Not many surprises?

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Well, not a good way to start off the week.

I call it circling the wagons.

Ottawa’s Archbishop Terence Prendergast had a statement in yesterday’s Ottawa Sun.  Here is a link:

22 May 2016: “Archbishop: Church must do better, help to heal” & related article

A few quotes and comments.

(1)  “We saw in black and white a list of Ottawa priests implicated in the sexual abuse of minors published in the city’s English-language dailies.”


Those mentioned were  either convicted in criminal court, or found liable in civil court.

(2)  “Yet, there were not many surprises in the published articles, as people in Ottawa have heard the stories in the news of abuse and the conviction of priests over the years as they were reported.”

There weren’t many surprises?  Really?!

I’d say there were quite a few surprises.  Big ones.   A few

(a) Father Barry McGrory’a abuse of children here in Ottawa was not reported and was an extremely well guarded secret.  Ditto his conviction in Toronto a few years after he was suddenly and mysteriously shipped out of the archdiocese.

Yes.  That was a surprise to many.   A big one at that.

(b)  Father McGrory, a molester priest who claims to have  been “cured,” and has been ‘saying’ Mass and hearing confessions for years, is blaming a 13-year-old  victim for the abuse she suffered at his hands.

And, yes, that was surprise too.  Actually, for many, it was a shock!

(c)  Diocesan officials knew as early as 1965 that Father Dale Crampton was a molester.  Diocesan officials were told again in 1980.  And again in 1986.

That was news to nearly everyone.  Another surprise.   A huge surprise.

(d)  Colleen, a McGrory victim, was told in 1997 that Father McGrory had defrocked.  False!

Yes, yet another  surprise.  In fact, for everyone who read the article, another huge surprise.

(3)  “… the shock came from seeing all the details displayed in one place. “

Actually, the shock came from seeing secrets which had never had seen the light of day,


On 21 May I blogged: Is that what we’re talking about?

In the blog I made reference to and queried this portion of a para of Archbishop Prendergast’s 18 May 2016 statement:

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast has made it his clear policy and practice that any priest, who is found guilty in a criminal trial or found liable in a civil action, is prohibited from conducting any and all ministry and from presenting himself as a Catholic priest. ….

I was wondering specifically why there is mention there only of ‘sanctions’ for those molesters  found guilty in a criminal trial or found liable in a civil action, and no mention of those predatory priests who are dealt with through essentially an internal process of “justice and reconciliation”?

Well, here is a the 2011   Protocol Regarding Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy and Religious Clerics (Ottawa Archdiocese)

and here is the relevant para (emphasis added):

2.4       In the event that the Review Board is involved in the matter of a particular allegation, whether criminal charges are laid or not and following a briefing by the Delegate, if the Review Board deems there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed, the Delegate will communicate to the Archbishop the Review Board’s recommendations that may include an assessment of the allegation and the suitability for ministry of the accused.

Note this references cases in which the Review Board concludes that there are  “reasonable and probable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed.”  Would these be deemed “credible” allegations?  No?

And note, that the Review Board ‘s recommendations MAY include an assessment of the allegation and the suitability for ministry of the accused.


As you know, I believe these molesters should be defrocked, not suspended and so on.  That being said, I am wondering why the archbishop made no mention of ‘suspension’ and so on when there is an internal investigation.  In other words, at what point does  the Review Board and the Archbishop  determine that a priest is a molester who, like their molesting brethren who are NOT dealt with internally, must be  “prohibited from conducting any and all ministry and from presenting himself as a Catholic priest” ?


Here’s a link to the September 2015:  Ottawa Archdiocese Code of Pastoral Conduct

You can read it through and see what you think.  For me, that’s

Enough for now,



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

3 Responses to Not many surprises?

  1. Leona says:

    I think the most telling part of the “Code of Pastoral Conduct” is this statement:

    “All who accept a responsibility within our Church family must be aware that their public and private conduct can inspire others but may unfortunately also lead to scandal and, therefore, undermine the People’s faith. With constant reliance on the help of the Holy Spirit, they must be aware of the responsibilities that accompany their work.”

    It seems like the avoidance of scandal is the number one concern. It’s not about their responsibility to protect children and the vulnerable, but to avoid scandal. That in itself is scandalous!

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Yes, Leona, it is scandalous ! But, I think, if we put in the context of the Archbishop s thinking, the amount of money they have paid out ( and are not finished paying out) he considers that scandalous. Look at all the more travelling he could be doing seeing the few countries he has not yet been to.

  2. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    So it appears to me that the bishop’s answer to preventing a “scandal” is to hide the truth at all costs. This has been the “modus operandi” forever and appears to me that it will continue.
    I find it remarkable that the “one true church of God” has to rely on hiding the truth, as opposed to embracing it and leading by example, that which Christ exhorts us to do.
    Why, oh why, does the onus for policing the church fall onto us, the lowly unwashed? Bishops world-wide are quite capable of, and are quite aware that they have the power to do so. Get on with it, for heaven’s sake and step up to the plate, instead of offering us such piffle and lame excuses! Defrock the fungus that holds you back!! Mike.

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