Oblate fugitives and enablers

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In keeping with catch-ups on a back-log of information which needs to be added to Sylvia’s Site I have posted the following information regarding French-born Oblate molester Father Joannes Rivoire omi:

28 April 2016:  ‘They’ knew, and recycled him to France

So, ‘they’ knew in 1992, or, at least they had reports in 1992.  And, as you see, first Father Rivoire was shipped off to join his Oblate brethren in Winnipeg, Manitoba, then an “investigation” in Arviat, and then, lo and behold, Rivoire was back to France, his native land, on the pretext it seems of visiting his aged and ailing mother.   He never came back.

Thank you Karen, for shedding more light on the sex abuse scandals and cover-ups perpetrated by Oblates in the North. Thank you!

Now, back to the Father Rivoire saga…

The Bishop of Churchill at the time would have been Reynald Rouleau, also an Oblate.  I don’t at this time know who the priest was who conducted the interviews in Arviat.  I shall try to find out.

Marius Tungilik

I spoke to and communicated with Marius Tungilik .   Marius talked about his abuse at the hands of Father Rivoire.  It was Marius Marius and another person from Arviat who went to police and and charges were laid.  He believed that was in 1993.

From one of Marius’ emails:

This priest lived in Repulse Bay where I am originally from.  We only really knew him as Fr Rivoire or as we called him in Inuktitut Ataata Rivoire.  I think he used to introduce himself to newcomers as as either Fr Jean or John Rivoire, so I never really knew him as Joannis.  He was one of the parish priests, Co-op Manager and sometimes worked at the Health Clinic.  Since my parents were devote Catholics and had a long association with prior priests, my parents were close to him.  I worked for him as a Co-op employee when I turned 14.  When he lived in Repulse Bay, there were about 300 people.  He had taken advantage of me when I was about 13 or 14  but I did not tell anyone.

In any case, I moved to Yellowknife at a young age and lived in many places in Canada and abroad and quickly rose through the ranks.

I was a senior government official in 1992 when I made a presentation to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in Rankin Inlet regarding the legacy of abuse in residential schools.  I did not mention names but I made it clear that sexual abuse had occurred.  I then organized a reunion of our school in Chesterfield Inlet which took place the following July to deal specifically with abuse and healing.

In 1993 at the reunion, I was informed by one of his other victims that Fr Rivoire had left his parish in Arviat with just a suitcase or the clothes on his back and did not return.  I asked the bishop about it and he did not give a reply, though I had been working closely with him because of the issues.

Then, unfortunately, in or around 2000 Marius was contacted by “the Justice Department” and was told that “since Fr Rivoire was living in Belgium and because they were no extradition treaties with Belgium, they were going to drop the case against him.  I was frustrated but felt helpless.”

Rivoire was NOT, however, living in Belgium.  He was in France!  Why Marius was told that Rivoire was in Belgium is a puzzzler?  Perhaps Marius misunderstood?  I queried him on that, but he was adamant that he had been told Rivoire was in Belgium.  Perhaps the Oblates told police Rivoire was in Belgium?

Amway, the bottom line is that Father Rivoire was in France.

Marius tried to dig up the files at the courthouse.  He searched and searched.  In vain.  He knew that somewhere there had to be a record of those charges which were laid back in 1993.  He wanted to know what happened.   He checked at the Nunavut courthouse.  He searched at the Yellowknife courthouse. He had people searching on his behalf.     No luck.  He was frustrated.  Terribly frustrated.  Did I believe that Marius had been sexually abused by Father Rivoire?  Absolutely.  I heard it in his voice – in every word he said when he talked about Rivoire.

Marius died 22 December 2012.  At that time Father Rivoire’s name was not on the Accused list.  As soon as I heard the sad and unwelcome news, I added the name of Father Johannes Rivoire to the list – for Marius.

Strangely enough, in 2013, nearly one full year after Marius’s death,  we learned that the RCMP still have an active arrest warrant on Rivoire for child sex abuse charges .  If Rivoire were to return to Canada, he would be arrested.

Is the warrant related to Marius’s charges?  That I don’t know.  It  is apparently dated 1998.  But, how unfortunate that Marius went to his grave not knowing that his molester was in fact a wanted man, and that indeed Rivoire  was  facing criminal charges.  It would, I believe, have gone a long way to easing the pain which Marius  suffered and soothed his  troubled soul.  Sadly, it was not to be.

May he rest in peace.

Some background –

Like convicted now-defrocked-serial-Oblate-molester Eric Dejaeger , Rivoire served as a priest throughout Nunavut (formerly the North West Territories)

We know that Dejaeger molested countless children during his years in Igloolik.

What about Rivoire?  How many dear little children did Father Joannes Rivoire accost?   How many souls were literally  raped by this ‘man of God.’  I fear there are many.

Yes, unless things have changed in the past three years, there is a warrant out for his arrest since 1998, but there is no sign nor hint that Rivoire will ever be extradited.  Yes, I have no doubt that the process is expensive, but, ..what about the children?

Truth be told, there should not be and never should have been a need to go the extradition route.  Think about it.  Why are the Oblates, both here and in France, not doing the honourable thing?  Why have  Father Rivoire’s superiors not  ordered him – yes, ordered him, under his Oblate vow of obedience – to pack his bag and get himself back to Canada to face his accusers?  Why, for that matter,  did the Oblates allow him to flee Canada in the first place?

I don’t understand.

And, look at this..

After news of the warrant broke, Father Rivoire was contacted by Bob Weber of the Canadian Press.   Rivoire, believe it or not,  said he didn’t know if he was willing to  return to Canada to face the charges against him.   In fact, he didn’t want to talk about the matter.  “I am not willing,”  he said, adding “I am old. I am sick.”  Then, he hung up the phone.

Where oh where are the Oblate superiors in all of this?  Why did they  not insist this fugitive do the right and honourable thing long ago ?  Why do they not give a hoot about the pursuit of justice?  Why do they not give a hoot about the pursuit of truth?  Why, of why, do they not care enough about the tormented victims to order Father Rivoire back to face his accusers?

Oblate fugitives and enablers

Without going into too much detail, a few comments about the Oblates’ dealings with fugitives Fathers Eric Dejaeger and Joannes Rivoire and their enablers

 1990  In 1990, after a guilty plea, Dejaeger was sentenced to five years in jail.  Less than a year later, and after a bit of plea bargaining away of charges, another guilty plea.

1992:  By March 1992 Father Eric Dejaeger was out on full parole.

1993:   January 1993 new charges were filed against Father Eric Dejaeger

Somewhere during this 1993 time frame, (a)  Marius and at least one other Father Rivoire victim went to police to report sex abuse at the hands of Father Rivoire,  (b) Karen contacted the Bishop of Church-Hudson Bay regarding the information she had attained about Rivoire as a sexual abuser, and (c) an as yet unidentified priest arrived in Arviat to ‘investigate’ the allegations against Father Rivoire

For reasons unknown the new charges filed against Dejaeger in January 1993 went by the bye.  A trial scheduled for early July  was cancelled.  In an October 1993 letter to Father A, Piche, the Oblate Provincial Superior in Winnipeg, lawyer John Schofield advised that “We think it is highly unlikely that they will proceed with any further charges at any time.”

And, at some point in that year, Father Rivoire was gone!  The word was that he had returned to France to visit his aged and ailing mother.  He never returned.  Marius was told in 200 that Rivoire was in Belgium.  Was that a ruse to mislead detectives?  or did he in fact head first for Belgium to visit a few of the Belgian Oblates and from there return to his native France?  Barring disclosure of documents or an inquiry, we may never know.  No matter, wherever he headed, the Oblates must have paid his airfare.  Oblates have vows of poverty – it s highly unlikely that Rivoire headed for Europe without assistance from his order.  And, yes, of course, several of the Oblates knew very well that Father Rivoire had been molesting.  Certainly Bishop Roleau knew.  As did the priest who travelled to Arviat to conduct those interviews.

1995:  In February 1995 Father Eric Dejaeger was charged, yet again!   A trial date had been set for July.

In June, Dejaeger fled the country for his native Belgium.  A warrant was issued for his arrest.  On 05 July “J.P.” sent Dejaeger a letter advising that RCMP were looking for him (Dejaeger) and that he, J.P.  told them Dejaeger was in Belgium but that he did not know where! J.P. is Father Father Jean-Paul Isabelle omi.  ( Of interest is the fact that Father Isabelle was living at the Oblate residence in Winnipeg in 1993 and would without doubt have, at the very least, been aware of the sex abuse allegations against Father Rivoire. What role, if any, he may have played in getting Rivoire out of the country to avoid police and possible prosecution at that time is unknown.)

By 1995 Father Rivoire was, of course, long gone and nestled away safely in Europe.  If not immediately, at some point he was residing at Notre Dame des Lumieres. It’s a facility owned by the Oblates and used as a retreat and hotel in the village of Goult in southeastern France. At some time and for an unknown period of time, Golt was treasurer.

But, back to Dejeager.  Despite the fact that  Oblates on both sides of the Atlantic knew that Dejaeger was both a convicted molester and a fugitive from justice, he  remained at large, foot-loose-and-fancy-free, until he was tracked down in 2010, deported in 2011, and tried and convicted in Nunavut in 2014.

Yes, good news.  He was tracked down.  He could run, but, thanks to the wonders of  internet, he could no longer hide!  However, sad to say, the Oblates did not, to my knowledge, play any role whatsoever in getting Dejaeger back to Canada to face his many accusers.  Not even a teensy role.  To the contrary.  I would say, in fact, that they were in fact- both in Belgium and Canada –  his enablers.  For years they remained silent, allowing a known serial molester to freely  prey on children in his native land: ditto in Lourdes, where, from approximately early 1997 to mid 200o,  believe it or not,  he was permitted to spend time ministering to pilgrims at the shrine and hearing confessions.  Why anyone would have given this predator  faculties to hear confessions and ‘say’ Masses is beyond me, but, someone did .  And the Oblates were fine with that.  Not a whisper from them.

Thanks to media coverage, investigative journalists and the internet we have managed to piece together a large part of the Oblate cover-up related to Dejaeger.  There is, as yet, no such paper trail on Rivoire.  Thanks to Karen, however, we know that he was reported to Church officials in the early 90s.  And, we know from elsewhere that charges were  laid< This is still a little fuzzy, but they were probably laid in 1993,  and  a warrant was issued in 1998.  Why the arrest warrant was not  issued until 1998 I have no idea, unless of course there was another set of charges? Anyway, the bottom line here is that that the Oblates probably did about as much to get this fugitive back to face his accusers  as they did with Dejaeger:  nothing!  Were it not for the example of the manner in which they handled Dejaeger we could perhaps give the benefit of the doubt to Rivoire’s Oblate superiors.  We could assume that they tried to get him back and so on and so forth.  But, well, we do have the example of Dejaeger.  And that was around the same time.  And the people in charge, at least in Canada, would have either been the same, or would have had a say in the handling of the scandal about to erupt.

Silence!

And, yes, the next bottom line is that, there’s no other way to say it:  Father Rivoire ‘got away with it.’  He did.  He got away with it.  Thanks to those who protected and enabled him, he got away with it.

I am sure there are many Rivoire victims out there suffering in silence, while their abuser – supposedly a man of God – concerns himself with being  “old” and “sick.”   Has he, I wonder, so much as said a prayer for the repose of Mario’s soul?  Have his enablers?  I hope so.  I do hope and pray there is much decency left in their being.

Thank you again Karen for giving us this important information.

Please keep the victims of both Father Rivoire and Eric Dejaeger  in your prayers.

Enough for now.

Sylvia

PS

Just for the record:

(1)   Father Rivoire served in Igloolik  from 1960 to 1965.  Father Eric Dejaeger served in Igloolik from 1978-1981.  I have forgotten how many Igloolik  victims of Dejaeger came forward.  There were many.

(2)  Father Eric Dejaeger left  Baker Lake just prior to facing his first set of sex abuse charges (1989).  For a spell the community was without a priest. The priest who eventually arrived to ‘say’ Mass for the 100 or so Catholics in small community was, yes, Father Rivoire.

 

 

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1 Response to Oblate fugitives and enablers

  1. Raymond Kaslak says:

    Perhaps there should be a letter-writing campaign by the people addressed to Mr. Riviore to do the right thing and give himself up, try to get to the bottom of his soul that if he made a confession to a church there, that it was skewed because of Oblates’s complicity in an illegal act, that he will die with sins still on his soul. The number of letters he receives from ordinary people will make his supposed sanctuary breached and hound him.

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