Does the left hand know what the right is doing?

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Well, what can I say?

Anther case of the left had not knowing what the right is doing?

This will be a bit of a ramble.  I’m trying to make sense out something which, to me, makes no sense.

First. the good news.  Sad, but good. Serial molester John E.Sullivan was defrocked 05 September 2015.

Now on to two letters of interest.

The following two pdf files have been posted on the page of recently deceased serial clerical molester from the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Father MR. John E. Sullivan :

(1)  29 February 2016:  Rob Talach letter to Nuncio (Most Reverend Luigi Bonazzi) re the dismissal from the clerical state of Father John Sullivan

According to lawyer Rob Talach, “…the Diocese has indicated that they have no part in petitioning for Father Sullivan’s dismissal from the clerical state.”

(2)  23 March 2016:  Most Reverend Luigi Bonazzi (Nuncio) reply to RobTalach letter of 29 February 2016  (advising, in part, that Father Sullivan was dismissed from the clerical state 05 September 2015, because “he had not exercised ministry since 1990…”)

Archbishop Luis Ladaria, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), responds that the decision to proceed with the process to have Father John Sullivan dismissed from the clerical state (defrocked) “originated within the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith].  “In view of the fact that Mr. Sullivan had not exercised ministry since 1990, the Congregation brought the matter to the attention of the Holy Father who issue the decree ex officio.”


Help me please.

This is bizarre.

Convoluted.  So darned convoluted.

We are led to believe that the bishops and staff of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie played no role in having Father Sullivan defrocked? that the entire process was initiated by the CDF, with the diocese simply complying with CDF requests to forward information “concerning the various criminal and civil proceedings against Mr. Sullivan,” and then because Sullivan had, according to Archbishop Ladaria not “exercised ministry” for 25 years a decree was issued that he be defrocked?

First, some basic questions:

(1)  How pray tell did the CDF happen to zero in on Father John Sullivan’s file? Were letters sent to the CDF which triggered this response?

(2)  What prompted CDF staff  to determine that Father Sullivan was (i) not exercising ministry, and hence (ii) should be defrocked?

(3)  Does this mean that every predatory priest who, in the view of Congregation, has not exercised ministry for  25 years, is then and only then dismissed from the clerical state?

(5)  Convicted child molester Father Gary Hoskins has presumably not be in ministry since 1995.  He’s still very much a priest.  He, like Sullivan was, is facing a second set of criminal charges.   In this instance the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador, Newfoundland, has petitioned to have Hoskins dismissed from the clerical state, however, according to a spokesman for the diocese, the process is “on hold until the present criminal proceedings are completed.”

More questions:

(i) Why did the CDF opt to intervene in the Father Sullivan case and not that of Hoskins?  Father Hoskins, now  a social worker,  has not “exercised ministry” for about 21 years.  Is 21 years not enough?  is the magic number 25?

(ii) Why is the Hoskins process on hold until the present criminal proceedings are complete?  If the CDF/Pope was able to see to it that John Sullivan was defrocked while facing criminal charges, why can the same not be done for Father Gary Hoskins?

(4)  Why did two successive bishops of the  Diocese of Sault Saint Marie (Marcel  Gervais and Jean-Louis Plouffe ) NOT petition for then Father Sullivan’s dismissal from the clerical state?

Some necessary facts

According to Archbishop Luis Ladaria, Father Mr. Sullivan had not exercised priestly ministry since 1990.

Not true.

Not true at all.

Note the following:

(1)  After his “retirement” (Guilty plea) Father Sullivan relocated to and was active as a priest in the Archdiocese of Montreal.  That is a fact.  He assisted at Masses, offered Masses and heard confessions t at St. Aloysius in the Maissoneuve area in the East end of the Montreal Archdiocese until at least 2002.

(2)  In September 2002, Robert Harris, a Montreal priest, was consecrated auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste Marie.  The consecration took place in Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Basilica.  Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe was the principal consecrator.

In attendance at the consecration of Bishop Harris were a number of priests from the Sault, including the Vicar General of the day, Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher.

Also in attendance were a number of priests.  Included in the group, and fully vested with alb and stole, was the then convicted molester Father Sullivan.  Sullivan had been living in Montreal since  and had been exercising ministry for a good number of those

Montreal’s Cardinal Turcotte was informed of Sullivan’s history

(3)  At least as of September 2002 three bishops and a Cardinal Archbishop Bishop knew that Sullivan had been  exercising ministry in the Montreal Archdiocese.  Two bishops affiliated with the Sault Ste. Marie Diocese knew (Bishops Paul Andre Durocher and Robert Harris), as did the Cardinal Archbishop of Montreal,  Montreal’s Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte.

This begs the following questions

(1)  How did the CDF Secretary Archbishop Luis Ladaria determine – erroneously – that John Sullivan had not  exercised ministry since 1990?

(2)  If perchance the CDF had known that Sullivan was in fact exercising priestly ministry for many of those years would John E. Sullivan have been allowed to remain in the priesthood?

Please don’t misunderstand.  I am happy that John Sullivan was defrocked.  In fact, I believe he should have been defrocked long long ago, away back in 1960 when Bishop Alexander Carter first found out that Sullivan was a molester.  That, alas for many unfortunate souls, did not happen.  Those who should have removed the wolf in sheep’s clothing from the flock became his enablers.

So, no, I have no problem at all with the fact that a clerical molester was defrocked, albeit belatedly, but I am having problems understanding the rationale behind this particular  process, and the fact that the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie seemingly or presumably played no role in getting him out of the priesthood,  and the fact that the right hand in the Vatican doesn’t seem to know what the left hand in Canada is doing.

How could the CDF be so far off base with its information?  It had to come from somewhere.  Who in Canada was contacted?  Who told the CDF staff that Sullivan had NOT exercised ministry since 1990.  And, why?

Enough for now,


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5 Responses to Does the left hand know what the right is doing?

  1. BC says:

    So it’s all very clear now: the Holy See doesn’t have an issue with clerical perverts; it’s problem is with priests who don’t c̶h̶a̶r̶i̶t̶a̶b̶l̶y̶ ̶f̶u̶n̶d̶r̶a̶i̶s̶e̶ exercise ministry.

  2. PJ says:

    It’s so disgusting to know that if that church had done the right thing in 1960, I and many others would not have been abused by that pervert. All the points you raise about this case are never going to be answered by them because they can’t be trusted to speak the truth…they only worship their bank accounts. Thanks to our Lord and Rob Talach for helping me through my 5 year ordeal, and may he continue helping the other victims who have been fighting their battle against that church,

    • Sylvia says:

      Bit by bit PJ the truth is seeping out, thanks to you and all the others who found the courage to come forward we are learning who the wolves in sheep’s clothing were and are, and ditto their enablers – and their tactics.

      You may never know how many children may have been spared the fate you and others endured because you spoke out. Rest assured, there are children who have been spared. It is your courage and your voices which shine the light in darkness, exposes the cover-ups and in turn protects children.

      Bit by bit.

  3. jg says:

    “In view of the fact that Mr. Sullivan had not exercised ministry since 1990, ”

    It appears to be just another “legal” tactic, possibly, in my humble opinion!!??….If he was not a “practicing” priest since 1990 , how could the church be party to any of his offensive, abusive behavior?
    They are just looking for another legal argument, not religious correctness.

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