father Terrence Sirosky, pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Deep River, Ontario, and (2) Father Grant Neville, pastor at St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church in Killaloe, Ontario.  I did try to contact both priests  for comment.  Father Neville was in Pembroke visiting family and will be gone until sometime on Friday.  Two messages I left for Father Sirosky have to this point gone unanswered.

I had hoped to contact both priests before blogging, however, at this time I will go ahead and post what I have been told.   I do so because I fear the repercussions and damage already done within the Catholic community, not the least of which is the animosity which is being nurtured toward the complainant by Roman Catholic priests.

This is truly unbelievable.

So here is the gist of what I have been told

(1) Father Terrence Sirosky

First, to put this into some context, although Father Chabot is retired he had recently been filling in for Father Sirosky for a number of Sundays.  I think in fact if I remember correctly Father Cahbot said in Deep River the Sunday before he was charged.

As for what was said by Father Sirosky this past Sunday at Mass, I have several sources for this, and all basically have the same message.

I am told that right after Mass Father Sirosky said that he is a close friend of Father Chabot, and that he had talked to Father Chabot about the allegations – Father Chabot in turn apparently asked that a message be taken back to parishioners, and he asked Father Sirosky to tell parishioners that he (Fr. Chabot)  is not guilty and that he (Fr. Chabot) has a clear conscience.  I was also told that Father Chabot  asked Father Sirosky to assure parishioners that the truth will prevail, and to pray for both he and the complainant.

Ask for prayers for both he and the complainant?  By all means.  I would expect such a request from a  priest and from the pulpit.  But the rest?  All of that priestly propaganda about Father Chabot’s clear conscience and innocence?  At Sunday Mass?

No.

As it stands, the priestly message is that Father Chabot is innocent.

What, pray tell,  does that say for the complainant?  As far as I’m concerned it says only one thing about the man who filed the complaint, that being that if indeed Father Chabot is innocent then the complainant is an outright liar.

That’s the message, is it not?  How else can we view it?

I am appalled.  Disgusted. This is such a terrible abuse of the trust which people place in their parish priest.  Whether by accident or design, this is such a brazen manipulation of people’s minds.

Yes, I realize fully that strange things happen when a priest is charged, and that emotions run high.  But, I don’t expect this.  Not from a priest.  Not on the heels of the countless cases we have witnessed in Canada and throughout the world where so many loyal parishioners and friends swore by “Father” and were adamant that he couldn’t possibly have done ‘it,’ and “Father” was equally adamant that he didn’t do ‘it,’ and then, lo and behold, after a little plea bargaining and a whole lot of months “Father” enters an 11th hour guilty plea.

(2) Father Grant Neville

And, much the same but slightly different here.

I am told from one source that Father Neville announced that he and Father Chabot have been friends for years, and that he believes in Father Chabot’s innocence and that this whole thing is just a money grab.

From another source I am told that Father Nevile said that he was in seminary with Father Chabot and he did not believe that Father Chabot could or would have done what he is accused of.

What can I say?  I think I said it all above.  But, I am sick at heart.  Sick for the complainant and his family.  Sick that this may deter anyone who may have been summoning up the courage to go to police and pass on information which they feel would prove helpful, or …deter a complainant who may have just summoned up the courage to go to police with sex abuse allegations against Father Chabot.

Those who truly want the truth to come out must in turn acknowledge that a hostile environment will not encouraging anyone to go to police.

Before closing, let me assure that this is not at all what happened in every parish in the diocese on Sunday.  This is what I am told was said in two churches last Sunday.  There are 48 churches in the Pembroke Diocese.   I have had reports from a number of people telling me that their parish priest spoke well about the charges, and there was no attempt to paint  Father Chabot as wrongfully charged and falsely accused.

And, one final sad note.  I hear that a number of people out and about the diocese are saying that Father Chabot has a clear conscience, and  that this is all about money.

Please pray for the complainant.

Enough for now,

Sylvia

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53 Responses to “Clear conscience”

  1. Leona says:

    So disappointing to hear the way people are speaking about this, Sylvia! As I believe you pointed out earlier, these are charges, laid by the crown! This is not a civil suit! There’s certainly no money to be gained from putting oneself forward to testify in a criminal trial. There are massive immeasurable costs to the victim who courageously steps forward. The so called spiritual leaders have a responsibility to their flocks to stop the calumny towards the victim.

  2. Claire I Fied says:

    In ONTARIO criminal justice system charge(s) are laid by the POLICE and they provide their investigation TO the CROWN for the Crown to pursue (not like in the US “law and order” tv show stuff where the police bring their file to the district attorney for the DA to decide whether charges should be laid). IF there is a conviction in a criminal matter, the complainant is at liberty to THEN launch a civil action against the accused which could result in ‘money to be gained’ as Leona put it.

    • Sylvia says:

      That’s right Claire. The police lay the charges. They can and often do consult with the Crown prior to laying the charges, but it is police who investigate and it is they who lay the charges
      As for the complainant being at liberty to launch a lawsuit if there is a conviction – the complainant can launch a lawsuit at any time he or she chooses. A complainant could sue without ever going to police to have his molester charged criminally. As those who have sued know, there is no ‘guilty’ verdict per se at the end of a lawsuit, and no ‘conviction’ – there is or is not a ‘settlement’ for damages done. In fact you will often hear people say that they settled a lawsuit just to get it out of the way and it in n way shape or form is an admission of guilt. The same holds true for lawsuits related to clerical sexual abuse.

      But, back to the point, the complainant does not stand to gain a penny by having Father Chabot charged. In truth if he, as his detractors claim, is after money he could have gone knocking on diocesan doors, or, he could have launched a lawsuit.

      He can still sue. That’s his decision, and I certainly have no problem with a victim going that route. But there is nothing that negates a complainant suing vs going to police. So, in this instance to go tossing out the tired old chestnut that he is after money rings hollow. Actually I think that’s about #2 in the defence lawyer’s bag of tricks: “(S)he’s in it for the money.”

      Once again, I commend the complainant for going to police. Stay the course. Stay strong. Ditto to anyone out there who is thinking of coming forward. Pity those who feel they have to vilify you to defend “Father.” Hold your heads high. The shame is not yours to bear.

      All of you who are upset and angry, speak your minds by all means, but please watch the language, and never forget that at this time Father Chabot has been charged, not convicted.

      And a reminder for those who don’t know: criminal action can only be pursued if your molester is alive. If he’s dead, then the only route to go in pursuit of some modicum of justice is a lawsuit.

      • Claire I Fied says:

        A complainant could sue without ever having police lay a [any] charge but it stands to reason if there is a conviction under the Criminal Code “first” it could weigh heavily in any civil action “settlement” or judge’s decision in favor of the complainant – either of which could result in a monetary award to the complainant [ie: ‘future’ gain a penny]. By the same token an acquittal, dismissal or withdrawal of criminal charge(s) could weigh heavily the judge’s decision in favor of the accused. (It would be highly unlikely an accused would simply “settle” a civil action if he or she was acquitted or the charge(s) were withdrawn)

        There is only a ‘settlement’ in a civil action if the parties agree to settle. If there is no agreement to settle the judge renders a decision based on the merits of the parties’ case. So in essence a decision in favor of the complainant is usually perceived as “guilty” or “conviction”; and a decision to dismiss the complainant’s action is usually perceived that the accused “not guilty”.

        And yes – the only recourse if an accused is deceased is to sue against the deceased’s estate.

  3. PJ says:

    Disgusting pieces of $hit…that’s what those 2 collars are after telling parishioners that their “friend” is innocent and this is a money grab. I wonder what “secrets” those 2 collars are hoping never come out? Birds of a feather flock together if you know what I mean.

    • Tim says:

      I think it is high time a warning be issued to all people, including Priests, that they also may be held libelous for some comments.
      They warn that we should not be judgemental, then come out with these pronouncements, which are VERY judgemental.
      Birds of a feather– makes one wonder (without being judgemental of course)

  4. Larry Green says:

    Frs. Terrence Sirosky and Grant Neville, did it ever occur to either of you that if indeed your friend is guilty ( legally and/or morally) of causing harm to this ‘other human being’ , then maybe it’s in his best interest to tell you a lie ?
    Your good friend Msgr. Robert Borne continues to maintain his innocence. Will you tell us if you support his claim as well. How about your long time friends , Father Dan Miller, Msgr. Bernard Prince, Father David Kelly, Father Lorne Whelan and the list goes on and on and on. Did they reveal to you privately that they were innocent as well. Please tell us parishioners and the public in general precisely what your opinion of all these Fathers and friends of yours are with regard to the allegations and convictions levelled against them?
    Have you tracked the lives of many victims after their molesting ‘Fathers and Monsignors’ have been convicted ? Do you know of a lot of those who became rich and have set themselves as examples for more ‘treasure hunters’ to follow. It seems to me that if a victim wants to gain any substantial amounts of money then the preferred course of action would be to talk privately in a room with a ’ molesting Father’ a Bishop ( possibly a pedophile as well) and a lawyer. The R.C. church is notorious for handing out millions in this way in order to keep things hidden and it works sometimes because they ( church officials) assume that ‘money is all the accuser is after’ and the victim is duped into believing that the money they receive is a befitting form of restorative justice. The fact is though that we have laws to prosecute criminals and we have established means through sentencing what constitutes the restoration of justice, where victims don’t get to choose the sentence for the criminal , nor do the criminal or the criminals friends get to choose what constitutes fair and equitable punishment.
    Sylvia, I am not sure what the statements by these two priests say to you or others about this particular alleged victim , but I can say that for me they serve to strengthen the credibility of the accuser. This total lack of respect for the dignity of the alleged victim also re-affirms the popular conviction that the church hierarchy (in general) is committed primarily to protecting church image and brethren at all cost. How ironic is it that the most degrading and unjust members in our societies are the ones who claim to be the highest authority on morality, justice and love.

    • Lina says:

      Larry….a very interesting post.

      By the way…I know Father Dan Miller, Msgr. Bernard Prince and Father Lorne Whelan made the accused list at Sylvia’s Site.

      Why was the name “Father David Kelly” added to that list of priests in your post?

      Under the ACCUSED list there is a Fr. Leonard Joseph Kelly and a Fr. Ron Kelly but no “Father David Kelly”.

      Larry…can you explain to us why you would add the name of Fr. David Kelly?

      As far as I know this priest’s name “Fr. David Kelly” was not printed here but the name was printed (mentioned) at another site which belongs to a Catholic priest’s who’s from the Pembroke Diocese.

      (Father David Kelly died January 18 1999.)

      • Claire I Fied says:

        I would like to know too Larry please. Interesting post because unless I’m mistaken Fr. David Kelly was there (seminarian at the time?) in ’83, ’84 or ’85.

        • Lina says:

          I got this info on page 383 from the book: ” Lift Up Your Hearts”, by Rev. Joseph C. Legree.

          The parish of Bancroft rejoiced on May 5, 1984 when Rev. David P. Kelly was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Windle.

          It goes on to say many clergy from all over assisted at this event.

          It also said Father Kelly had a temporary assignment as assistant that same year with Father Maloney.

          • Lina says:

            Larry that link you posted and I did posted there at that site about that priest was in the year 2009.
            Were in 2013 Larry.

            I was told in many different ways it was gossip and I should leave it in God’s hands and furthermore I should not speak ill of the dead.

            Eventually, I came to believe if there were victims of this priest they will eventually come forward. If nobody believed them I WOULD BELIEVE them.

            As for telling me in one of your post”Are you really so mystified Lina?”

            Why would you answer me with a question?
            Your the one who brought up the name Father David Kelly at this website not me.

            I’m starting to wonder what your real motives are?

      • Larry Green says:

        Are you really so mystified Lina?

        • Larry Green says:

          A pedophile never dies until every last victim is dead!

          • PJ says:

            No…a pedophile stops his behaviour when he is dead. Other than their own death, they will always find another victim…always!

          • Larry Green says:

            PJ, I dont disagree with that claim whatsoever!

          • Tim says:

            Larry, I find it interesting that the names of Bishop Windle, Fr. Maloney and Fr D Kelly , are all mentioned on the same page, and they are all dead- one by suicide. Tim

          • Larry Green says:

            @ Tim, I never did know Father Maloney but I did know Father Kelly. Long before I ever heard any allegations against him , I remember vividly one of his homilies he spoke about the sexual abuses in the church and said ” Jesus chose the weaker members among the men to be His disciples.” He was trying to persuade the congregation to respect the abusers for this reason. I found it odd, but when I heard about the allegations against him, it made sense.
            I have never heard anything officialy to substantiate the rumor that his death was suicidal. However, he was young , there were allegations, his death was sudden and no cause was ever revealed.

  5. Disgusted catholic says:

    I believe the bishop has a responsibility to discipline these two priests who are making a judgement call from the pulpit!!! Not part of their job !!
    Our priest made a general statement requesting prayers for everyone involved .
    If this was my family member coming forward after many years. I would be offended and disgusted that some priests are taking sides publicly in their churches. Where is the bishop in all of this ???

    • Tim says:

      Answer- Bishop missing in action.

      • Tim says:

        Larry, I knew Bishop Windle and Fr. Maloney, But not Fr. Kelly.
        I was musing about common denominators in the Diocese during the time frame for most of the charges against Priests.
        Bishop- Windle–Vicar Msgr Barry- aide– Fr Borne.
        Testimony in the Borne case claimed many of the illicit encounters occurred within the walls of the Bishop’s Palace (or residence).
        It stretches the bounds of credulity that the Bishop could NOT have known about at least some of that. I would include the Vicar in that , as well.

    • Sylvia says:

      I urge all Catholics in the Pembroke Diocese who are upset about the comments made by two priests last Sunday to email or phone the bishop.

      Here is the contact info:

      Bishop Michael Mulhall
      Phone: 613-732-7833
      Email: [email protected]

      Mailing address:
      188 Renfrew St.
      P.O. Box 7
      K8A 6X1

      • Larry Green says:

        The assistant to the bishop and Paul morris is on vacation till next week. Directed for emergencies to call Paul Morris but no getting through there either.
        The Bishop is no easy character to get on the phone.
        I am more likely to run into him and I can assure you I have no trouble approaching him whatsoever.

      • Disgusted catholic says:

        Just sent email to bishop
        I have sent many in past and nary a reply.

  6. MJ says:

    A quick note to Fr. Chabot’s victim – Stay strong. Stay focused. I believe you. You are not alone.

  7. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    I find it very difficult to believe that the O.P.P. and the Crown would lay charges if there was not credible evidence to support it.
    I am SO weary of this Pembroke Diocese! It’s all about power, money, and control over the masses. Very little if anything to do with God.
    My heart was broken 40 years ago, and they continue to stick needles in it.

    Unfortunately, much more to come in the next few weeks. mike.

    • Disgusted catholic says:

      I have to agree with mike that the complaint would have to be credible before charges being laid !! Who would put themselves through this after “all these years” just for money !!

  8. PJ says:

    What a sick diocese… is it the centre of the pervert collar universe? Seems that way with all the collars charged, and the others scrambling to defend them at all costs.

  9. Ceilidhe says:

    Absolutely disgusting comments from the pulpit! If I had been present I would have made a show of getting up and walking out of the church during their speech! How sickening to abuse their power by defending an accused priest, who, statistically speaking, is most likely guilty as charged. There is more than one church, more than one religion, more than one path to heaven. I don’t believe that we as Catholics hold the keys to heaven anymore than any other faith. It’s time for each and every one of us to take a long look at why we are still supporting this clan of child molesters!

    To Fr. Chabot’s victims, the one who has come forward and the ones yet to come forward, I believe you and others will too. Stay strong, you can do this!

    • Claire I Fied says:

      I did not read anything here that indicated it was mentioned “from the pulpit” [from the “sanctuary” implies it was, but was it mentioned after mass on the church steps if someone inquired or asked …or actually within the church and the mass itself??]

      • Sylvia says:

        My understanding in both instances is that the comments were made publicly from the sanctuary – that could be from behind the altar or from the pulpit. I have no idea what either priest is saying to parishioners privatley.

  10. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    After reading all the recent posts regarding Fr. Chabot, one very clear feeling comes out of all of us in this matter. Even if we don’t want to admit it, we are ALL heart-broken and angry over the on-going parade in Pembroke.
    I caution myself that Fr. Chabot has NOT been found guilty of any charges as of yet, but the feelings of mis-trust, anger and resentment remain.
    Some of us are in disbelief, some are angry, some have already assumed guilt, etc.. but as I said before, it appears that the case has some credibility.
    These matters are deadly serious! I have read some posts here that appear to minimize the seriousness of paedophilia (i.e. – it happens all over the world, every day)
    Well yes, it does but when it is committed by a civic and/or church official it becomes the ULTIMATE BREACH OF TRUST AND AUTHORITY! A Catholic Priest is not a stupid person! They are generally very well educated, and are very well aware of morals and laws. Unfortunately for us, the lowly unwashed, a lot of them should never have been ordained in the first place.
    “Blind” faith no longer works in my world. I have learned after all these years not to fear asking an honest and sincere question. I have asked a lot of these questions recently, and am not getting any answers.
    Anger certainly has a place here, but to seek to minimize these charges, or to assume guilt prematurely is out of place.
    Someone here recently posted that the bishop is “missing in action”, and I couldn’t agree more. Where the hell is he? He should be up front and centre, instead of sending out his pathetic bland statements about all his concern for “the parties involved” Dammit, what’s wrong with these people? I thought they were the “one true church”, the representatives of God here on earth.
    At least that was what I was taught by my abuser. Mike.

  11. PJ says:

    Mike: Your abuser (as did mine) deceived and lied to you. I figure the bishop and many of the other collars in that area are scrambling trying to figure out if they’re next. By not coming forward in a responsible and just manner has cast a huge shadow of doubt on all of them.

  12. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    PJ;
    I think your last line in your blog says it all. I like what you said about “a responsible and just manner”.
    The damage this organization has caused to people like you and I will have consequences for many generations to come. I am the first to admit that the church HAS done a lot of good throughout the years, but they cannot, and should not, use this as an excuse for deviant criminal behaviour on the part of their staff.
    I’ve always maintained that any organization is only as good or as bad as it’s leadership. A company (or church) with weak or disordered leadership skills is much like a cruise ship out in the ocean under full power, but without a rudder. All it will do is travel in aimless circles until it runs out of fuel.
    Much is the same here in Pembroke I feel. You can see it just as well as I can. I am very angry at the lack of sincere communication from this bishop, but am not surprised. What really startles me is this business of parish priests announcing “Father’s” innocence” at mass. This really shouldn’t be tolerated by the bishop. I believe it’s a leadership issue.
    One saving grace in all this bubbling quagmire for me is getting to know real people like you, and many others, who have a sad common ground to share. It keeps me going. Take care Buddy. Mike.

    • disgusted catholic says:

      i believe that the bishop should be visiting the parishes of the priests who spoke out improperly last weekend and make an apology to all of the parishioners that what was said was wrong!!……..the priests need to remember, that it is the ” people” church -not the priests-….and without the people, there would be no jobs for priests
      Waiting for the Bishop to step up…Something on sylvias site would be appreciated

      • Tim says:

        A Bishop is not going to do much, I fear ! They all rely too much on instructions they get from Lawyers, and less on the instructions from God!
        After all, why should a Bishop be interested? He only acts as a continuation of the Apostles !

      • Sylvia says:

        I will re-post a comment I made above.

        I urge all Catholics in the Pembroke Diocese who are upset about the comments made by two priests last Sunday to email or phone the bishop.

        Here is the contact info:

        Bishop Michael Mulhall
        Phone: 613-732-7833
        Email: [email protected]

        Mailing address:
        188 Renfrew St.
        P.O. Box 7
        K8A 6X1

  13. Sylvia says:

    A few people have had their say re Father Kelly. I have no idea f he did or did not commit suicide. As have many of you, I have heard stories to that effect. I have no idea whether he did or did not, and have never delved any further into the story.

    I have also heard from many different sources that he was a molester. Again, I have not delved into those allegations. I do believe that usually when there’s a lot of smoke there’s usually a fire. I also believe that if indeed the allegations are true then one day someone will speak up and the truth will come out. I am waiting for that day. Barring any concrete information regarding these allegations, let’s leave it there for now. If anyone does have information please send me an email at: [email protected]

    May God have mercy on his soul.

  14. Sheila says:

    Wow. What happened to innocent until proven guilty.

  15. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Sheila;
    Please read my entry of Aug. 9/13. Nothing has happened to “innocent until proven guilty”.
    What you are actually seeing here is abject disappointment, and yes anger, on the part of many catholics (present and former) at the antics and cover-ups by the church.
    Regardless of guilt or innocence, many Canadians are sick and tired of hearing about another “Good Father” who has been charged with a criminal offense.
    Regardless of guilt or innocence, when is the church going to wake up and deal with their staff who have already been convicted of criminal sexual assault, and get rid of them?
    How many more children are going to be sexually molested by these “men of God”, before the church wakes up and deals with it?
    Yes, Fr. Chabot is innocent until proven guilty. I agree with you entirely.
    What REALLY concerns me is the obvious “circling of the wagons”. Where is all this support coming from, for the good Father.
    What do they know that hasn’t been told to the Police, or the Crown? Mike.

  16. Sheila says:

    Mike,
    I agree with you when you say that people are angry. That is true. No child should ever have to go through that. I have 4 children myself and I would never want that to happen. But reading all these responses leads me to believe that everyone is already finding this priest guilty. I personnally know Fr. Sirosky and Fr. Neville and it breaks my heart to hear someone comment that birds of a feather flock together. Really. These two priests are the most upstanding men I know. It breaks my heart that Catholics can say stuff like this. Is it our job to judge people? Be angry if you must but don’t post incriminating stuff on line. All I see here is I heard from sources. Did you hear it first hand? From the person it happened to. This priest is finished now because of all the damage done to his name by people who think they know the truth. How many people came forward and said the same thing happened to them from this one priest? One. Where is the rest of them. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, it could have but I’m not judging either way. That’s God’s job when the time comes. There is a saying that says, If you can’t say something nice then say nothing at all. I’m not trying to be rude. Just having a civil conversation about this.
    Sheila

  17. Sylvia says:

    I’m going to weigh in on this…

    We all suffer, albeit in different ways, because priests have betrayed our trust Sheila. There are many victims who blog on/and or follow Sylvia’s Site. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the difficulty the large majority have had in ‘coming forward.’ Each one did so on his/her own. In so doing, many were denounced as liars by bishops, clergy, fellow parishioners and/or parents.

    I assure you it is no easy feat for a victim of clerical sexual abuse to garner the strength to go to police in pursuit of justice in a court of law. They are on their own. The difficulties of speaking up after many years of turmoil are exacerbated when Catholics circle the wagons around the accused priest and refuse to even entertain the thought that the allegations might indeed be true. It’s no picnic for a victim to be publicly branded a liar. I am speaking in generalities here, but it is fact. One example: I recall all too well the turmoil the victims of Father Kenneth Keeler went through – constant denials at all levels, and even after his guilty plea still those who insisted that Father would never do such things and he was forced to enter the guilty plea.

    The bottom line with charges is the fact that after speaking to a complainant police have concluded there is sufficient evidence to lay charges.

    Now we must all wait and pray that justice is done.

    I think it is highly inappropriate for priests to publicly defend an accused priest. They surely know as well as I that for the large majority of parishioners the word of priest trumps the allegations of sex abuse complainant, and they surely can figure out that such a stance automatically announces to one and all that the complainant is a good-for-nothing liar . That, Sheila, is casting judgement.

    If people have problems with the fact that charges are laid against a particular priest perhaps they should take it up with police? I doubt that police would be thrilled with such a prospect, but really, – if people ae convinced that a priest has been falsely accused then take it up with police and tell them why you think police have erred int heir job.

    Charges were laid. Fact.
    .
    Beyond that, we must all await the outcome.

    As for waiting for God to judge, yes, He will indeed, but in the interim it is up to us to ensure that our children are as safe on this earth as is humanly possible, and that as far as is humanly possible justice is done on this earth. I dread to think what this world would be like were we all to sit back and await God’s judgment.

    As for “If you can’t say something nice then say nothing at all.” I believe that’s a sentiment that has allowed this sex abuse crisis to fester, and that it’s the very sentiment that has allowed clerical predators to continue to molest at will, all the3w while masquerading as wolves in sheep’s clothing. I think it goes without saying that it is also the sentiment which has allowed the rape of countless young souls.

    What would you suggest a victim of clerical sex abuse do Sheila? stay silent, – because what he/she has to say isn’t “nice”?

    What of parents who know? What of those poor suffering parents who know that Father X molested their Johnny or Jane? should they too remain silent?

    And, what of fellow clergy and/or parishioners who know? should they stay silent?

    And what of the bishops who know? should they too stay silent?

    I’ve truly come to the understanding that silence is friend to the molester, and foe to the victim.

  18. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Sheila;
    Thanks for your response! You have good points, and I am in agreement with most. I know both priests you refer to personally, and I also agree that they are long serving good men of the church.
    I can’t agree with you on your opinion about judging others. We are most certainly in a position to judge, especially when in comes to criminal matters. I think that just saying we should let God do the judging is letting ourselves off the hook way to easy. Just look at the church.
    The church regularly puts itself in a position of judging, especially when it comes to matters of civil divorce, and human sexuality. You may very well say that they are doing the judging on God’s behalf, but that doesn’t work for me. If you have been civilly divorced, and are “living in sin”, the church judges you by not allowing you to receive certain sacraments.
    I really don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth would refuse you or I the sacraments.
    As well, I am so grateful that we have a judiciary that judges. This keeps us safe (hopefully) from the criminals in our society (which includes sexual predators).
    I grew up in the catholic church “fold”, and to now see what is happening all over the world (the same thing that happened to me) has infuriated and completely turned me off from the church.
    I believe the church deserves to be judged by us! It’s high time it happened, because the church has demonstrated to us very clearly that it has obvious difficulty in “policing” itself, and resents any suggestion that it cannot do so.
    You don’t come across as “rude” at all. I appreciate your opinions, and I also hope that these charges are found to be baseless. I just hope that you can realize that many of us have had enough of this behaviour from “the true church of God”, and expect much better in the future.
    I had a major part of my life taken away from me by a priest who was also a sexual predator, and I don’t want to see it happen to anyone else, ever again. Mike.

  19. Lisa says:

    I can only speak about the pain that it caused me to see my abuser’s name in the intentions for prayer in a parish bulletin. This was after the diocese had formally and unconditionally apologized to me and recognized that this had happened to me and other victims. I knew at some point before the bulletin was published that at the very least a secretary or Pastor had read and approved the submission. I am not saying that anyone should be excluded from prayers, not even those who have caused such enormous pain, but it should not come from the pulpit, a bulletin or any type of dialogue from the church. This is a slap in the face to victims of clergy abuse. I agree to let the civil and/or legal proceedings take their course and until such time….no priest, bishop, cardinal or pope should be trying to sway a congregation to support an accused priest at the expense of a victim. Maybe I should donate $10 to add a special intention to pray for all victims of sexual abuse caused by a priest and see if that makes it way into our parish bulletin. Who knows maybe I might be surprised and it would be published.

  20. Tim says:

    We are not supposed to judge people–but, we are to use the brains God gave us to judge their actions.
    Too many people hide away under the * Do Not Judge* banner, and let a lot of bad stuff slip by.
    What ever happened to you are your brother’s keeper.

  21. Tom Kapler says:

    Whatever happened
    Grant Neville and the priest accused
    were a part of my trip.
    Neville seemed like a good guy
    all into his hockey trip, native indian paintings in his office.
    http://www.thevalleygazette.ca/content/2014/06/fr-grant-neville-flying-retirement

    The whole scene however,
    I got a rude awakening in the next town over,
    this man came over and matter of factly tried to molest me
    my naively trusting the men in black.

    Anyway, whatever
    the churches, all of them around the world
    need to just roll over and die.

    For the hard core dogmatics there should be reservations, I mean like the indian not the flying ones lol, with a communitiy process not so much banishing but encouraging with provision a safe environment to proclaim their religion.

  22. Miecul says:

    What town are you referring to Tom?

  23. Brett Gray says:

    I know for a fact Father David Kelly abuse kids in the Pembroke Diocese, use to drive kids from Pembroke to Ottawa for evening dinners on the weekend. He would drive his black Monte Carlo. He was post at Osceola, ON, Canada where he had kids do sleepovers.

    • Lina says:

      Father David Kelly…..there’s a name from the past that keeps popping up.

      Another unsolved mystery about a priest from the Pembroke Diocese.
      Fr. David Kelly died January 18, 1999.

      I recall (reading years ago) at the Osceola church’s website. That Fr. David Kelly had an untimely death.

      From my limited research there was something suspicious about how this priest died.
      What was consistent and I do need to say alleged here is that he took his own life.

      Brett Gray you stated:

      “I know for a fact Father David Kelly abuse kids in the Pembroke Diocese…”

      That fits what I suspected for some time about Fr. David Kelly.
      He must have victims/survivors somewhere.

      The Pembroke Diocese, their clergy are no different than other dioceses around the world on how they handled the clergy abuse cases and scandals.

      There are so many informative articles at this site, thanks to Sylvia.

      I think about those poor victims in Chile went to the bishop and he passed the abuse along just like Cardinal Bernard Law did.

      Thank goodness the movie “Spotlight” demonstrated admirably the way the Catholic Church dealt with the survivors/victims and their supporters.

      There’s got to be some breakthrough for justice soon in the Pembroke Diocese.

      Lina

      • Lina says:

        I’m making a correction in my above post.

        It was the Catholic church in their history webpage in Maynooth, ON not the one in Osceola, ON., that I read about Fr. David Kelly untimely death.

        I’m sorry for the error or any confusion I caused.

        As many people may have found out (on their own) doing research, the Catholic churches in the Pembroke Diocese make it very difficult to gather information from them.

        Examples…..one day at the Pembroke Diocese website they had pictures of all their priests and all of the sudden they were all taken down, history about the parishes that were posted were either re-written or just plain gone.

        So far they still do have the priest names, parish and place they are posted at.

        The victims and survivors of clergy abuse in the Pembroke Diocese have it rough.

        Any understanding and friendliness done by any of the Catholic clergy in the Pembroke Diocese is clouded by the concern that they may have known about and been party to that cover-up system.

        Lina

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