“Father Desgrandchamps passed through Saint Joseph” & “Allegations of Sexual Assault: Ottawa Priest Suspended by Archdiocese” with original French texts for both articles

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[This is a Google translation.  Scroll down for original French text]

Le Droit

24 November 2017

LOUIS-DENIS EBACHER

Father Jacques Desgrandchamps, who was singled out for sexual assault by a former student of a boarding school in Estrie, had already worked at Saint-Joseph College in Hull, in the 1980s and 1990s.

The director of the high school for girls, Georges Najm, confirmed the information on Thursday. Like former students, the director general was very surprised to learn that the monk was accused by a 57-year-old man who had studied at Servites College in Ayer’s Cliff,  [Eastern Townships, Quebec], in the 1970s.

The man, who filed a class action, believes that his former teacher would have made other victims.

“Indeed, this week, we knew what could have happened (in [Eastern Townships, Quebec]), said Mr. Najm. We talked to former students, and are surprised to hear all this. In three decades in college, I have never had a complaint against Father Jacques.

The direction of Collège Saint-Joseph planned Thursday to post a message on its website or Facebook page.

“I informed the board,” he says.

A former student, whose name we will remain anonymous, has shown a general surprise to her former classmates. She alerted Le Droit so that the information thus published could convince potential victims to break the silence.

The case made a big splash this week in Quebec.

The Archdiocese of Ottawa also suspended the monk, who until recently was working at St. Anthony of Padua parish.

Father Jacques Desgrandchamps was, among other things, responsible for pastoral care at Collège Saint-Joseph.

The judicial request concerns only one victim for the moment. Man identifies himself as “X”, for the purpose of not being publicly identified.

“X” was 12 years old when she arrived at the Servites College boarding school, which was reserved for boys. Father Desgrandchamps reportedly entrusted him with certain tasks related to his teaching duties and made alcoholic drinks on numerous occasions.

The director of the Collège Gatineau recalls that the policy on harassment and sexual assault is today very strict within the institution. “We take this very seriously.

………………………….

Le père Desgrandchamps, visé par des allégations d’inconduite sexuelle, est passé par le Collège Saint-Joseph de Hull.

Le père Desgrandchamps est passé par Saint-Joseph

Louis-Denis Ebacher

Le Droit

Le père Jacques Desgrandchamps, pointé du doigt pour agression sexuelle par un ancien élève d’un pensionnat de l’Estrie, a déjà œuvré au Collège Saint-Joseph de Hull, dans les années 1980 et 1990.

Le directeur de l’école secondaire pour filles, Georges Najm, a confirmé l’information, jeudi. Tout comme d’anciennes élèves, le directeur général s’est dit fort surpris d’apprendre que le religieux était accusé par un homme de 57 ans ayant étudié Collège Servites d’Ayer’s Cliff, en Estrie, dans les années 1970.

L’homme, qui a déposé une action collective, croit que son ancien enseignant aurait fait d’autres victimes.

« En effet, cette semaine, on a su ce qui avait pu se produire (en Estrie), a mentionné M. Najm. Nous avons parlé à d’anciennes élèves, et sommes surpris d’entendre tout cela. En trois décennies au collège, je n’ai jamais eu de plainte contre le père Jacques. »

La direction du Collège Saint-Joseph prévoyait, jeudi, publier un message sur son site Internet ou sa page Facebook.

« J’ai mis le conseil d’administration au courant », assure-t-il.

Une ancienne élève, dont nous garderons l’anonymat, a témoigné de la surprise générale chez ses anciennes camarades de classe. Elle a alerté Le Droit afin que l’information ainsi publiée puisse convaincre d’éventuelles victimes à briser le silence.

L’affaire a fait grand bruit, cette semaine, au Québec.

L’Archidiocèse d’Ottawa a aussi suspendu le religieux, qui œuvrait jusqu’à tout récemment à la paroisse Saint-Antoine de Padoue.

Le père Jacques Desgrandchamps était, entre autres, responsable de la pastorale au Collège Saint-Joseph.

La requête judiciaire ne concerne qu’une seule victime pour le moment. L’homme s’identifie en tant que « X », dans le but de ne pas être identifié publiquement.

« X » avait 12 ans à son arrivée au pensionnat du Collège Servites, alors réservé aux garçons. Le père Desgrandchamps lui aurait confié certaines tâches liées à ses occupations d’enseignant et fait boire de l’alcool à maintes reprises.

Le directeur du collège gatinois rappelle que la politique en matière de harcèlement et d’agression sexuelle est aujourd’hui très stricte, au sein de l’institution. « On prend cela très au sérieux. »

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Allegations of Sexual Assault: Ottawa Priest Suspended by Archdiocese

21 November 2017
Laurel Trudeau

[This is a Google translation.  Scroll down for original French text]

A Ottawa priest who allegedly sexually assaulted a miner in [the Eastern Townships, Quebec], Quebec in the 1970s was suspended from office by the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

Jacques Desgrandchamps, now 85 years old, worked since the 90s at the Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue parish, located Booth street in the city center of the capital.

The Servite College of Ayer’s Cliff, near Magog, is the subject of a class action suit in connection with the allegations against Mr. Desgrandchamps, but he does not face any criminal charges. In an interview with Radio-Canada, he nonetheless admitted to having had sex with some students during his career.

As soon as he became aware of the allegations, the Archbishop of Ottawa, Monsignor Terrence Prendergast, made the decision to suspend his duties. Mr. Desgrandchamps, who celebrated Sunday Mass at the church on Sunday English-speaking Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue.

“The Archdiocese of Ottawa encourages Catholics and all members of society to protect minors and other vulnerable people and commits to living up to its responsibilities and obligations to victims in research of justice and truth, “reads an email sent to Radio-Canada by the archdiocese.

Our diocese is committed to creating a safe environment in the Church for minors and other vulnerable people.
Written declaration of the Archdiocese of Ottawa

The Victims of Victims Committee has also asked the Ottawa Police Service for an investigation into the area.

“I have shared the information about the Ayer’s Cliff class action with the police … hoping they will investigate and look at all the potential elements,” said the director of communications. of the Committee, Carlo Tarini.

For its part, the Canadian province of the Servite Order of Servants, who is the subject of the class action, reacted in writing. She indicated that she “deals with this case with the utmost attention and condemns any abusive conduct of a physical, psychological or sexual nature”.

He also worked in Hull

Jacques Desgrandchamps has also worked at St. Joseph’s College in Hull in the past, but he would no longer be employed at Catholic High School for girls for at least twenty years.

The current Executive Director of the College, Georges Najm, said he was very surprised by the allegations against the octogenarian.

“It’s a total surprise of course, because from the time I’ve been here in college, we’ve never heard anything like this. Really, it’s total surprise, I do not know what to say, “reacted Mr. Najm.

Since Monday, the plaintiff’s lawyer in the Estrie region who initiated the class action petition has received numerous calls from former students.

According to Marie Eve Lacas and Laurie Trudel
Google Translate for Business:Translator ToolkitWebsite Translator

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Allégations d’agressions sexuelles : un prêtre d’Ottawa suspendu de ses fonctions par l’archidiocèse

Radio Canada     Ottawa-Gatineau

Les explications de Laurie Trudel

Un prêtre ottavien qui aurait agressé sexuellement à répétition un mineur en Estrie, au Québec, dans les années 70 a été suspendu de ses fonctions par l’archidiocèse d’Ottawa.

Jacques Desgrandchamps, aujourd’hui âgé de 85 ans, oeuvrait depuis les années 90 à la paroisse Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue, située rue Booth au centre-ville de la capitale.

Le Collège Servite d’Ayer’s Cliff, près de Magog, fait l’objet d’une demande de recours collectif en lien avec les allégations contre M. Desgrandchamps, mais ce dernier ne fait face à aucune accusation criminelle. En entrevue avec Radio-Canada, il a néanmoins reconnu avoir eu des relations sexuelles avec certains élèves pendant sa carrière.

Dès qu’il a été mis au courant des allégations, l’archevêque d’Ottawa, monseigneur Terrence Prendergast, a pris la décision de suspendre de ses fonctions M. Desgrandchamps, qui célébrait une messe par semaine, le dimanche, à l’église anglophone Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue.

« L’archidiocèse d’Ottawa encourage les catholiques et tous les membres de la société à protéger les mineurs et d’autres personnes vulnérables et s’engage à se montrer à la hauteur de ses responsabilités et de ses obligations envers les victimes dans la recherche de la justice et de la vérité », peut-on lire dans un courriel envoyé à Radio-Canada par l’archidiocèse.

Notre diocèse s’est engagé à créer un environnement sécuritaire dans l’Église pour les mineurs et les autres personnes vulnérables.

Déclaration écrite de l’archidiocèse d’Ottawa

Le Comité de victimes de prêtres a aussi demandé au Service de police d’Ottawa qu’une enquête soit ouverte dans la région.

« J’ai communiqué l’information au sujet du recours collectif à Ayer’s Cliff aux autorités policières […] en espérant qu’elles vont faire enquête et qu’elles vont regarder tous les éléments potentiels », a expliqué le directeur des communications du Comité, Carlo Tarini.

Pour sa part, la province canadienne de l’Ordre des Servites de Marie, visée par le recours collectif, a réagi par écrit. Elle a indiqué qu’elle traite « cette affaire avec la plus grande attention et qu’elle condamne tout comportement abusif de nature physique, psychologique ou sexuelle ».

Il a aussi travaillé à Hull

Jacques Desgrandchamps a également travaillé au Collège Saint-Joseph de Hull dans le passé, mais il ne serait plus à l’emploi de l’école secondaire catholique pour filles depuis au moins une vingtaine d’années.

Le directeur général actuel du Collège, Georges Najm, s’est dit très surpris des allégations contre l’octogénaire.

« C’est une surprise totale naturellement, parce que depuis le temps que je suis ici au Collège, on n’a jamais entendu quelque chose de cette sorte. Vraiment, c’est la surprise totale, je ne sais pas quoi dire », a réagi M. Najm.

Depuis lundi, l’avocat du plaignant de la région de l’Estrie à l’origine de la demande de recours collectif a reçu de nombreux appels d’anciens élèves.

D’après les informations de Marie Eve Lacas et Laurie Trudel

7 Responses to “Father Desgrandchamps passed through Saint Joseph” & “Allegations of Sexual Assault: Ottawa Priest Suspended by Archdiocese” with original French texts for both articles

  1. BC says:

    …so I quickly went through these Google translations Sylvia; and it seems to me that it`s translation of Estrie is the only issue. Estrie in french = Eastern Townships (S-E Québec).
    I hope that Father Desgrandchamps, who is a pervert and who admitted that he preyed on students didn`t victimize any of the girls at Saint-Joseph. It still is being managed by a religious corporation but at the time Father Desgrandchamps was working there it was operated by the wealthy and politically savvy order of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa. If the crimes of father Desgrandchamps are going to be covered-up at Saint-Joseph, it will be virtually impossible to expose them because the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa are in a league of their own when it comes to risk management. The only order that I`ve personally dealt with that is even more sophisticated in terms of business acumen is their mother order of the Grey Nuns of Montreal. Both of these orders have been intimately involved with Canada`s political and business elites since it`s colonization. They have marked down Father Desgrandchamps as an operational loss and they will quietly settle any claim involving Saint-Joseph.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Thanks BC. I have fixed the Estrie business.

    Re St. Joseph i, Hull. I have been wondering if he ended up there because he had been “caught” molesting boys at the college in Ayer’s Cliff and the assumption being that the girls would be safe? Why leave a facility which was operated by the Servites?

    I think we all well now by now that there is absolutely no guarantee that a molester whose sexual interest seems to be directed young boys will not, given the circumstance and opportunity, lay a wayward hand on a young girl. Did he go after any of those girls? I hope and pray that if he did they speak up. Ditto all the children at St. Anthony’s to whom he had access over these many many years. I note that in justifying his actions he said “There was no violence, it was a search for consolation. It’s also maybe, eventually, of being turned on by children.”

    He didn’t say young boys or little boys. Does that then mean that perhaps he also sought “consolation” from girls?

    On a different not, given the ease with which he acknowledges his penchant for “children” I can’t help but wonder how many of his colleagues at St. Anthony’s knew that Father Deschamps and stayed silent, thus wilfully leaving every child in the parish and at the school at risk?

    Perhaps a victim somewhere will contact police? Perhaps one or more already have? Let’s keep them in our prayers.

    • BC says:

      I’ve been asking myself the very same questions Sylvia.
      The Radio-Canada interview excerpt of Father Desgrandchamps (in french) is very disturbing to listen to. Although panicked at learning of the class action itself; he`s casually referring to his sexual exploitation of his students as consensually non-violent. It sounded as though he had rationalized his crimes; but not their civil prosecution. One can virtually hear him processing his new reality of having being exposed like only a predator can:
      RE: “consolation” Father Desgrandchamps justified his crimes in the Radio-Canada interview as “chercher de la consolation” which I would translate by “seeking comfort”. Those are magic words that a profiler would notice as they fit the pattern of predators who invert virtually everything about their crimes. Later in that excerpt Father Desgrandchamps says that his victims are being vindictive because he was an authority figure… without connecting the class action motion to the crimes he`s just confessed to.

      The plaintiff in the class action motion was right on the money: there are more victims out there who were attacked by Father Desgrandchamps. And I too am concerned about the welfare of the little children at St-Anthony`s school right across the street from where Father Desgrandchamps resided.

    • BC says:

      Yes Sylvia, law enforcement has been informed. Carlo Tarini who is an advocate activist for victims of clerical abuse in Québec has informed the Ottawa police.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Yes, BC, I saw that, but sadly police usually don’t do much if they don’t have a victim who has personally contacted them with allegations. But, glad Carlo alerted them, and we’ll see where this goes.

  4. BC says:

    Correct Sylvia. Recall the case of Father Barry McGrory; it did take some time after The Ottawa Citizen`s coverage on him for charges to be laid.

    • Sylvia says:

      Indeed. I highly doubt that the Ottawa police will start to round up names of and start to interview children with whom Father Desgrandchaps has had contact over the past decades. Nor do I think it is likely that there will be a notice inserted in St. Anthony Church bulletins for four successive Sundays or so inviting those who allege sexual misconduct on the part of Father Desgrandchamps to contact police. And I doubt that there will notices running in the Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun or French-Canadian press asking former St St Joseph students and others to contact police if they have experienced, witnessed or heard of any predatory behaviour on the part of Father Desgrandchamps. They just don;t do that. IF a complainant does contact police and charges are laid, – perhaps.

      Still, good to now they have been alerted, and who knows? …………..hope springs eternal, things can change 🙂

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