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There are two courtdates tomorrow, Tuesday 09 December 2014

(1)  Father Yvon Arsenault

09 December 2014:   PRELIMINARY hearing, Moncton courthouse, Moncton, New Brunswick

This is a preliminary hearing so there will be a publication ban on the names of complainants and all testimony and evidence, but the hearing is open to the public and you can sit in the courtroom and hear and see for yourself.  It is a little like a mini trial for the judge to determine if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial.

I encourage those who are free to do so to attend, bot to support the complaianants and to watch and listen.

Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

(2)  Father John Sullivan

09  December 2014: 09:30 am, courtroom #101 “to set a date for trial,”  North Bay, Ontario court house (360 Plouffe Street)

Will anything of any significance happen tomorrow?  This has been going on and on and on.

Please keep the complainant in your prayers.  This has to be so terribly terribly frustrating for him,


A trial date has been set for Father Robert Couture:

23 November 2015: 10 am, TRIAL by jury, set for three weeks, Windsor Superior Court of Justice (245 Windsor Avenue), Windsor, Ontario

Couture has opted for trial by jury.  How often do we see that these days?

Anyway, approximately one year from now Father Couture will be on trial before a jury.  The charges of theft over $5,000 were laid April 2013.


An article added to the Father Stephen Amesse page:

08 December 2014:  Ottawa priest accused of sexual assault getting supportive emails, congregation hears

Can anyone think of why Episcopal Vicar Father Geoffrey Kerslake opted to tell parishioners at Sunday Mass that Father Amesse had received 128 emails between the Thursday he was charged and the next Friday morning, with all but one being positive ?

What’s the message to parishioners?  And what’s the message to the complainant?

Disturbing, and I personally believe totally uncalled for and inappropriate.

Supportive emails from parishioners aside, did you notice that Father Amesse was able to be make his first court appearance by videolink?   Was there concern that there would be such a horde of reporters at the Ottawa courthouse that his lawyer pushed for videolink?

I wonder who his lawyer is?

One final thing….

Yesterday I posted the following large article from the National Post about Cornwall’s Father Claude Thibault:

07 December 2014:  A test of faith: He was molested by a priest — then ordained as a priest with his abuser in the room

In the print copy the article takes up two entire pages of the paper.  It’s a large article.

Now, if you read over the information posted on the Father Stephen Amesse page  on Friday you would have noticed the following in the timelines:

1983?:  was studying for the priesthood at St. Paul’s University, Ottawa. Ontario.

At the Cornwall Public Inquiry Father  Claude Thibault, a priest with the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall and victim of clerical sexual abuse, testified that while he was in his second year of studies (1983)  for the priesthood at St. Paul’s University he disclosed his abuse by Father Gilles Deslaurier to fellow seminarian Stephen Amesse.

For some reason Amesse left the seminary before ordination and began working on Parliament Hill.  He obviously eventually returned and was ordained in 1999.  It is known that at some point he was in seminary at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.  (Was this before or after his time on Parliament Hill?  was it after he was at St. Paul’s in 1983 with Claude Thibault? was he planning to be incardinated somewhere other than the the Archdiocese of Ottawa?)

That’s the same Father Claude Thibault – he testified at the Cornwall Public Inquiry seven years ago and at that time told much the same story on the stand that you read in this article.    As I comment at the foot of that article, back when Father Thibault testified I posted a link on the Father Thibault page to the following blog:

02 October 2007: BLOG Good point (Damage control? and reference friendship with Father Stephen Amesse who contributed to CCCB’s sex abuse guidelines From Pain to Hope. )

I was puzzled at the time by the priest’s testimony,   specifically hearing a victim of clerical sexual abuse from Cornwall praise  Bishop Eugene Larocque and lawyer and Church canon lawyer Jacques Leduc., and also hearing a priest/victim who is opposed to the defrocking of clerical molesters, and opposed to the US bishops’ Dallas Charter’s one strike you’re out policy, and who believes some priests only molest once and should be given a second chance.

I was floored when I heard that the seminarian in whom Thibault had confided in or around 1983 was a Stephen Amesse. – specifically because the Father Stephen Amesse in the Ottawa Archdiocese was ordained in 1991.  It made no sense.  But, it was indeed the same Stephen Amesse.

I was puzzled by Father Thibault’s testimony seven years ago.  I am puzzled by this article in the paper now.

As an interesting aside, I see that at some point Father Amesse attended Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell Connecticut.  I’m not sure when he was there, but he was there, either before or after his years working on Parliament Hill, he was there.   That’s the same seminary which Father Joe LeClair attended before he met then Archbishop Joseph Aurele Plourde who sort of ‘poached’ LeClair for the Archdiocese of Ottawa.   LeClair was ordained in 1986.

Does anyone know when exactly Father Amesse was in seminary in Connecticut?

The transcripts of Father Thibault’s testimony at the inquiry can be read here:

01 October 2007:  Father Claude Thibault transcript of testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry

02 October 2007:  Father Claude Thibault transcript of testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry

I must recheck but I think he testified that Father Amesse was from New Brunswick.  Other reliable sources say Father Amesse was born in Montreal.  Perhaps he spent some time in New Brunswick?  If anyone can clarify any of this please get in touch.

Enough for now,


This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese, Canada, Circling the wagons, Clerical sexual predators, Cornwall, Cornwall Public Inquiry, Scandal and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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