Chisholm: Father Robert J. Chisholm

Share Button

Robert J. Chisholm

Father Rober J. Chisholm

Father R. J. Chisholm

Ordained 1977

________________________

Statement Regarding Rev. Robert J. Chisholm

September 30, 2019

Recently the Archdiocese of Kingston became aware of a historical report about Reverend Robert J. Chisholm, Pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Picton, relating that in the mid-1990s he was investigated for possible violations of appropriate conduct with minors. The Archdiocese has investigated this report and has found a semblance of truth. In accordance with the norms of the Church and in conformity to the mandate of the Holy Father, these allegations are being forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Pending receipt of instructions from the Congregation, Father Chisholm has been placed on indefinite Administrative Leave, without faculties to exercise priestly ministry, effective immediately. This is done without prejudice to the presumption of innocence, which is afforded to him by the law. The Archdiocese will continue to monitor the situation and will cooperate fully with appropriate authorities, with particular concern for any potential victims. All inquiries relating to this matter must be directed to the Archdiocesan Spokesman, Deacon Bill Gervais, at deacon@romancatholic.kingston.on.ca or 613-548-4461 ext. 116.

_________________________________

Archbishops of Kingston from time of Father Robert J. Chisholm’s  ordination: Joseph Lawrence Wilhelm  (December 1966- March 1982);  Francis John Spence (24 April 1982 – 27 April 2002 ); Anthony Giroux Meagher (27 April 2002 Appointed – 14 January 2007 ); Brendan Michael O’Brien (01 June 2007 – March 2019); Michael Mulhall (March 2019 –  )

_____________________________

The following information is drawn from the Ontario Catholic Directory (OCD), Canadian Catholic Church Directory (CCCD), media (M) and diocesan statements (Diocese)

13 – 26 October 2019:  scheduled to be on vacation in Egypt ( St Gregory parish bulletin 2019)

HOLIDAYS:Fr. Chisholm will be on vacation in Egypt touring the pyramids & the Nile River. Father will be away from: 1pm13October until 4pm Saturday, 26 October

January 2018– works with St. Gregory Roman Catholic School to prepare children for First Communion, confession  and confirmation  (St Gregory school newsletter January 2018)

2017:  Pastor, St.Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church, Picton, Ontario with  mission in Wellington (CCCD)

2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 07 July 2004:  Pastor, St. Mary Roman Catholic Church Morrisburg, Ontario with mission in Iroquois (CCCD) (CCCD)

2002, 2000, 1999, 1998, June 1997:  Pastor, St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church, Toledo, Ontario with mission in Athens (CCCD)

28 June 1997:  – Rev. R.J. Chisholm, who has been pastor of Sacred Heart, Lanark; St. Columbkill’s, McDonald’s Corners and St. Patrick’s, Ferguson Falls becomes pastor of St. Philip Neri, Toledo and St. Denis, Athens (Kingston Whig-Standard)

June 1997, 1996, 1995:  Pastor Sacred Heart of Jesus Lanark with  missions in Ferguson Falls and McDonald’s Corners (CCCD)

28 June 1997:  – Rev. R.J. Chisholm, who has been pastor of Sacred Heart, Lanark; St. Columbkill’s, McDonald’s Corners and St. Patrick’s, Ferguson Falls becomes pastor of St. Philip Neri, Toledo and St. Denis, Athens (Kingston Whig-Standard)

 — allegations regarding an investigation of some sort into “possible violation of appropriate conduct with minors” date to sometime in “the mid 1990s”.  Was he in Madoc or Lanark at the time?

1994, 1993, 1992, 1991:  Pastor Sacred Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church Madoc, Ontario with mission in Ormsby (CCCD)

1985:  Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario (Pastor listed as Major Pierre Doyon)

1980:  assisting at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kingson with Bishop Joseph Wilhelm, Father B. J. Proce (Rector), and Fathers K.O. Clemens and A. Pires in residence (OCD)

1977:  ORDAINED

________________________________________

Picton priest put on leave following historic allegations of misconduct with minors

Global News

01 October 2019

A priest from St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Picton, Ont., has been suspended for allegations of misconduct with minors.

A priest from St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Picton, Ont., has been suspended for allegations of misconduct with minors.

Global News

The Archdiocese of Kingston has put a Picton priest on administrative leave after investigating historic allegations of possible misconduct involving minors.

On Monday, the archdiocese released information about Robert J. Chisholm, a priest at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Picton, who was reportedly investigated in the mid-1990s for “possible violations of appropriate conduct with minors.”

It’s unclear what happened during the initial investigation, but on Monday, the archdiocese said it had recently investigated that report and found “a semblance of truth” in it.

The investigation is now being passed off to the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Prince Edward County OPP say they have not received any complaints regarding Chisholm.

Const. Kim Guthrie says she believes Chisholm was not living in Prince Edward County in the mid-1990s so it’s possible a complaint has been made to another police force.

In June of this year, during Pride month, Chisholm was embroiled in a controversy after he allegedly encouraged his congregation not to attend any Pride events, saying they promoted a lifestyle contrary to Christian morals.

Not long after, Chisholm apologized for his message to the church’s congregation during a Sunday mass, according to churchgoers, while Pride supporters and members of the LGBTQ2 community held a peaceful demonstration outside St. Gregory the Great in response to the priest’s alleged comments.

_________________________________________

Pastor put on leave after allegations of misconduct with minors

inquinte.ca

October 01, 2019 – 9:27 AM

Nicole Kleinsteuber

The Archdiocese of Kingston has placed an embattled Picton pastor on indefinite administrative leave following an investigation regarding possible inappropriate conduct with minors.

On its website, the Roman Catholic archdiocese stated it recently became aware of a historical report that Rev. Robert J. Chisholm was investigated in the mid-1990s for possible violations of appropriate conduct with minors.

The post doesn’t say what the allegations were or where Chisholm was a pastor at the time.  Our newsroom has reached out to the Archbishop for further comments.

“The Archdiocese has investigated this report and has found a semblance of truth,” the Archdiocese of Kingston stated on its website Monday.

“In accordance with the norms of the Church and in conformity to the mandate of the Holy Father, these allegations are being forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

Pending receipt of instructions from the Congregation, Chisholm has been placed on indefinite administrative leave, without faculties to exercise priestly ministry, effective immediately, the post continued.

This is done without prejudice to the presumption of innocence, which is afforded to him by the law, the statement continued.

The Archdiocese stated it will continue to monitor the situation and will co-operate fully with appropriate authorities, with particular concern for any potential victims.

In June, Archbishop Michael Mulhall of Kingston announced the archdiocese had distanced itself from anti-Pride comments posted by Chisholm in a Picton church bulletin.

Soon after, Chisholm apologized for his message.  Hundreds of Pride supporters and members of the LGBTQ2 community held a peaceful demonstration the following Sunday outside St. Gregory the Great in response to the priest’s comments.

Prince Edward OPP Constable Kim Gutherie stated no one has filed any complaints about Chisholm with them and it’s not known where he was living or practicing when the allegations were alleged to have happened.

___________________________________________

Priest suspended while allegations of misconduct with minors investigated

A Picton priest has been put on administrative leave effective immediately.

The Archdiocese of Kingston released information Monday that it became aware of a historical report about Reverend Robert J. Chisholm, Pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Picton, relating to the mid-1990s where he was investigated “for possible violations of appropriate conduct with minors”.

It does not state where Chisholm was a pastor at the time.

“The Archdiocese has investigated this report and has found a semblance of truth,” the Archdiocese report states.The allegations are being forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“Pending receipt of instructions from the Congregation, Father Chisholm has been placed on indefinite administrative leave, without faculties to exercise priestly ministry, effective immediately.”

In the church’s weekly bulletin, it is noted Chisholm will be on vacation Oct. 13 to 26, in Egypt, touring the pyramids and Nile River.

Chisholm was in the news in June due to the publication of a church bulletin telling Catholics and Christians that ‘Pride’ events are contrary to faith and morals.

Following, Michael Mulhall, Archbishop of Kingston stated he did not sanction the message and “it does not reflect the spirit of accompanying charity and compassion that should always characterize our faith.”

The bulletin caused a social media firestorm and led to hundreds of community members from the County and beyond meeting at the church to create a rainbow of support and love in the fact of the anti-gay church message.

Chisholm told various media outlets “We’re just promoting Catholic teaching, that’s all” and noted he wrote the message “Because as a shepherd, it’s my duty to keep my flock safe.”

______________________________________

[Archdiocese of Kingston website]

Statement Regarding Rev. Robert J. Chisholm

September 30, 2019

Recently the Archdiocese of Kingston became aware of a historical report about Reverend Robert J. Chisholm, Pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Picton, relating that in the mid-1990s he was investigated for possible violations of appropriate conduct with minors. The Archdiocese has investigated this report and has found a semblance of truth. In accordance with the norms of the Church and in conformity to the mandate of the Holy Father, these allegations are being forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Pending receipt of instructions from the Congregation, Father Chisholm has been placed on indefinite Administrative Leave, without faculties to exercise priestly ministry, effective immediately. This is done without prejudice to the presumption of innocence, which is afforded to him by the law. The Archdiocese will continue to monitor the situation and will cooperate fully with appropriate authorities, with particular concern for any potential victims.

__________________________________

Hundreds gather to protest anti-Pride position

Picton Gazette

JASON PARKSSTAFF WRITER

 

 

 

SHOWING PRIDE- Around 600 members of the local LGBTQ2S+ community and like minded supporters protested in front of St. Gregory’s Church on Sunday morning after a portion of the church’s bulletin calling for Catholics and Christians to not attend Pride celebrations. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

The pride of Prince Edward County’s LGBTQ2S+ community and its supporters came shining through on a sunny Sunday morning in Picton.

Hurt and offended by comments made in a church bulletin regarding participation in local Pride festivities, upwards of 600 people gathered in front of St. Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church prior to mass Sunday morning to protest the position of local clergy.

Father Robert Chisholm’s posting in a recent church bulletin that was shared on the church’s website that “Catholics and all other Christians should notattend LGBTQ2 Pride Month events as they promote a culture and encourage activities contrary to Christian faith and morals” drew the ire of many in this progressive and inclusive community.

Chisholm said those activities were especially harmful to children because it “could lead them away from God’s revealed Truth.”

 

 

 

 

Parishioners enter St. Greg’s while peaceful protesters gather in front of the Roman Catholic church on Sunday morning. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

The Father went on to write erroneously the Pride banners affixed to light posts in Picton’s downtown core are courtesy of the Government and were “your tax dollars at work!”

An email inquiry to the church by the Gazette on Thursday afternoon went unanswered but Father Chisolm reportedly told a number of media outlets he was “protecting his flock” and was promoting “the Catholic teaching.”

The comments were shared online through social media on Thursday and quickly went viral in the Quinte community.

Parents of school children at the adjoining publicly funded St. Greg’s Catholic Elementary school were shocked and many on social media said they would not allow their children to attend Friday morning mass.

In a demonstration of inclusion, several St. Greg’s staff members, adorned in rainbow colours, appeared at the bus loading zone with a banner indicating the school was a ‘safe space.’

On Friday,Michael Mulhall, Archbishop of Kingston responded to the escalating outcry by issuing a statement indicating he was aware of the bulletin material.

“I did not sanction this message, and it does not reflect the spirit of accompanying charity and compassion that should always characterize our faith,” Mulhall said. “The Archdiocese has spoken with the pastor of the parish. (Father Chisholm) regrets any hurt that his inappropriate comments have caused.”

Furthermore, St. Greg’s principal Kevin Dorey said in a letter home to parents that the “(ALCDSB) recognizes the inherit dignity of each person as created in the image of and likeness of God. As such, in our Catholic schools we welcome and respect everyone regardless of race, gender, age, stage of development, disability, sexual orientation, gender, identity, class or religion.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curtis Jeffery. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

These acknowledgements did little if anything to assuage the LGBTQ2S+ community and many, many supporters who gathered Sunday morning in peaceful protest to let Father Chisholm and St. Greg’s parishioners know this position on homosexuality and Pride festivities in Prince Edward County would not go unchallenged.

Protest organizer Curtis Jeffery said when he first read the bulletin material he thought it was a “joke” or some type of prank to make the Catholic Church look bad.

“Come to find out it’s totally real and that Father Chisholm is defending it,” Jeffery told the Gazette.

Looking at the crowd, Jeffery, a County native, said it was  incredible to see the groundswell of community support the event garnered and that people are opposing Chisholm’s message.

Jeffery added it was also interesting to see via social media a number of St. Greg’s parishioners state publicly they opposed this position.

“There hasn’t been direct contact with myself but a number of people have stated clearly they love and accept everyone and they oppose this type of message,” Jeffery said.

In terms of the comments from the ALCDSB and the Kingston Archdiocese that distanced those organizations, Jeffery said it’s good to see that separation.

“I just don’t know what he’s thinking especially after the Pope himself gave an affirmation (to the LGBTQ2S community),” Jeffery said.

Pope Francis has mentioned the need for the Catholic Church to show welcome, love and compassion for people regardless of sexual orientation.

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson and past Mayor Robert Quaiff were both in attendance on Sunday and Ferguson said in a statement he was “disappointed” to read critical remarks about Pride activities in the St. Gregory parish bulletin.

“In Prince Edward County, we aspire to foster an inclusive and diverse community. I applaud the Picton BIA’s work to expand Pride Week activities in The County this year. I also support Picton BIA installing pride banners along Picton Main Street in order to make the community more visibly inclusive to all visitors as well as the growing LGBTQ2S+ community in Prince Edward County,” Ferguson said. “As Mayor of Prince Edward County, I declared May 31 – June 8 Pride Week in Prince Edward County. By declaring Pride Week, we recognize the valuable contributions the LGBTQ2S+ community make to Prince Edward County. Just as important, Pride Week gives all of us an opportunity to recognize the human rights and dignity of all persons in our community.”

Picton area business owner Nat Wollenberg was the genesis behind the pride flag installation, approaching the Picton Business Improvement Association about the possibility of local businesses purchasing and hanging rainbow banners in the downtown core.

The BIA facilitated this initiative and the installation was not undertaken by a branch of government as was alluded to in Chisholm’s posting.

Wollenberg was on hand Sunday morning to wave signs, engage community members and condemn Chisholm’s remarks.

“This is great turnout that shows the positivity in our community,” Wollenberg told the Gazette. “It’s a clear representation this was one man speaking and unfortunately, when the ugly voice is speaking, that’s what hear.”

The local business owner added follow up statements from the archdiocese left her unconvinced there was any contrition from Chisholm.

“I think the statements from the Archdiocese was incredibly shallow and hollow because they say the man has regret from the hurt that he’s caused but up until Saturday, he was still making comments that he needed to protect his flock so that’s not a person that has regret, that’s a blanket statement from the Catholic church,” She said.

On the other hand, Wollenberg saluted St. Greg’s staff members who had the courage to welcome students the the school on Friday with a sign of love and acceptance.

“There is so much respect today for the teachers to take that one and do that and show that solidarity with the LGBTQ2 community,” Wollenberg said. “it really shows it is just one man, Father Chisholm, is speaking for himself.”

Jeffery, who identifies as pansexual, added this was a positive sign in all the protesting on Sunday.

“No one should have to perceive (Chisholm’s words) as valid education,” he added.

__________________________________________

Crowd protests outside church in Picton after priest publishes anti-Pride statement

CTV News

Published Sunday, June 16, 2019 4:08PM EDT

Nick Dixon, CTV News Toronto

Picton church protestA crowd of protesters wave rainbow flags and chant slogans outside St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Picton after an anti-Pride message was published in the church’s weekly bulletin.

A crowd of protesters waving rainbow flags, and carrying signs protested outside a Catholic Church in Picton Sunday morning in response to an anti-Pride message in the weekly bulletin.

The protest was organized after the church priest, Father Robert Chisholm published a message telling church members not to attend any Pride Month events because they go against Christian faith and morals.

“I don’t know where he’s coming from,” said parishioner John Simmons whose daughter was baptized at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church 38 years ago. Simmons added, “He kinda sounds to me like we’ve got our own Westboro Baptist Church here in Picton.”

Among the crowd of around 500 people, were members and supporters of the Prince Edward County Gay-Straight Alliance Facebook group.

Carolyn Cole started the group after the bulletin was published. At the rally today she said, “I feel like he (Fr. Chisholm) should be forced to apologize, and if he doesn’t choose to apologize he should lose his job here.”

Father Chisholm isn’t giving any interviews about the controversy.  But the Archbishop of Kingston, Michael Mulhall did release a statement, saying in part, “I did not sanction this message, and it does not reflect the spirit of accompanying charity and compassion that should always characterize our faith.” The statement goes on to say, “The Archdiocese has spoken with the pastor of the parish. He regrets any hurt that his inappropriate comments have caused.”

As parishioners came and went from the church for Sunday mass, they were met by a crowd singing songs about love building bridges, and carrying signs with slogans like; “Hate is not a Christian value,” “Pride not prejudice,” and “There is a cure for homophobia: education.”

Officers from the Ontario Provincial Police kept an eye on the protest.  But no arrests were made.

Social media on fire following local church bulletin’s ‘Pride’ warning

CountyLive

Friday morning teachers and community members were outside the school holding banners stating ‘This is a safe space’.

(UPDATED at story end) A local church bulletin telling Catholics and Christians that Pride events are contrary to faith and could be harmful to children has set social media in Prince Edward County on fire and roused the community to show love and solidarity for the LGBTQ community before mass this Sunday at St. Gregory’s Catholic School in Picton.

Postings on social media Thursday shared the “reminder” in the church bulletin from St. Gregory Catholic Church’s website which said:

“A reminder that Catholics and all other Christians should not attend LGBTQ2 ‘Pride Month’ events held this month. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to the Christian faith and morals. This is especially harmful to children because it could lead them away from God’s revealed Truth. Even in “The County,” there are Pride flags and banners flying courtesy of the Government. Think…these are your hard tax dollars at work!”

The bulletin has since been removed from the church’s website.

That evening, a rainbow umbrella and whirligigs appeared on the church’s front lawn.

Friday morning, several parents sent notes to teachers stated they refused to allow their children to attend today’s year-end monthly mass led by priest Robert J. Chisholm. This morning, teachers and community members were outside the school holding banners stating ‘This is a safe space’. Several also spoke out on social media. Teacher Daniela Lisa stated “St. Greg’s is a wonderful school and believes in inclusion. This did not come from the school.”

Parent Lyndsay Richmond didn’t want her children attending mass Friday.

“I know a lot of parents that told the school their kids would not be attending mass today. I’m surprised it was cancelled or postponed.”

Richmond said the “hateful behaviour” shown in the bulletin message “has no place in any church or school system. It’s not okay.”

“My kids went to school to support the teachers. But the principal and my own children’s teachers were told that my children did not have permission to go to mass nor did I want them in the presence of the priest. And if it could not be accommodated to contact me.”

The community is now using social media to share messages of inclusion, support and love.

A ‘Pride in St. Greg’s’ event has been organized for Sunday at 9:30 a.m. where the public is invited to show solidarity for the County’s LGBTQ community outside of the church “in a peaceful and non-confrontational demonstration of respect that every member of our community is entitled to, regardless of their identity.”

Shannon Hunter noted there is a new LGBTQ+ youth group looking for donations which can be received at the Prince Edward Learning Centre (PELC) in the Sobeys plaza.

“If you can’t make it to church this Sunday, consider showing your support in other ways,” she said.

St Mary Magdalene Anglican Church in Picton posted a message today to its followers confirming “it strives to be open, welcoming, and inclusive, in particular supporting the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the life of the Church. We seek justice for victims of prejudice and strive to nurture relationships of respect, love, and mutual care.”

Kevin Stenhouse, a pastor at a Free Methodist Church in Picton, told his social media followers to “Get out of the 4 walls of your church and be in your community. Attend these events and show the world the love of Christ. Let’s show everyone in the County that love is far greater than hate and all Christians (and all churches) should not be painted with the same brush.”

To LGBTQ+ friends and family, he apologized.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry that, once again, you are being marginalized and demonized and treated poorly. I’m sorry for the damage the church and Christians (both well-meaning and ignorant buffoons) have inflicted on you. God loves you and you are VERY welcome in MOST churches in the County.”

Mayor Steve Ferguson has stated he was disappointed to read the critical remarks.

“In Prince Edward County, we aspire to foster an inclusive and diverse community. I applaud the Picton BIA’s work to expand Pride Week activities in the County this year. I also support Picton BIA installing pride banners along Picton Main Street in order to make the community more visibly inclusive to all visitors as well as the growing LGBTQ2S+ community.”

He declared May 31 – June 8 Pride Week to ” recognize the valuable contributions the LGBTQ2S+ community make to Prince Edward County. Just as important, Pride Week gives all of us an opportunity to recognize the human rights and dignity of all persons in our community.”Artist Marc Keelan Bishop created a Pride in PEC banner now being shared throughout Facebook.

Lesley Snyder of Rosehaven Yarn Shop in Picton posted a rainbow garment with the message inviting others to join her family on the lawn of the church Sunday morning wearing and carrying Pride symbols.

Gilles Charette also plans to be there for a “peaceful, quiet vigil” sporting pride colours.

“Let’s show love is better than hate, hope is better than fear and inclusion is better than exclusion.”

At about 6 p.m. Friday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston posted a statement on its Facebook page regarding the bulletin’s announcement.

Michael Mulhall, Archbishop of Kingston, stated he did not sanction the message and “it does not reflect the spirit of accompanying charity and compassion that should always characterize our faith.

“The Archdiocese has spoken with the pastor of the parish. He regrets any hurt that his inappropriate comments have caused.”

Earlier today, Father Chisholm told Sun Media  “We’re just promoting Catholic teaching, that’s all.”

He told Global News Kingston he wrote the Pride message “Because as a shepherd, it’s my duty to keep my flock safe.”

1 Response to Chisholm: Father Robert J. Chisholm

  1. Maureen Bedard-Slack says:

    This Robert Chisholm was with Ed Barrett in Amherstview (Blessed Sacrement Parish) Feb 10, 1981. Interesting….birds of a feather!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *