So, I have managed to sort out the Saint Boniface Archdiocese story, at least to the point of confirming that a priest has indeed been removed from a parish, at least temporarily.
In consequence, the Father Fred Olds page is posted. As you can guess, I have been working on this since I first hear that there were problems. There is still a bit of re-arranging to do, and I think one or two links to add, but that is what I have pulled together for now.
I have no idea what the allegations relate to. Whether or not they relate in any way shape or form to the January 2016 theft and fraud charges against Leo Coughan, I have no idea. Coughan was administrator at St. Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg for about 10 years; Father Olds was Pastor at the same church for about 20 years. Coughlan left the parish of his own volition in January 2015. Father Olds was just transferred to St. Timothy Roman Catholic Church in the Fall of 2015 and, in fact, had been at the St. Timothy’s for barely over a year when he was ‘removed’ – temporarily or otherwise. (Scroll way down to the page to the Winnipeg Free Press article: “Church administrator accused of embezzling $400K.” )
So, what’s going on?
I was told last 22 November that Archbishop LeGatt had spoken to parishioners at both Saints Bernadette and Timothy churches to advise that Father Olds is under investigation. I was also told that it sounded as though his faculties had been revoked.
My attempts to get further information from St. Timothy’s failed 🙁
So, off went an email to the Chancellor’s office. No reply as of yesterday, so off went an email to both the Chancellor and the Vicar General.
Yesterday I received the following response from Father Carl Tarnopolski, the Vicar General for the Archdiocese
From: “Fr. Carl” <email@example.com>
Date: 2016-11-29 11:28 AM (GMT-11:00)
To: Sylvia MacEachern <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Father Fred Olds
Dear Ms. MacEachern
- The allegations do not involve minors. Therefore, no police investigation.
- Father Olds has been placed on temporary administrative leave from St. Timothy’s pending advice and/or direction from the Vatican.
- Father Olds has had his faculties temporarily restricted.
- Bishop LeGatt did not speak to the parishioners at St. Timothy’s. He spoke to only the parishioners at St. Bernadette. He did not advise that Father Olds is under investigation, but that a preliminary enquiry has taken place. The preliminary enquiry has been concluded but the situation is not ended and that the investigation is ongoing. He stated: “a person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. We continue the search for the whole truth in the matter of these allegations” and “if anybody has any information at all that may be relevant or helpful to please contact my (archbishop’s) office immediately. We need the help of all to bring about the good of all. And we especially need the prayers of all.”
When queried regarding the use of the word “restricted” vs “suspended” in relation to Father Olds’ faculties Father Tarnopolski replied:
Suspended implies permanent removal of faculties. Everything right now is temporary as we are awaiting the Vatican’s guidance. His faculties are restricted as far as public activity is concerned. He may celebrate Mass in private in his home.
And that’s where it’s at.
What’s going on?
The investigation continues.
The Vatican is involved.
We shall see….
Take time to read through the Father Fred Olds page. As you will see, he surely has been a busy busy man. I don’t quite have his many years as Chaplain at the two Saint Boniface hospitals sorted out yet. They preceded his 20 or so years at St. Bernadette’s.
Any further info to fill the gaps appreciated
I have been trying to get courtdates sorted out. Still waiting for a call back on two. Once I have them all I will post
Enough for now,