No charges in Cape Breton priest’s case

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CBC News

Posted: Apr 13, 2012 4:34 PM AT

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2012 5:49 PM AT

Rev. Paul Abbass was asked to step down from Talbot House after a complaint was filed against him.

Rev. Paul Abbass was asked to step down from Talbot House after a complaint was filed against him. (CBC)

Cape Breton Regional Police say there will be no criminal charges against the priest in Cape Breton who has spoken for the Diocese of Antigonish in recent years.

Police had received an unspecified complaint against Rev. Paul Abbass — who used to run Talbot House — a men’s addiction and rehabilitation facility outside Sydney.

They began looking into the case in February to see if there was enough information to launch a criminal investigation, said Cape Breton Regional Police spokeswoman Desiree Vassallo.

“Based on the information we received and gathered since then, we have found no basis to pursue any criminal charges at this point,” Vassallo said in a statement.

“We will not be conducting any further investigation into this matter until, and if, any new information should come forward.”

The Department of Community Services is currently conducting its own review of operations at the Talbot House Recovery Centre in Frenchvale.

The addiction recovery centre has since closed its doors after a newly-hired interim director resigned.

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Police drop investigation into complaint against Cape Breton priest

The Winnipeg Free Press

13 April 2012  Posted: 3:17 PM

By: The Canadian Press

SYDNEY, N.S. – Police have dropped their investigation into a complaint against a priest who headed up a rehabilitation centre for addicts in Cape Breton.

The Cape Breton Regional Police say they have no basis to pursue any criminal charges involving the former employee of Talbot House in Sydney.

Rev. Paul Abbass confirmed in an email that he was the person being investigated, and that police have ended the probe.

Abbass took a leave of absence from his position as executive director of the facility after an unspecified allegation surfaced in February.

The centre has since closed.

Abbass said he’s not ready to speak publicly about the allegation.

Talbot House’s board of directors didn’t reveal details of the allegation against Abbass, who served as the centre’s director for about 15 years.

The Roman Catholic priest was responsible for some counselling, the finances and overseeing the day-to-day operations at the centre, which treated men in their 20s and 30s who had a history of addictions.

Abbass also gave up his duties as the spokesman for the Diocese of Antigonish during the investigation.

2 Responses to No charges in Cape Breton priest’s case

  1. Sylvia says:

    According to Cape Breton Regional Police Spokeswoman: “we have found no basis to pursue any criminal charges at this point.”

    I wonder if this means that Talbot House will re-open and that Father Abbass will resume his former duties as Executive Director of the treatment centre?

  2. Sandra Chisholm says:

    Maybe Fr. Abbass is another ‘fall guy priest’. Lots of those too.

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