“The conciliation process in Cap-Pelé widens” (google translation)

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24 January 2013

[The following is a google translation of the French article which appears below.  The text in square brackets is a more accurate translation than that of google –  I have inserted it to replace the google translation which erroneously implied that the archdiocese was objecting to the compensation.]

The conciliation process for victims of Father Camille Leger Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick, will be longer than expected.

The charge of the process, the retired judge Michel Bastarache, confirmed to Radio-Canada that the diocese has begun to [giving out] compensation [packages] to victims.

Originally, the process should be completed by the end of January, but according to Mr. Bastarache, several victims who had not responded to the first call now want to make a claim.

Father Camille Léger, who died in 1990, had sexually assaulted several young people in the region of Cap-Pelé during his career, from 1957 to 1980.

The conciliation process was expanded to include the way the complainants in the case of Yvon Arsenault and Irois Després, two former pastors who are also the subject of allegations of sexual abuse.


Le processus de conciliation à Cap-Pelé s’élargit

Mise à jour le jeudi 24 janvier 2013 à 17 h 30 HNE

Le processus de conciliation pour les victimes du père Camille Léger à Cap-Pelé, au Nouveau-Brunswick, sera plus long que prévu.

Le responsable du processus, le juge à la retraite Michel Bastarache, a confirmé à Radio-Canada que le diocèse a commencé à remettre les dédommagements aux victimes.

À l’origine, le processus devait se terminer à la fin de janvier, mais, selon M. Bastarache, plusieurs victimes qui n’avaient pas répondu au premier appel veulent maintenant faire une réclamation.

Le père Camille Léger, décédé en 1990, avait agressé sexuellement plusieurs jeunes dans la région de Cap-Pelé durant sa carrière, de 1957 à 1980.

Le processus de conciliation s’est élargi en cours de route pour inclure les plaignants dans le cas d’Yvon Arsenault et d’Irois Després, deux anciens curés qui font aussi l’objet d’allégations d’agressions sexuelles.

21 Responses to “The conciliation process in Cap-Pelé widens” (google translation)

  1. Sylvia says:

    Would someone give a hand with accurate translation of the above please? Does the French accurately translate to: “…the retired judge Michel Bastarache, confirmed to Radio-Canada that the diocese has begun to challenge the compensation to victims.”? In other words, is it true to say that that the diocese is challenging the compensation packages being offered/given tot he victims?

  2. PJ says:

    I think to word “remettre” means to give or pay out.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Thanks PJ. That makes more sense to me. think if the diocese was kicking up a stink there would be more coverage.

    Can anyone else confirm what PJ has to say?

  4. jj says:

    No, Sylvia… The article states that “M.Bastarache confirmed to CBC that the diocese has begun giving out compensation packages to victims.” Quite a different meaning!

    I’m very relieved to say that I received my compensation, and I’m pleased with the process. I do not feel that I’ve been forced to keep quiet in any way, other than to divulge the amount I received. I’ve been in contact with the RCMP to assist in their investigation and, like M. Bastarache stated in the media, I was encouraged to do so when I went through the process, understanding that he wasn’t responsible for any criminal investigations or consequences – I knew this from the start.

    Now, I would like others abused by anyone associated with the Archdiocese to come forward and report! If anyone wants to avoid civil trials, then M. Bastarache
    Is the way to go – for criminal charges to be laid, the Police must hear your stories.

    I’m cleaning house – feels great!

  5. Sylvia says:

    Thanks JJ. I will correct the translation to avoid confusion for all who read it.

    I’m glad to hear the process worked for you. I personally am troubled that Mr. Bastarache feels no obligation to report to police when a known predator is very much alive and on the loose.

    • jj says:

      Thank you, Sylvia.

      What has troubled me is that so many other people, through the years, have known about these predators being alive and on the loose, myself included. Did I have an obligation to report to the police once I became an adult? Did all of Arsenault’s and Després’ victims have this same obligation? How about all the adults in the parishes across the Archdiocese who were also aware that these predators were running about? What were their obligations? The “shroud of secrecy” was palpable in my hometown, and, I’m sure, many others…

      I felt incredible relief when the press reported Arsenault and Després as alleged abusers in December 2012, even if it was six months after they were “removed” from performing any priestly duties. For me to get upset about this not being reported in July is, in my opinion, to blame myself again for not reporting this 30 years ago. I have since accepted that this responsibility did not fall upon me, but upon those in power who knew that predators were trolling the Archdiocese and allowing their behaviour to continue. Ultimately, the REAL blame falls on the perpetrators themselves for committed these acts!

      My understanding is that M. Bastarache’s conciliation process is not meant to lead to trials and convictions – it is not even a civil trial. I was never asked to swear under oath – I wasn’t asked to provide proof… and I wasn’t cross-examined. What I did get from the process was the opportunity to tell my story, to have someone listen, and BELIEVE me, and to get some recognition for the hurt I endured.

      One big bonus is that I found the strength to go to the next step and to REPORT this predator, who is definitely known to ME, to the police. Through my statement, the police will now have a statement that the Crown can use to determine whether or not charges will be laid. M. Bastarache could NOT have achieved this with a list of anonymous complainants, filed without any burden of proof.

      I agree with you that “known predators” who are “alive and on the loose” should be reported… unfortunately, even today, Arsenault and Després are only “alleged” offenders, and nothing has been proven in court. I’m working to change that…

      I look forward to seeing what the Archdiocese will tell the public once Valéry Vienneau receives the final Bastarache report – THIS is where the responsibility to report lies, in my humble opinion.


      • Sylvia says:

        I think with all that we know of the impact of sexual abuse on a child it goes without saying that we can not expect that victims will report jj. It was not your responsibility.

        I think if you think it through, with regard to telling your story and so on that can be done in many ways. We could, for example, rent a hall in every city and town across the country and invite victims to some and ‘tell their stories,’ have someone listen and believe you. Or, it cold be done privately with teams who travel from one community to another ready to listen to the stories of victims. What the Bastarache process does that can not be done in such a setting is to actually compensate you for the pain and hurt. Such compensation can also be achieved through a lawsuit, but in that case there is the potential of dealing with those who don’t believe you or who at least act as though they don’t believe you (diocesan lawyers) and will maybe take pains to paint you as a liar.

        The one saving grace in all of this is that people in the archdiocese now know that Fathers Arsenault and Despres are, at the very least, suspect molesters. That means that those who now know can take steps to ensure that these priests are not in the company of their children or vulnerable adults. It also means that others who allege abuse at the hands of these priests may come forward. And, it also means that parents who wondered what happened to their “Johnny” when he was a young lad and almost changed overnight can now look back and perhaps understand which until now was not even a thought.

        My hats off to you yet again for going to a police. And, yes, you’re right, barring a conviction in court we the general public are hard-pressed to “legally” call these priests molesters, but, as you yourself say, you were believed. Mr. Bastarch or whoever believed your allegations and in turn decided to compensate for the pain you suffered at the hands of Father Yvon Arsenault. If they believed you, then they in turn believe and know that Father Arsenault is a molester. I however firmly believe that when the diocese compensates victims financially they are doing so only because the victim was believed and they are acknowledging that the abuse did indeed transpire.

        No, Mr, Bastarache could not have achieved with a list if anonymous complaints, but, in this situation had you and others opted not to report to police, I think he could/should have contacted both the police and Child and Family Services to advise that he now knows that Father Arsenault is a sexual predator and to discuss how to proceed to reach other victims and to protect children from this man. Further to that he could most certainly have insisted that the Archbishop notify his flock that there are credible sex abuse allegations against Arsenault and hence he is being suspended.

        Re what happens when the Archbishop receives the Bastarache Report. This is what has prompted the concerns expressed by many on this site – nothing happened when Mr. Bastarache turned in his report to the Bishop of Bathurst, then Valery Vienneau. Has the report seen even a smidgen of the light of day? To my knowledge no. The contents of the report, along with the names of all offenders identified during the conciliation process, are top secret. Will things change in Moncton? Perhaps Archbishop Vienneau has had a change of heart since he last retained Mr. Bastarche? If that’s the case, that’s good. Publishing the report in its entirety on the archdiocesan website would be welcome step. The same would hold for a belated publication of the Bastarache/Bathurst Diocese report.

        • jj says:

          Dear Sylvia,

          Thank you for your response to my (lengthy) post. I appreciate your perspective of all the points I raised, and your concerns that past omissions may reoccur.

          I do not fear being discovered from the cloak of anonymity… this will come soon enough… I also believe that, as a victim, I can tell my story without fear of reprisals… because it is, after all, MY story to tell… And I know that I can do this shamelessly, with my head held high. I’m no better than anyone else (but I’m no worse either JUST because some guy in a position of power decided to take advantage of my naïveté).

          Social media are very powerful tools, as we have seen even through this very website. I have friends who have mentioned “Sylvia’s Site”… and even refer to JP, JG, JJ, and others. I believe we CAN harness this powerful communication medium, and tell our stories.

          Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts, and to reciprocate.


          • Sylvia says:

            We all help each other sort our way through our thoughts jj. In so may areas I still sift my way through, knowing there is a problem, and perhaps even identifying the problem, but not always able to articulate it as well as I should, and not having or seeing a solution, but always scratching my head and reaching to find it :).

            I think my post nearly matched yours in length 🙂

  6. Mike Mc says:

    “I personally am troubled that Mr. Bastarache feels no obligation to report to police when a known predator is very much alive and on the loose.”

    This bears repeating.

    I see the Church itself has not cleaned up its own mess. It continues to hide and harbor criminals. Sexual abusers are criminals who deserve to be tried and convicted and end up in prison no matter their age. Having them go into penance and solitude in some monastery or rectory is not right.

  7. P J says:

    Mike Mc: Your words match mine. This church and it’s collars have forgotten their purpose and are not following the teachings of Christ. They prefer their money worship and will do ANYTHING to protect their own…even to sacrificing their own flock. Shameful and disgusting.

  8. Baspuit says:

    There is a couple of changes happen in Moncton compared to Bathurst. One they gave out all parish that Arsenault and Despres worked at, nothing on Levi Noel or Charles Picot where abouts/worked at. Second Bastarache met face to face with victims of Moncton, compare to Bathurst, the first 45 were met/heard by phone, by two of his employes/students. In Bathurst he (Bastarache) said he was not there for changes, in Moncton, will there be changes? As in we (in Bathurst) were never asked to participate in a NEW protocole, or even asked how to go about so as this should never happen again. Will the victims in Moncton be asked this question?
    We are still waiting for his report in Bathurst, don’t hold your breath in waiting for one in Moncton!!!!!
    The only thing we got from him is: all pedophile priest in Bathurst are either dead or in prison and this is a PURE LIE! We (victims) know of 3 that are still living!
    I hope at the civil trial we will be able to name them, as in punitive damages, for their lack of understanding/coming out with the “TRUTH”!
    How can one institution be against child abuses, today, but not yesterday, is beyond my understanding.

    • jj says:

      Hi Baspuit,

      Thank you for pointing out these differences. Of course, because I didn’t experience the Bathurst process, I can’t comment on what you went through.

      My understanding is that the report is given to the Archdiocese and not necessarily made public (because it’s not a Public Inquiry). Therefore, it would be up to the Valéry Vienneau to make any findings public.

      You say that you personally know of three priests who are still alive and have allegedly abused young people? May I ask why no one is going to the RCMP and giving statements to support these claims? Why are you waiting for a civil trial to name these predators when a criminal investigation would potentially find these men guilty of crimes NOW and send them to jail, without affecting any future civil claims?

      I would encourage you to take action now… and not wait… perhaps these 3 people you talk about will be DEAD by the time your civil case come to trial, and NO criminal charges will be laid then.

      I did…


  9. JG says:

    You are at a place ”Now” where you can make it seem very easy for victims to come out without hesitation and go to the Police. I have talked with Baspuits before about these three priests and it is hard for a third party(Baspuits and myself, others..) to force someone to take any such step before they are ready. They may never be ready. I know you can understand that because you have been there.You couldn’t turn left or right until you got to the cross road! There are still things you are not ready to talk about I’m sure.
    I personally knew one of the three priests as a teenager and I was shocked. I wouldn’t have any proof that he was an abuser because he never attempted anything with me on the two occasions we met. Maybe it was not right for him, maybe I did not have the right profile…who knows. Maybe I dodged another bullet!
    To Baspuits’ three names I have another one (number 4!)in the back of my mind always. I know he is still(or he was 2 years ago) in a parish within an hour from my home. I discussed this on another tread maybe a year ago. His name was brought up by an acquaintance when he and I were discussing what had happened to my Father. He came out ”as a matter of fact” and told me how a priest had attempted to abuse him when he was about 13 years old. He fought him off and had never discussed it with anyone before. I am pretty sure he never went to the Police and never will. He has a family, good job, social status, etc. Even though I am aware of the situation it is hearsay, with vague and incomplete details ….
    So, I and Baspuits, are left with this knowledge and nothing we can do about it! Everyone ‘s circumstances, strengths and determination are very different. You can encourage but you can’t “push” a victim where he is not ready to go.
    The Bastarache process has helped some, those who were ready and strong enough . I think however that there are still too many victims who feel they are the only one abused by ”their” priest and won’t come forward if that priest’s name doesn’t appear anywhere. One other victim of Leon Gagnon told me he came forward because of the “story” I revealed about my Father’s abuse: Reginald.
    Unfortunately, the secrecy around the Bastarache process is leaving some victims alone, isolated with their pain because they will never know that others were also victims of the same priest. For that reason, both in Moncton and Bathurst, they could have found a way to advise the public about an ”investigation” and eased the pain of all the victims. That would have cost them more probably! For that reason I am afraid there may be others who will suffer for years to come, in silence.
    Their wife, children, family will never be given the opportunity to understand their past: why dad drank, was isolated, different, moody…
    Bastarache and Vienneau could have had morality in mind before the legality of their cover-up.
    You have found the strength to come forward but I am convinced some are suffering in private and will be until their last breath, long after Bastarache and Vienneau have stopped congratulating each other for a job well done.
    No one should have been left behind.

  10. jj says:


    As always, you are able to present a perspective on issues that I either didn’t address or hadn’t thought of.

    First, I’d like to ensure that I never intended to FORCE anyone into going to the police. I responded to Baspuit’s statement that he was hoping that a civil trial (which will take place at some point in the future, with its required burden of proof, testimonies, possible guilty verdicts, etc.) will bring out the TRUTH about these three other priests. Perhaps it will, perhaps it won’t… but even criminal courts couldn’t find anyone guilty with allegations and anonymous testimony… and unfortunately, one must be prepared to step forward and give this testimony in order for these charges to be laid.

    I totally agree with you that I needed to “get to this point” before I gave my statement. I also know others who participated in the Bastarache process who will NEVER go to the police, no matter how seriously they were affected by the abuse. What I do know is that the Bastarache process actually allowed me to put my name forward to other victims, in case anyone else would want to connect… and I actually DID connect with others, who came from other regions. This decreased the isolation and the feeling that I had brought this upon myself.

    By speaking with the police, I also understood what anonymity meant (and didn’t mean). Of course, the Bastarache process OFFERED anonymity – but it didn’t IMPOSE it… I will be going public with my story, so that others may see that it can be done… NOT because I want to be seen as a hero, or a “poster boy”… but because I want these “allegations” to be tried in court, proven, and the perpetrators convicted. For this, I need to have others come forward to tell their stories too IF THEY ARE READY, ABLE, and WILLING… the police also offer victim services, even if the crime occurred 30 years ago…

    Last week, I told my adult children what happened to me… they had never known about this… I felt it necessary that they didn’t hear about this from other sources, particularly now that people in my home town are talking, and easily putting “two and two together”…

    Please know that I understand what other victims are going through… I lived it too… and I certainly didn’t mean to sound smug, or to simplify the process of reporting a crime – we ALL live this in different ways, and we are affected differently. However, I felt compelled to tell my story because, to my knowledge, no one has lived through the Bastarache process, subsequently reported to the police, and talked about it.

    My heart aches for those who are “suffering in private and will be until their last breath”, as you so eloquently stated. How can WE reach them and not leave them behind, JG? I figured that, by telling my story, maybe one of them may find the courage, strength, light, support (whatever noun fits here) to seek help and come forward…. It doesn’t have to be with Bastarache – it doesn’t have to be with Talach… I don’t know what the answer is… but at least, I wish for these “private sufferers” to raise their hands so we can see them…

    Thank you for your reply, JG. I hope to meet you someday.


    • JG says:

      Sorry I didn’t reply earlier. I was busy on the “ranch” but I was also taking my time to appreciate your last post. The one part that stuck in my mind was that you “talked to your children about what happened to you”! FANTASTIC! If I could wish for just one good thing to happen to the victims of abuse it would be just that: find the strength to talk to your family. I hope they realize the great gift they received.
      The damage caused by these abuses went right to the heart of the victims families and their “villages”… I believe to turn the clock back these families need to get the story, get to find out why things were not the way they should have been. You have done it and I hope it enables your loved ones a better view through the fog of life. They will need time and you will need patience but that was as important for your future, and theirs, as breaking the silence!
      In five years the settlement you received may be a distant memory, the criminal case may or may not satisfy you…but sharing this with your family will remain with you always. You will find more Peace and Understanding for each other. No doubt!
      You have done a great effort to not leave anyone behind. By continuing the conversation we are getting there little by little. I suppose a National “check your priest ” list would be helpful…but that is what the church should have done all along. Maybe Sylvia could open a “follow-up” list in her spare time. 🙂

      The second part I retained is this:
      “However, I felt compelled to tell my story because, to my knowledge, no one has lived through the Bastarache process, subsequently reported to the police, and talked about it.”
      jj, I believe you have struck or received the “Holy Trinity” of abuse redemption! You obtained a settlement, you went to the Police and you have opened the door to your family. Everyone else I have ever heard about has only managed one or two of the three! I started off with the idea of a “real” family reunion and only managed to get the opposite, thanks in large part to Bastarache’s game. I hope it turns out better for anyone else involved.
      For those who have not come out of their dark room yet, I wish only to know they are planning to walk out with their head held high and that they too will find the strength and family understanding to Live without this undeserved shame. Anything beyond that is the gravy!
      To repair this we have to start at the “Foundation”, with our families.
      jj, last week you placed “your brick” in the foundation of this “House”.
      I hope many others will follow until we can move back in….We just need to continue to “listen”…and make sure the door remains open.
      I need to be quiet for a while…Take care.

      • jj says:

        Merci, Jean-Guy…

        I read this through tears… I thank you for helping me accept that I’ve done the right thing.

        No amount of time, $$$, or guilty pleas or verdicts will ever change the past – but the points you raise about the true value of talking to family, and of “the Holy Trinity of abuse redemption”, struck a chord within me. I recognize the precious present I live in, and build for a better future for myself, my family, and all others, so we can try to prevent the creation of future victims.

        I gained the courage to “come out” from my family, friends, and so many of the bloggers here on Sylvia’s site.

        My greatest wish is that, together, we can help each other out of this darkness, and leave NO ONE behind, ever again.

        I also need to be quiet for a while now…


  11. John says:

    To JG and Baspuits…….I don’t know if you are aware of the reply that M. Bastarache sent to me regarding the Bathurst process, but in case you don’t then this is what he wrote to my question regarding his duty to report….

    “I have had the opportunity to look into the matter and have reviewed the relevant legislation in New-Brunswick and Canadian case law dealing with the duty to report. I apologize if this took some time, but I wanted to make sure that my research was extensive on this matter. As you know, the duty to report exists for situations where there is a threat or potential threat to minors. Seeing as all of the child offenders that were named through the conciliation process are either in jail or have since passed away, there is no threat to the public and thus, no duty to report.

    As a professional, my duty is to report if a “child” is or may be in need of protection, even when the information is supposed to be confidential or privileged. As all of the victims who have come forward are over the age of 18, they could also report this abuse, should they wish to do so. If ever there was a case where an individual would be in danger, no matter if he/she were a minor, I would definitely not hesitate to report this to the police. However, this is not the case.”

    So Baspuits and JG IF you have names of those that are not dead or in jail then would you please forward those names to me personally (e-mail address can be passed on by Sylvia).

    John MacDonald

  12. P J says:

    Go getem John MacDonald. If you have names of collars that are alive and not in jail that fit in the bastarache process, you have him in a pickle!! Maybe this will help unravel some of the coverups still happening.

  13. JG says:


    What Bastarache says and what he would do are volumes apart. I wouldn’t trust him to come clean about a named priest. His process was sealed in Court, remember. You would get a double talk answer in true legal fashion.

    “…over the age of 18, they could also report this abuse, should they wish to do so.”

    It is up to the victim to report, that is what he is saying. I don”t know that I have all the information Baspuits is privy to. I only know that my information is not sufficient to go to the Police, third party…I don’t believe Bastarache would share his “list” with you or I to compare names…The questions I have been mulling about this individual priest, I know the alleged victim did not pursue with the Bastarache process.

    The rest of his answer: “If ever there was a case where an individual would be in danger, no matter if he/she were a minor, I would definitely not hesitate to report this to the police. However, this is not the case.”

    “Seeing as all of the child offenders that were named through the conciliation process are either in jail or have since passed away, there is no threat to the public and thus, no duty to report. ”
    He would only need to tell you the named person was not on his list and it wouldn’t be a lie!
    There is always a way to circle the words around the truth, in legal circles!
    I’ll find another way … about this person.
    Thanks for the offer

  14. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Very well spoken jj and jg! Also, thanks John! As we are all learning, the judiciary looks upon life much different than we, the lowly unwashed.
    Persistence and our common bond will make a difference. Mike.

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