Yesterday the Father Richard Racine page was redone. As you see, Father Racine, ordained in 1986, was yet another of the seemingly growing wave of ‘late vocations’ to the priesthood.
A native of Cornwall, Ontario, Racine became a teacher. It was while he was teaching in a small community within the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario that he started to sexually abuse 11-year-old Danny Bodzasy. The abuse continued for four years. RAcine told the boy it was normal, that everybody did it.
Strangely enough, it seems that it was around the same time that he was molesting the child that he began to pursue further studies to become a priest! How he could in good conscience proceed with his studies while sexually violating a little boy tells us all we need to know about Richard Racine and his conscience.
And, yes, as do many molesters. Racince had ingratiated himself to the boys family, and the poor unwitting and supportive souls all turned out for Racine’s ordination to the priesthood! According to the victim and his family, the abuse continued for another year.
And then, in the Spring of 1990, Racine had himself castrated. He claimed that he was out of control, and that he felt he was wearing two faces .
That he was.
In a statement to the court prior to sentencing Racine said “It is not my intention to make excuses for my behaviour, though I will readily admit that through therapy I am discovering many things, including being abused myself…”
I’m sorry. I do see that as an attempt to make excuses, but I do not see it as an excuse.
So, a guilty plea. A 15 month sentence. Racine served five months.
Something caught my eye. A significant discrepancy in the accounts of Father Racine and Danny. Just so you don’t miss it, this excerpt from the 10 June 1994 edition of the Toronto Star which is posted on the page:
The priest, who was sentenced Jan. 10 after pleading guilty to sexual assault, gross indecency and attempted buggery, said he has acknowledged that his sexual desires have ruined a young man’s life.
“What I did to the young lad was very bad. He came to see me a few months before I was arrested and told me he was going for counselling and I encouraged him.
“I said ‘Danny, yes, go to counselling,’ knowing full well what was going to happen to me.”
Bodzasy doesn’t hesitate when he recalls that same conversation with the man he’ll spend the rest of his life trying to forget.
“I told him I was going to go for counselling and he said, ‘Why don’t you just go away to B.C. There are lots of jobs out there.’ He wanted me to hitchhike out there and be on my own. He was going to give me a bunch of money to go.”
Note Racine said he encouraged the boy to go to counselling. According to Danny, Racine wanted to pay him to head off to BC.
A troubling and rather significant discrepancy. I personally believe Danny’s account.
And on to Ottawa
For years Father Racine’s address in the Canadian Catholic Church Directories has been listed as that of the Kingston Archdiocese diocesan centre. In other words, it’s a secret. A big secret.
No matter. It seems that at some point Father Racine found his way to Ottawa, and in fact, in the late 90s and up until around 2003 was living at Springhurst Residence, just a hop, skip and jump from St. Paul University, and just a few more hops, skips and jumps from Immaculata High School.
For those unfamiliar with Springhurst, it is an Oblate residence which, alas, has housed a fair number of Oblate molesters over the past years. And, yes, that’s also where our disgraced former Bishop Raymond Lahey was given safe haven when he was up on possession of child porn charges.
True, not every priest at Springhurst is a molester, but, as I say, there have been more than one or two who lived there after serving time. I don’t know who keeps an eye on them. From what I hear, they come and go as they please. (I truly feel for those decent Oblates who have to spend their final days in the company of priests who have so selfishly and cruelly violated the innocence of a child, and in the process so horrifically offended God and Church. What a terrible cross to bear.)
Anyway, Father Racine landed at Springhurst. And then, on he went to do volunteer work at a local soup kitchen, the Shepherds of Good Hope. Racine cooked at the kitchen. He had runa recpe colum in the But, on occasion, he did more than that. He was also from time to time ‘saying’ daily Masses at the Shepherds. Not everyday. In fact, the usual every day Mass was ‘said’ by Oblate priest Father John Hunt. But sometimes it was ‘said’ by convicted molester and Racine’s fellow Springhurst resident Father Len Paradis. And, yes, sometimes it was Father Racine himself who ‘said’ the Mass.
And, yes, for those familiar with Ottawa, that is the Father John Hunt – a very very close friend of Senator Allan MacEachen by the way -who once worked as a receptionist/researcher in the early 90s for Ottawa city counselor Mark Maloney. Really. I kid you not. That was after Father Hunt disappeared from St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Ottawa. The next thing we Catholics knew, there he was working for Mark Maloney. I didn’t believe it. I called Maloney’s office. Father John Hunt fielded the call.
Imagine. A Roman Catholic priest working as a receptionist/researcher/whatever in the office of a city counsellor! With the very really crisis, and all the boo hoos about the shortage of priests, there was one spending his days answering the phone at City Hall.
Those poor souls at the Shepherds of Good Hope. This was the best the archdiocese could offer them?
As an aside, and by way of interest (1) Paradis has since left the priesthood. He now lives with his male partner and runs an antique store in Ottawa, and (2) Father John Hunt died 05 November 2007 at the age of 68.
He’s still a priest
Where is Father Richard Racine now? I have heard that he was planning further involvement with the Shepherds of Good Hope. Whatever he is doing, he is still a priest. A convicted molester. Yes, castrated, but google and read – there is ample evidence that castration does not remove the sexual appetite or ability to perform sexually – it does minimize.
Is he still ‘saying’ Mass? He obviously had faculties from somewhere to ‘say’ Mass a few years ago. I would guess that he also has faculties to hear confessions?
Were his faculties not revoked? They should have been, at least right after he entered his guilty plea and was off to jail. Who then gave this criminal faculties? The Archbishop of Ottawa? the Archbishop of Kingston?
I am in the processing of trying to find out.
I have a very badly marked-up legal document which I want to post, but must first try to find a way to clean it up. Long before I envisaged posting documents online I unfortunately read everything with a pen in hand, – underlining, circling and making notes in the side columns.
I will see what I can do. If worst comes to worst perhaps I can post those few parts which are ‘clean.” I really do want to get it posted.
Another article posted regarding charges against Father Joe LeClair:
09 June 2016: Guelph priest faces impaired driving charge
Sorry, for those who are waiting for news, I didn’t get the next court date for Father Denis Vaillancourt – will do so tomorrow.
Tomorrow some information regarding the Squires in Ottawa. Not a lot, but enough to connect a few more dots.
Enough for now,