No trial in Sudbury

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Please note PJs post

There will be NO ‘Father John Sullivan” trial in Sudbury next week.  Those who were planning to attend please note that there was an out-of-court settlement at the 11th hour.  There will be NO trial.

PJ, I am happy for you and relieved.  I never like seeing victims head into the lion’s den.  However, if I am to be truly honest, there is a little part of me that is disappointed: in Canada an out of court settlement generally means a gag order, therefore all documentation related to diocesan cover-ups and tap dancing and so will never see the light of day.

I struggle with my feelings on this. There has to be a way to ensure release of documents in these cases.  There should be transparency from the dioceses and bishops and so on.  They should be jumping at the bit to be honest with us.  No more secrets.  They just shouldn’t be allowed to keep things under lock and key.

You know PJ that I don’t say this to lay a guilt trip or anything.   That’s not it at all.  I truly am relieved for you and happy that it’s finally ‘over.’  But,  those who know me know that I do wrestle with this, and constantly wonder what can be done in a civil suit to both avoid putting victims through the ordeal of a trial and put the diocese’s feet to the fire.  I believe that all Roman Catholics have a right to know what has been happening behind closed diocesan doors for the past 50 years.

Any ideas, anyone?  Help me think it through.

Final comment.  Yes, that was indeed Father Sullivan who died.  Please keep his many victims in your prayers.

Enough for now,


PS I just spotted an article in the Sudbury Star regarding the lawsuit.  I can’t post it right now so will cute and past here.  Remember, contrary to the report, the trial will NOT proceed on Monday:

Former altar boy in Sudbury suing priest, church

By Harold Carmichael, The Sudbury Star

A now retired Roman Catholic priest preyed on him when he served as his altar boy, a Sudbury man alleges in a $3-million lawsuit that goes to trial on Monday.

The plaintiff, known only as “P.J.J.,” is seeking damages for pain and suffering, emotional and/or mental distress and aggravation from Rev. John Edward Sullivan and the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie,

The plaintiff alleges the sex abuse occurred when he served as an altar boy under Sullivan’s guidance.

None of the allegations contained in the lawsuit have been proven in a court of law.

Sullivan, who at one time served at the long-closed Falconbridge Canadian Forces Base in the Hanmer area, is a convicted sex offender.

The lawsuit is being led by Ledroit Beckett Litigation Lawyers of London, Ont., which has been involved in lawsuits against Sullivan, another former Sudbury priest Bernard Cloutier, and the diocese.

Cloutier was convicted in 2005 of sexually assaulting four boys in the 1970s.

Sullivan is now about 90 and living in Quebec. He was convicted in 1992 of having committed sexual offences against three brothers in the late 1960s while chaplain at Falconbridge Canadian Forces Base.

He was also convicted in 1990 of numerous offences of sexual assault on boys in several communities, including Sault Ste. Marie, Wawa and North Bay.

Sullivan was ordained in 1958.

The lawsuit states the diocese was Sullivan’s employer at the time.

“The Diocese had a duty of care to the Diocese’s parishioners owing to the close proximity of its priests to the lives of the parishioners as well as to the level of trust and faith which the parishioners and others extended to the Diocese, its priests and employees. Sullivan also owed a duty of care to the plaintiff by the nature of his position as a parish priest.”

The lawsuit alleges Sullivan used his position of “ecclesiastical authority” to develop a close and personal relationship with the plaintiff.

“Sullivan used his position as a parish priest of the Diocese, which was a position of authority, to develop a close personal relationship with the Plaintiff when he was young. The relationship that Sullivan developed with the Plaintiff, under the guise of a priest-practitioner relationship, allowed Sullivan an opportunity to be alone with the Plaintiff and to exert total control over him, prey upon him and sexually abuse him.”

The lawsuit alleges Sullivan fondled and masturbated P.J.J., and committed other sexual actions.

The suit alleges the priest engaged “in a pattern of behaviour which was intended to make the Plaintiff feel that he was special in the eyes of Sullivan, the Church and God.”

The trial is scheduled to run all week.

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

6 Responses to No trial in Sudbury

  1. PJ says:

    Sylvia, I agree with you that there should be full transparency in all these litigation cases however the fact remains that that church continues to defend it’s pervert collars to the bitter end. As such, the victims are retraumatized with each event during their long road in litigation…I know, I was one of them. I began this journey back in 2011 and was fully intent on having this go to court for maximum publicity in our battle to expose the coverups which have caused there to be multiple victims. Had these pervert collars been defrocked after being found guilty, there would have been fewer victims. 5 years later in my struggle, I have been worn down by the constant turn of events and frustration to the point where my family became very worried about my well being. Even up to the night before my departure to Sudbury for the trial, I was still resolved to testify, despite my fragile mental health. Throughout this 5 year struggle, I had become much more angry and bitter about everything…I was not happy with the person I was becoming. So your comment about the “guilt trip” would have pissed me off last week, today, I look at it in a different light. With each trial that the church faces, it hits them in the pocket book…the one thing they seem to care about the most. Even in the cases where the victim may not have been as successful as they would have hoped in the trial, it still costs the church dearly in the defense of the perverts. The church still has not quite figured out how to really show genuine change in how they deal with the sexual abuses. If they were to defrock the collar upon proven guilt and also offered counselling and other supports to the victims, then I would believe they are making positive changes. As it stands now, all the rhetoric from frankie on down is nothing more than a clashing gong…all noise and no positive outcome. Here’s another way to look at this whole thing. If a school board had 10% of their teachers molesting children but instead of firing the perverts, they just moved the teacher to another school and never told the parents, how would the public react? And what if the head of the school board offered an apology and “reconciliation”, but never got rid of the teachers, would parents be happy and say, yeah, that school board is doing the right thing…Not on your life!! So why does the public and parishioners accept this? Get it??? Yeah I do, but that church doesn’t.

    • Sylvia says:

      I agree PJ. They molesters should and must be defrocked. What I was getting at is how do we ensure that the dirty little secrets get out so we all know what they knew and when, and we can all put into context that Bishop X recycled and tolerated molesters and wilfully placed children at risk while keeping unwitting parents in the dark about one wold in sheep’s clothing after another, and parents who were told theirs was the only complaint will know it was a lie, and parishioners who were saddled with a molester priest will understand that they were deceived and their children placed at risk, and Catholics will know that some church official were not beyond lying? And can it be done without causing further distress for you the victims? and, if so, how?

      I’m getting a handle on it. It’s coming.

      Sometimes I think I get too close to the forest to see the trees. No settlement with a Roman Catholic diocese, priest, brother, sister or priest should rest on concealing the truth. It matters not whether it is legal or not, Church officials should first and foremost abide by and promote truth “the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth…”

      I often say that if our bishops and clergy spent half as much time listening to God as they do to their lawyers neither they nor we would be in the mess we’re in. I don’t say that idley. I believe it.

      • PJ says:

        What a pile of crap in his obit. Burn in hell…
        “Suddenly, yet peacefully, Rev. John Sullivan passed away on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016 at Residence Pierre Joseph Triest in Montreal. Predeceased by his sister Josephine; his brothers: Rev. Anthony; Louis, (the late Florence); Joseph; Alphonse, (the late Theresa); William, (the late Catherine); and two sisters, Irene and Josephine, who died in childhood. He will be remembered by his nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues. Father John was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie by the Bishop of the Diocese on May 25, 1958. He carried out his priestly ministry in various parishes throughout the Diocese until his appointment to the Matrimonial Tribunal. He retired in 1989. After retiring he came to live in Montreal with his sister Josephine thus enabling her to live in the family home until she was 100 years old. They travelled, gardened, and hosted many gatherings of family and friends. He was also Josephine’s dedicated and constant companion when she moved to the Triest residence and this continued when he himself moved to the same residence until her death in 2013 Special thanks to the staff of Residence Triest for their kind and attentive care. Visitation will be held on Saturday, April 9th from 12 to 2pm followed by a Funeral service at 2pm at Magnus Poirier Funeral Complex, 6825 Sherbrooke St. East, Montreal Qc. H1L 1C7. Burial will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Aloysius Parish-( or a charity of your choice would be appreciated. “

  2. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Very well said PJ! It may astonish you (hah) that I have nothing to add. Your journey will get better as time goes on, if it’s at all like mine.
    Astonishing and remarkable is how often these pervert priests just happen to die a few short hours or days before they are due to spill their guts in court. Makes me wonder…………………………. Mike.

    • PJ says:

      Thanks Mike for all your support and kind words. The healing needs to start and at least I know I’ve done everything in my power to stand up to them. Like David and Goliath, I’m now strong.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Thanks for posting the update on the obit PJ. I just added it.

    I wonder why they suggest donations to St. Aloysius Parish?

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