Basilians in the news

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I posted the following article a few days ago.  It deals with a lawsuit involving the University of St. Tomas in Houston Texas.  The university, and the nearby school St. Thomas HS, are run by the Basilians.  Here is the article:

16 January 2018:  Lawsuit: University of St. Thomas retaliated against woman who reported sexual misconduct

I am posting this and drawing it to your attention because, as  some of you may know, the headquarters for the Basilians is here in Canada.  Furthermore it is not at all uncommon for Basilians in Canada to serve at universities and/or schools in the States, and vice versa, with Basilians in the States serving at universities and/or schools in Canada.  In that vein some may recall that Father Hod Marshall csb spent time teaching at St. Thomas HS in Houston, and Father Leo Campbell csb attained a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, and, more recently, Father Jack Hanna csb landed in Toronto after allegations of some form of “misconduct”  led to his suspension from teaching at the University of St. Thomas and St. Thomas HS.

I do believe therefore that what happens in and is learned through this lawsuit is definitely of interest to we who live in Canada.

The plaintiff in the case is Dr. Siobhan Fleming, the university of St. Thomas’ associate vice president for academic affairs.  Dr. Fleming, who  has been on staff at the university since 2013,  received a nude photo via email in 2015.  The photo has been described as an “obscene sexual photograph” and, according to the above article, was accompanied by text which Fleming “ interpreted to suggest that (the sender) was masturbating at home and planned to come in later ‘to do as much of this as I can.’”

In  response  to her complaints to authorities Fleming alleges that  ” St. Thomas and its employees  silenced her accusations, improperly investigated her report and pared back her job responsibilities after she complained.”

This lawsuit is of particular interest to we in Canada because back in early 2013 a Basilian priest, Father Jack Hanna , was suspended from teaching and ministry after allegations of “misconduct.”    At that time Father Hanna taught at both St. Thomas High School and University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.

Sadly, the Basilians refused to divulge any further information regarding  the allegations, but, in a letter sent to Alumni, Fathers Kevin Storey and Patrick Fulton advised that Hanna had acknowledged that he “behaved inappropriately” and would be receiving “extensive residential treatment” at “a therapeutic center for priests.”   According to the two priests  the misconduct  related to misconduct toward an adult.

On the heels of news of the “misconduct” and suspension came word via the grapevine  that Father Hanna had relocated to Canada!  And, indeed he had.

Father Hanna has been in Toronto since at least 2014, living at, and probably working out of, the Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre in Toronto.    (The facility,  located on the grounds of St. Michael’s College, is home to the Basilian’s international headquarters.  A retirement home is also on site).

Despite his “misconduct”  Father Hanna holds a leadership position with the congregation, serving as Secretary General of the Congregation.  Serving  alongside him  as Second Councilor is Father Kevin Storey.  Yes, that’s the same Father Storey  who alerted Alumni that Father Hanna would receive “extensive residential treatment” at “a therapeutic center for priests.”

Other Basilian Houston Canadian connections of interest include the following

Father Michael Ceretto csb

Father Ceretto was arrested in 1997   for exposing himself in a Houston adult bookstore and in a movie theatre.

Father Michael Cerretto arrested on lewdness charges

Ceretto wound up spending several years in Toronto.   He also served as instructor for the diocaonate program in New Mexico and assisted at the Cathedral.  He died in 2014 .

Farther Hod Marshall csb

Convicted serial molester Hod Marshall spent at least one year in Houston teaching at St. Thomas High School.

Father Leo Campell csb.

There have been many allegations of sex abuse against Father Leo Campbell.  Father Campbell, who  died in 2008, served as Director of the Columbus Boys Camp for eight years.  Campbell attained a  B.A. from the University St. Thomas, Houston, Texas.

I commend Dr. Fleming for bringing this to the fore.  Please keep her in your prayers. I am sure the Basilians are not taking kindly to this legal action at all.

*****

And, speaking of Basilians…

Bishop Ronald Peter Fabbro, the Basilian Bishop of the Diocese of London Ontario, has a huge battle on his hands regarding insurance and sex abuse settlements.  In truth, he inherited the problem, but, as bishop of the London Diocese, it is indeed his problem.

AXA Insurance (now Intact Financial Corp) is asking that the diocese return $10 million which the diocese paid out to victims of clerical sexual abuse.  AXA accuses the diocese of “concealing reports of child sexual abuse by members of the diocese’s clergy, and then assigning the priests in question to different parishes in the Diocese, thereby providing the priests with further opportunity to commit sexual assaults upon children within the new parish.”

Here is the article:

18 February 2018:  Insurer seeking $10 million back from diocese that knew about predator priest

Shades of the New Brunswick Dioceses of Moncton and Bathurst?

And, here is a 2016 court document dealing with the matter:

23 March 2016:   The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp v AXA Insurance Canada 2016 ONSC 4061

According to media, the case is scheduled to go to trial in September.  I’m not yet sure what date in September – will try to find out.   Meanwhile, those of you in the London area mark September on your calendar!  (I’m assuming it will be held in London?  Am I mistaken?)

Enough for now,

Sylvia

 

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