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 :
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.”
(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 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,