Dwyer: Father Andrew A. Dwyer

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Father Andy Dwyer Chaplain St. Clair’s Catholic Board Trustees 2010. (Photo Director’s Annual Report 2010)

Andrew Dwyer

Andrew A. Dwyer

Father Andy Dwyer

Father Andrew Dwyer

Priest, Diocese of London, Ontario.  Ordained 1979.

– removed from duties September 2018 after diocese received “credible” allegations which date back many years.  Apparently an internal investigation is being conducted by the diocese.  It is unknown if the police have or have not been contacted’

 

January 2019:  word that there are two complainants, one who alleges abuse St. Michael’s parish in London and Blessed Sacrament parish in Chatham in 1982-1983, and another who alleges sexual abuse at Holy Name of Mary parish in Windsor in the late 1970’s.

– faculties have been permanently removed (in the Diocese of London).  He has not been defrocked.

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Bishops of London Diocese from 1978:   Gerald Emmett Carter  (17 February 1964 – 29 April 1978 -Appointed, Archbishop of Toronto, Ontario)   John Michael Sherlock (07 July 1978 – 27 April 2002 ); Ronald Peter Fabbro, C.S.B. (27 April 2002 – – )

Auxiliary Bishops: John Michael Sherlock (25 June 1974 — Bishop: 07 July 1978); Marcel André J. Gervais (19 April 1980 – 03 May 1985); Frederick Bernard Henry (18 April 1986 – 24 March 1995);  Richard John Grecco (05 December 1997 – 27 April 2002); Robert Anthony Daniels ( 21 September 2004 to 01 March 2011); Józef Andrzej Dąbrowski, C.S.M.A. ( 31 January 2015 – )

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19 January 2019: “Parishes where ousted priests worked identified by London lawyer” & related article

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Unless otherwise stipulated, the following information is drawn from annual copies of the Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) and media (M) which I have on hand .

September 2018:   removed from duties at St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church and St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church, Windsor after diocese received “credible allegations” of inappropriate conduct.  The nature of the misconduct is unknown. (M)

2018, 2016,2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011:  Pastor, St. Theresa & Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, Windsor, Ontario ( St Vincent de Paul October 2018) (CCCD)

2010:  Pastor, North American Martyrs, Thamesville, Ontario (CCCD) (It looks as though North American Martyrs was formerly St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Thamesville?)

September  2010:  no longer serving as Chaplain to St. Clair Catholic District School Board Board of Trustees – assigned to serve as Pastor at Windsor church in June 2010.

2010: Chaplain,  St. Clair Catholic District School Board Board of Trustees (Page 1, St Clair Catholic District School Board Director’s Annual Report 2010 of Trustees 2010)

2004-2007:  Chaplain,  St. Clair Catholic District School Board Board of Trustees

2002:  St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, Thamesville, Ontario (CCCD)

1997-2000:  St. John the Divine Roman Catholic Church, London, Ontario

1998:  Pastor, St. John the Divine Roman Catholic Church, London, Ontario  (CCCD)

1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992:  Pastor, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Windsor,  Ontario (CCCD)

02 February 1996: Healing Mass  at Immaculate Conception.  Excerpt from Saturday 27 January 1996 Windsor Star:

Healing mass — Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, 686 Marentette Ave., will hold a healing mass for cancer and associated ills Friday at 7:30 p.m. Rev. Andy Dwyer will be the celebrant. All are welcome.

1985-1986:  Assisting, Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church, Chatham, Ontario, Ontario.  (Pastor Father J.J. Pedelt)   (CCCD)

1981-1983:  allegations of sexual abuse at St. Michael’s parish in London and Blessed Sacrament parish in Chatham (M)

Late 70s:  allegations of sexual abuse at  Holy Name of Mary parish in Windsor. Ontario (M)

1979:  ORDAINED

1968:  Graduated from Assumption College Catholic High School

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Diocese suspends Windsor priest after ‘credible allegations’ surface

The Roman Catholic Diocese of London has removed a Windsor priest from his churches after receiving “credible allegations” of inappropriate conduct.

The Windsor Star

Updated: September 27, 2018

The Roman Catholic Diocese of London has removed a Windsor priest from his churches after receiving “credible allegations” of inappropriate conduct.

The allegations against Rev. Andy Dwyer, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Theresa’s parishes, “relate to actions of many years ago,” according to the diocese.

“There is no good time for such an announcement,” the diocese said in an emailed statement. “It is particularly hard to hear and deal with this news in light of the recent revelations in the United States. Even so, we remain vigilant and faithful during this trying time in order to ensure a safe environment in our parishes and institutions.”

Diocese spokesman Nelson Couto said he could not comment on the nature of the allegations. But “the recent revelations” in the U.S. mentioned by the diocese relates to sexual abuse. Couto confirmed the statement was in reference to a massive child sex abuse scandal in Pennsylvania.

The diocese also didn’t reveal if a parishioner made the allegations or how many potential victims, if any, could be involved.

A grand jury report last month revealed that Roman Catholic leaders in Pennsylvania covered up sexual abuse against children going as far back as the 1940s. The report identified 301 priests who abused more than 1,000 victims.

Windsor police wouldn’t reveal if they have launched a criminal investigation into the allegations against Dwyer.

“On a general case basis, we don’t comment on whether we are investigating or whether we are not investigating — to protect the privacy of everybody involved, from the complainants, victims, accused people — unless there’s a public safety issue,” said Const. Andrew Drouillard.

The Diocese of London said it is investigating the allegations against Dwyer. While the “actions” in question go back many years, the diocese said the allegations only surfaced recently.

The diocese said that under its “A Safe Environment Policy,” any priest, deacon or lay ecclesial minister facing “credible allegations” is removed from duty during the course of the investigation.

“This is our policy and this is clearly how the Diocese of London handles these matters now,” church officials wrote in the statement.

Earlier this month, Bishop Ronald Fabbro wrote “a letter to the faithful” touting the policy.

“It includes a number of sound procedures to prevent abuse from happening,” he wrote. “A priest who commits an offence against a minor or any other vulnerable person is removed from ministry. My goal is to protect people against abuse.”

Fabbro’s letter also made direct reference to the Pennsylvania scandal in his letter.

“It is devastating to read the accounts of profound evil that occurred in our Church,” Fabbro wrote. “Since I have been bishop, I have met with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families. It was heart-wrenching to listen to their stories of the pain and the sufferings they have endured throughout their entire lives — sometimes for 30, 40 or 50 years after the abuse occurred.”

He noted that the grand jury report details the “failures” of bishops who moved priests around to cover up the abuse.

“The cover-up was terribly wrong,” he wrote. “Catholics are rightly outraged that the bishops failed to put a stop to the abuse. How could they have failed so grievously in their calling to be shepherds of their people and in their responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us?”

Fabbro didn’t mention the history of similar cover-ups in the London diocese, but he did acknowledge it has dealt with abuse cases of its own.

“The clergy abuse crisis has brought to light the brokenness in our Church,” Fabbro wrote. “For these wounds to heal, we must first acknowledge our brokenness before the Lord. We must do penance in reparation for the grave sins committed. And, we — bishops, priests and lay people — must be courageous in carrying out the reforms needed in our Church.”

[email protected]

twitter.com/WinStarWilhelm

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Catholic priest removed from Windsor parishes for historic allegations

CTV News  Windsor

Published Wednesday, September 26, 2018 10:41PM EDT

The pastor of two Catholic parishes in Windsor has been removed from the ministry.

The Diocese of London confirms Father Andy Dwyer, who oversees St. Vincent de Paul and St. Theresa’s parishes, has been removed due to historic allegations against him.

In a statement to CTV News, communications officer Nelson Couto said “these allegations are being investigated and relate to actions of many years ago which have now surfaced.”

But Couto would not comment on the investigation and the specifics about the allegations.

Couto cited the Diocese of London’s Safe Environment Policy, which states “that whenever credible allegations are made against any priest, deacon or lay ecclesial minister, that person is removed for the period of the investigation. This is our policy and this is clearly how the Diocese of London handles these matters now.”

Couto’s statement said “There is no good time for such an announcement. It is particularly hard to hear and deal with this news in light of the recent revelations in the United States.  Even so, we remain vigilant and faithful during this trying time in order to ensure a safe environment in our parishes and institutions.”

Last month, a report to a U.S. grand jury found over 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children since the 1940’s.

Earlier this month, Bishop Ronald Fabbro of the Diocese of London released a statement, saying the ‘extent of the abuse is shocking.’

The statement was read at Roman Catholic parishes across the region.

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Priest removed from his duties by Roman Catholic Diocese of London

Church officials say they’re following the Diocese of London’s ‘Safe Environment Policy’

The Roman Catholic Diocese of London has confirmed it has received allegations against Father Andy Dwyer, a long-serving priest in Windsor.

In a statement released to CBC News, officials with the diocese said Dwyer is being investigated for actions that allegedly occurred “many years ago.”

Fr. Dwyer was recently removed from his duties as pastor at St. Vincent de Paul and St. Theresa’s parishes in Windsor. The Diocese of London is responsible for the Windsor area.

The diocese would not disclose the nature of the allegations.

In its statement, the diocese noted it has a ‘Safe Environment Policy’ which states that “whenever credible allegations are made against any priest, deacon or lay ecclesial minister, that person is removed for the period of the investigation.”

News of the priest’s suspension evoked a mixed reaction from London lawyer, Rob Talach, who has been representing victims of clergy abuse for more than a decade.

Lawyer Rob Talach has been representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse for more than a decade. (Mary Sheppard/CBC)

“It’s encouraging and concerning all at the same time,” said Talach.

“The encouraging part is that there’s a removal in response to an allegation, but removal or suspension is not the complete duty the diocese has here.”

Talach said the lack of information about the allegations is among his concerns. He wants the public to be made aware if these allegations involve sexual misconduct.

“The Safe Environment Policy doesn’t deal with anything but misconduct of either a physical, a sexual, or a moral nature,” he said. “If you look at that policy, it’s about 95% focused on sexual misconduct… So if the removal is pursuant to the Safe Environment Policy, it’s a fair bet it’s got a sexual foundation.”

If that’s the case, Talach believes the public should be told if the allegations involve children or adults, and exactly how long the allegations date back.

CBC News did try to contact Fr. Dwyer. He did not respond.

No mention of police involvement

Talach is also troubled that the statement from the diocese makes no mention of whether police have been called to investigate.

“This has been another major flaw on the part of the diocese over the decades. Nowhere have we ever seen, in writing or in practice, a willingness to go to the experts, the police, if criminal conduct is in question and asked for their involvement or their help,” said Talach. “Look, if you’re going to write a homily I’d ask a priest. If I’m going to investigate sexual misconduct, that’s the last professional I’m going to get involved.”

Windsor police would not confirm to CBC News whether it’s been made aware of any allegations involving Fr. Dwyer.

Talach believes that, if the diocese wants to be fair to Fr. Dwyer, releasing more information would help alleviate speculation.

“Is this a single, one-off allegation? Is it an adult? Is it a child? Is it sexual? Is it not? The imagination can get away from us, and can do disservice if these [allegations] aren’t what we think they are,” said Talach. “Their present stance is not serving anyone but maybe themselves.”

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Diocese of London investigating allegations against Windsor priest

The Catholic Register

27 September 2018

By  Catholic Register Staff

A priest in Windsor, Ont., has been removed from his duties as the Diocese of London investigates  allegations of inappropriate conduct.

Fr. Andy Dwyer is the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Theresa’s parishes in Windsor.

The diocese would not comment on the nature of the allegations or who made them, only that they “relate to actions of many years ago” and are being investigated by the diocese. Police would not comment whether they are involved in the investigation.

“There is no good time for such an announcement,” the diocese said in an e-mailed statement to the Windsor Star Sept. 26. “It is particularly hard to hear and deal with this news in light of the recent revelations in the United States. Even so, we remain vigilant and faithful during this trying time in order to ensure a safe environment in our parishes and institutions.”

Nelson Couto, communications officer for the diocese, noted that the diocese is following its “Safe Environment Policy” designed to “protect people against abuse.”

The news comes on the heels of the revelations of sexual abuse and coverups over decades by Catholic leaders contend in a Pennsylvania grand jury report.

13 Responses to Dwyer: Father Andrew A. Dwyer

  1. Chris says:

    Sylvia,

    You probably get this all the time, but I want to commend you for the work you are doing. You are helping to expose and bring these predators to justice. Like many other people on this site, I think we are just at the tip of the iceberg.

    One question. My father attended and graduated from St. Peter’s Seminary, but left prior to being ordained. Considering (what appears to be) a high # of predator priests who attended and/or taught at St. Peters, combined with a historically low population of students @ St. Peters, has anyone done a focused investigation of St. Peter’s (beyond the Glendenning, Maclean etc cases)? Although they publish a list of lay alumni, does anyone have a directory or listing of all priests that have attended and/or graduated from St. Peters? What about faculty?

    Does anyone else have any history or dealing with Bishop Fred Henry while he was Bishop in London? His connection to Southdown?

    Also, it might just be anecdotal, but I recall my father mentioning Bishop Sherlock’s cottage in Grand Bend many times. Not sure if he ever went there, but it sounded like many seminarians stayed there etc. Not suggesting anything nefarious happened there, but am alarmed by the number of cases listed on the site that refer to a holiday house, cottage, cabin etc.

    • Sylvia says:

      Is your father still alive Chris? It would be interesting to hear what he has to say about his years at St. Peter’s.

      I don’t know that anyone had specifically focused on St. Peter’s Seminary, but I did do an lengthy article (“Liturgically Speaking”) about liturgy a number of years ago which led me to take a close look at St. Peter’s Seminary. When I get a chance I will pull it out and perhaps post excerpts.

      Re Bishop Sherlock> I personally did not know of the cottage but did hear allegations regarding inappropriate sexual conduct with fellow bishops and other adult males by Bishop Sherlock while he was overseas participating the Second Vatican Council. My source for that information is now unfortunately deceased. I did consider the allegations to be credible, but I never personally verified them.

      Further to your query regarding the cottage and your other questions, I received an email from a priest who attended St. Peter’s Seminary:

      1. Yes, there are publications listing all the graduates both lay and clerics.
      2. His question about high percentage/low seminarians is incorrect. For quite a while it was one of the largest and best-attended seminaries in the country. It has hit rough times lately and has far few seminarians than in past years. I think it’s because seminarians from Western Canada now attend the newly renovated seminary in Edmonton, Easterners attending one in the Maritimes, and the general decline in vocations in Canada. When I attended in the 80’s, the place was running at full capacity and had to turn away approximately 1/3 of applicants due to lack of space.
      3. re. The question about Bishop Sherlock’s cottage: Each year was kicked off with what was called the ‘Group Weekend’. Each group (there were 7 back in the day) went off for a group building weekend that was 1/2 retreat and 1/2 getting to know each other. It also allowed our spiritual directors/group leader to get a handle on the personalities of his various charges. I was in group ‘F’ and we always used +Sherlock’s cottage (actually more of a house since it wasn’t on the water) up in Grand Bend for its group weekend. This was the only time of the year that seminarians ever went to any cottage.

      • Questioner says:

        Sylvia,

        You say: <>

        A brief response: Are you sure the source to which you refer was speaking of Bishop Sherlock? I ask because it is mistaken to say that Bishop Sherlock “was overseas participating in the Second Vatican Council,” much less to imply that he was a bishop at that time (“with fellow bishops”). Sherlock did not become a bishop until 1974, by the then-Bishop of Hamilton, Bishop Reding.

        Is it possible that the source to which you refer was speaking of Cardinal Carter, then Bishop Carter, the then-Bishop of London? i.e., “the Bishop of London participated in the Second Vatican Council and did this …”

        To say that Bishop Sherlock was “overseas participating in the Second Vatican Council” with “his fellow bishops” is not accurate, as he was a parish priest in Hamilton.

        • Sylvia says:

          Sorry Questioner, that was poor wording on my part. He was not there as as a bishop.

          • Questioner says:

            I don’t believe he was there at all, though. He was not a Council Father (a bishop). Granted, there were some priests who were there in the capacity of being theological scholars (“periti” / “peritus”), but there is no reason to believe that Bp. Sherlock (or Fr Sherlock, as he was then) was there as a scholar, along the lines of someone like Karl Rahner.

            I see no reason to believe that Bp. Sherlock participated in the Second Vatican Council.

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks Sylvia. Unfortunately my interest in St. Peters (and the rest) has not been embraced by my father, who is in very good health. With that being said, he is definitely angry about the abuse and the church’s mismanagement of it. However, I have a ton of questions that will probably go unanswered.

    As to attendance/enrollment, can the same priest provide an estimated enrollment during the 60’s, 70’s etc? I am aware that it is historically low right now (despite a massive investment by the Diocese), but I think relative to the all periods, the number of accused priests is a significant outlier compared to many other institutions.

    Any other background / backstoryon Fred Henry?

  3. Chris says:

    With enrollment #’s, I think it would be worthwhile applying some data science to St Peters and other seminaries / abuse hot spots. You would be able to extrapolate and estimate the number of silent victims of these predators.

    As for Fred Henry, his name comes up as Bishop or Aux Bishop in many of the cases, further it appears he was a director @ Southdown. Just would appear he knew more than what he is spoken publicly about.

    • D says:

      During the 80s Fred Henry was rector of st. Peter’s seminary. He taught fundamental theology and was known for his keen intellect and orthodoxy. He was an excellent professor and a strict rector.

      He was ordained a bishop towards the end of the decade and was auxiliary bishop of London until he was moved to Calgary as the ordinary. He never worked at southdown to my knowledge.

      St. Peter’s seminary was known in those days for its orthodox teaching. There was a very rigorous thomistic philosophy underpinning to the program. The ecclesial theology was also very orthodox and difficult. The bioethics were top notch. The scriptural and liturgical departments were weaker but hardly radical.

      During this period a policeman friend tipped me off to a seminarian who was acting out sexùally in the community of London with adult women. I reported it to the rector and he acted swiftly to remove the young man from the seminary.

      I hope this helps.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I posted earlier about Andy Dwyer. There are two new news articles about him.

    The London Diocese made this statement about Dwyer and another priest: “After separate investigations and consultations with various groups, including our diocesan Safe Environment Advisory Committee, I determined that Maurice Charbonneau and Andrew Dwyer would not be able to return to ministry at any time. Their faculties have been permanently removed” – https://windsor.ctvnews.ca/second-windsor-priest-removed-from-duty-1.4240623

    As one of his victims, it was important to me that they didn’t refer to him as “Father” Dwyer in the statement so I appreciated that. That title has always made me squeamish.

    Also, an attorney who is working with victims of Dwyer has identified some of the parishes where he worked and where the abuse took place. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/london-catholic-diocese-dwyer-charbonneau-talach-1.4978101

    I’m not ready to go to the police or pursue a legal case yet and I’m not sure if I will be. Everything just resurfaced recently and I’m really struggling. I’m in therapy and I’m taking meds but it doesn’t really seem to be helping. I just don’t know how to function with these memories in my head playing in the background all the time. And I don’t understand how I forgot about it for 20 years and now it’s all I can think about. I’m an intelligent person and I rely on my mind a great deal. It feels like my mind betrayed me as well as that a******. And the messed up thing is that I’m an attorney who does similar advocacy type work and I can’t even advocate for myself right now. I don’t know why I’m sharing all that. I mostly just wanted to update the page because there was new information in the news. Thanks.

    • PJJ says:

      Sorry to hear about your struggles. I too have gone down that same road and it is not easy for sure. I will say although difficult, the journey through a criminal trial and then litigation decades later has really helped me in redirecting the blame where it belonged. That young boy without a voice discovered that he could be heard once again thanks to the legal system in Canada. Rob Talach was instrumental in my recovery. Good luck man and I wish you all the best. Be strong and remember there are many on this site that can help in some way.

  5. Sylvia says:

    Thank you Anonymous. I have posted the two articles together: 19 January 2019: “Parishes where ousted priests worked identified by London lawyer” & related article and updated the site.

    My heart goes out to you at this very difficult time. I would advise you strongly to please not blame yourself, put the blame squarely on the shoulders of your molester and those who may have covered up on his behalf. The same goes for shame. Put the shame where it belongs, it’s belongs to them, not you.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  6. D says:

    A further comment on bishop Sherlock.

    He was absolutely not a father of the counsel. He was in fact a priest then. He was a very beloved pastor in Hamilton diocese according to everything I ever heard. He was one of the few pastors made a bishop and therefore was not known for his theological or scholastic background. Most bishops have the more connected background of a scholar, administrator or a diplomat.

    I knew bishop Sherlock well in the 80s. He and I socialized several times at his home 90 central also known as Blackfriars. He was an incredibly kind man. He never acted in any way that was untoward or inappropriate and we were alone several times having cocktails. I liked him very much and still do. He was very kind to me when i left the priesthood after only 3 years.

    Many blamed him for me leaving which was absolutely untrue! I left because I wanted to live honestly and I saw to much dishonesty around me in the hierarchy to be clear.

    I realize that my experience is only one but even then I was sexually aware and would have picked up inappropriate stuff. I find those mentioned reports about Sherlock acting out sexually hard to believe. For the record…i don’t believe IT!

    He had a dynamic faith and personality. He was very orthodox and loved to discuss the faith.

    I will say that he was ill equipped to deal with abusers. He did not understand it he told me once. How could a priest purposely hurt someone or brazenly betray their vows was the thinking of many. He had a certain naivety for sure. He tended to believe these idiots when they said they were cured to everyone’s detriment, I would bet.

    The clerical view of these older priests and bishops was very set. The church’s worship of its own was in my view deeply rooted in its hierarchical male only power. The results have been disastrous and many have suffered.

    Please understand that I don’t think this excuses the lack of action or protection of children. I am only trying to put flesh on the bones as it were.

    Again I hope this helps.

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