There are two court updates which I have noted elsewhere:
The fourth sex abuse trial of Father Charles Picot, a predatory priest with the the Diocese of Bathurst, New Brunswick, was adjourned. The trial was scheduled to run 25-26 May 2015. Charges were laid November 2013:
There is another courtdate set, but it will NOT be the trial:
20 July 2015: Bathurst courthouse, Bathurst, New Brunswick
This I am sure is a huge disappointment for the complainants and Picot’s many other victims, including Derek Lapointe who drove to Bathurst for the trial . Please keep them in your prayers.
(2) Nathan Labatt
There is a new courtdate for Nathan Labatt, former youth volunteer with Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan Youth Ministry who is facing charges of sexual exploitation, invitation to sexual touching and possession of child porn:
26 May 2015: Hayter, Labatt Appear in Court
Labatt’s nect court date is:
15 June 2015: 10 am, Humboldt courthouse, Humboldt, Sask (805 8th Avenue)
Please keep those who filed compliants and who may have been affected negativley by this man in your prayers.
Well, I don’t know what to make of what is going on in Australia with the Royal Commission hearings in Ballarat. It’s hard trying to get a grasp on things while living in Canada.
Anyway, I did watch most of the testimony of serial molester Father Gerald Francis Ridsdale. I’m not sure why I even kept watching. It was the height of frustration. The 81-year-old couldn’t remember this, and he couldn’t remember that, and he couldn’t remember the other thing. Old age? or….?
True, I have watched countless witnesses whose memories seemed to suddenly fail them on the witness stand. Those who followed the Cornwall Public Inquiry known exactly what I am talking about.
But, Ridsdale was different. He was like a zombie. He seemed totally devoid of emotion. No sign of conscience. Just, …blank. Flat affect.
Weird. Disturbing to watch and listen, particularly as he was led through references to some of his countless offences. True, he did at one point – almost as an aside – make some comment about the damage he done, but even that was totally devoid of emotion.
I’m not sure what was gained by putting him on the stand. Perhaps that will unfold in due course. He’s scheduled to appear again today (evening of 27 May in Canada, morning of 28 May in Australia)
Cardinal George Pell
Tied into the Gerald Ridsdale testimony is Cardinal Pell, and what Pell did or did not know about Ridsdale, and what, according to testimony at the hearings, Pell is alleged to have said to David Ridsdale – a nephew and victim of the serial molester – when David Risdale disclosed to Pell, a family friend: “I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet.”
However, when David Ridsdale testified under oath at the Ballarat hearings, Pell’s lawyers opted not to cross-examine him! This option not to cross examine seems to be some strange defence tactic employed by all Catholic institutions under scrutiny at the hearings. The claim is they “ have no wish to make the task of those witnesses in this hearing any more difficult.”
BUT, despite a decision not to cross-examine witnesses to seek clarification and/or refute their testimony, on the heels of the David Ridsdale testimony out came a public statement from Cardinal Pell to “correct the record.” The statement read in part: “At no time did I attempt to bribe David Ridsdale or his family or offer any financial inducements for him to be silent.”
Victims and countless others were outraged. Cries went out from various quarters insisting that Cardinal Pell should return to Australia and take the stand.
And then, well, then out came the news that at the end of March of this year Pell had been right in Ballarat, and that in fact Cardinal Pell had visited St. Patrick’s High School in Ballarat, his old school, St. Patrick’s happens to be the Cardinal’s old school. It is also apparently a school which figures prominently in the sex scandals being investigated by the commission.
Pell was said to be at the school as part of “an exciting new initiative” to promote excellence at the school. His last visit to the school was seven years ago.
Anyway, there was the news of the visit to Ballart on the eve of the commission hearings. More outrage.
And, more surprises to come.
Yesterday the Cardinal suddenly announced that he is willing to travel to Ballart to testify. Pell said in the statement that he didn’t want to pre-empt the commission, adding that ” you can’t just invite yourself to give evidence.” I am sure the latter is as true in Australia as it is here in Canada, but it raises the question: Why, if Caridnal Pell doesn’t want to pre-empt the commission does he seem to be pre-empting the commission? If the commission wants him to testify I am sure its staff are more than capable of both finding and contacting him?
I really am a bit lost in all of this. I have a no doubt that there is a method to the legal tactics and apparent madness at play here. I have no idea what it is.
And so, starting at 8 pm EST today (27 May 2015) 0r 10 am AEST tomorrow (28 May 2015) Father Ridsdale will be back testifying from jail, and, unless something has really changed, staring blankly at the camera, without doubt devoid of emotion, and remembering a little bit of this and not a lot of that – and even less about “George.”
La La Land.
Click here to access the Royal Commission website for live-streaming. I will watch again 🙁
Enough for now,
27 May 2015: “Paedophile priest lived with George Pell and had him as a character witness at his trial for abusing 30 boys… but the evil predator ‘can’t remember dealing’ with the man who would become a Vatican Cardinal” & related articles