The following are unofficial translations of excerpts from some documents written while in jail by convicted molester Father Paul-Andre Harvey . Shortly before his death Harvey turned the documents over to lawyers who are mounting a class action suit in relation to Harvey’s sexual abuse of numerous young girls. Father Harvey, who died in jail in May 2018, was named as a defendant in the suit.
Apparently much of what Harvey writes from one document to another is repetitive.
These excerpts are from Annexe 2. All of Annexes 3 and 4 are translated and included below.
Most, but not all, of the excerpts are identified by their location in the file. Most, but not all, are posted in the order in which they appeared in the documents.
Comments made by either the translator (“bc”) or me are italicized.
For reference, this is the file in French: Harvey Affidavit and Annexes
[This Affidavit has been translated using Google translate]
I, PAUL-ANDRE HARVEY, currently residing at 600, Montee St-Franois, in the cities and district of Lavc, solemnly declare the following:
- I am one of the defendants in the collective action of the Association of Young Victims of the Church (hereinafter “AJVE”);
- I have pleaded guilty to 39 counts of indecent assault and sexual assault in the criminal records of 150-1-035238-121, 150-01-036624-121, 150-01. -037359 – 123, 150-01-038319-126,150-01-043275-149;
- I am currently incarcerated at the penitentiary located at 600 Montee St Franois following the judgment of the honourable Pierre Lortie, condemning me to a total sentence of 6 years;
- As part of my carceral file, I am represented by Renee Millette;
- I have never spoken or had any contact with the AJVE attorneys, Trudel Johnston & Lesperance (hereinafter “TJL”), by any means whatsoever;
- The decision to contact TJL’s attorneys and to provide them with documents and on my own initiative;
- On March 9, 2018, I testified to Ms. Millette of her professional secrecy concerning the communications I had with her so that she could to inform TJL;
- During my incarceration, I wrote some documents relating certain aspects of my life. I asked Mr. Millette to give these documents to TJL;
- Following my request, Ms. Miiiette informed me that she had sent TJL’s lawyers the following documents:
i. “Choosing to Reveal … for My Child”, dated November 25, 2016 (Appendix 1 my statement);
ii. “Choose to reveal … to better heal”, dated March 6, 2017 (Appendix 2 to my statement);
iii. Page 9 of a document whose title of section is “Justice permissive”, undated (Schedule 3 to my declaration);
iv. First page of a letter to “Madam Prosecutor”, not dated (Annex 4 to my statement);
- All the facts relate to the present statement and to Annexes 1, 2, 3 and 4 are true
[Signed by Paul Andre-Harvey (he signed “Paul A. Harvey”)
[Signed 23 April 2018 by a Commissioner of Oaths]
Annexe 1 is signed off 25 November 2016 by “Paul-Andre Harvey”
[This is an unofficial translation kindly done by bc. I have attempted to post the excerpts in the order in which they appeared in the original French document, Comments by the translator appear in italics . Headers are translations of those provided by Father Harvey. The original French header appears in square brackets alongside the English translation. Thank you bc for taking the time to make this information available to those of us who are not bilingual. (I did a google translation of the Affidavit]
A translation of a text which appears at the heading of annex 2. The words “Choisir de révéler” / “Choosing to disclose… to heal better” appear in a half circle.
Annexe 2 p.2
“I gave this title to this document, because it reflects what I’ve been living here for months. For nearly fifty years, I preferred to remain silent regarding my deviant behaviour towards these children. As I’m opening my heart to people I trust, I am lifting a weight which prevented me from being myself and to know freedom and true happiness.
“It is a new man who is being born.”
Annexe 2 p.3
“How I felt before the first sexual abuse event”
“During the first three years of my training nothing happened. After one year spent in a parish doing office work, doing pastoral visits and hearing confessions all year long, I was appointed to be a professor and supervisor at the Petit Séminaire. With boys I never had any misadventure. I liked this workplace, but I had emotional needs which weren’t being met. I loved children; I always longed for them. I envied men who had families when I would observe them cajoling and being tender with their kids. It made me doubt my vocation, but I didn’t dare leave fearing to disappoint and to be considered a quitter. That’s what priests who left the orders were called.”
Annexe 2 page 3
“I had just arrived in a working-class community, at a time when priests were warmly welcomed everywhere. I felt like a popular star seeing the children, especially girls, rush towards me in school yards and playgrounds. I didn’t have to go to them, they were coming to me spontaneously. I felt like a young buck, forgive me this saying, needing to be loved and with the heart of a teenager in an adult body.”
Annexe 2 p3
“How did I feel before the first sexual abuse” [Commentj e me sentais avant le premier abus sexuel]
“After a few weeks, having walked the streets and the neighbourhoods, I met a family that I had never forgotten; that of Daniel et d’Aline, a couple in their mid thirties. They had a boy and three daughters; the youngest being Sylvie, a plump little girl seven or eight years old which caught my attention. I often visited them because I felt well welcomed there. Their house breathed happiness. I remember, I don’t recall how, having invited Sylvie to come and visit me at the rectory, if she wanted to. It was in late October. She rang the bell and wished that I opened the door. She had a big smile and smelled good as usual. The office where I met her had windows all around and unannounced people could see everything. She sat in front of me, embarrassed and I held her. At that time of the year she was wearing tights. I slid my left hand down her back, without going any further and I caressed her for a few minutes, all while being afraid of someone seeing us. She came back two or three times. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I was enjoying it like I had never enjoyed anything like it before.”
Annexe 2 p.4
“My unfulfilled needs and my grievances” [ Mes besoins non comb/es et mes insatisfactions]
“During my long years spent in residential schools among men, I missed my family. I suffered from the absence of girls in my daily life. Holidays weren’t long enough to fulfil my emotional needs. I grew up in a prudish family in which expressions of love and tenderness were suspicious. Even during the Christmas season, I felt embarrassed to kiss my mother. I don`t recall having seen in our house pornographic books and magazines. If my brother looked at them, they were doing in secret without my knowledge. It was even rarer in places like the seminary which were all about vocations to the priesthood.
“During all my life, and until I was twenty eight years old, I had no sexual experience, except for a few occasional ejaculations which embarrassed me. I would hurry up to wash my sheets to erase any trace of this forbidden pleasure. I knew that some priests had mistresses, and I admired their guts in satisfying their sexual needs. I never talked about that with my loved ones or a spiritual adviser. I would suffer silently and would suppress my unfulfilled needs since my childhood.
“I never was a voyeur, neither by watching TV or on the internet, much less when I was with people, especially children. I also never exhibited myself sexually in front of someone else. I wasn’t a voyeur, but my thing was touching without fondling. That`s how I was in every instance with the young girls.”
Annexe 2 p4
“A planned aggression” [Une agression planifiee ]
“As my visits to Sylvie’s house increased, my affections for her grew and occupied my thoughts. Often, I would visit them in the early evening. I would have trouble going to sleep. I would imagine myself holding her in my arms and caressing her. My thoughts didn’t go beyond that, but it was too much it was crossing a forbidden zone. To violate this no-go area, all I had to do was to be alone with her… I didn’t try to get rid of my perverse thoughts, far from it. I nurtured these thoughts, I became obsessed sexually. This little girl was central to all of my thoughts. At the risk of breaking my relationship with this family which I loved, I took advantage of her childish candour to invite her to come to visit me at my house. I guessed that in her childish mind she didn’t foresee anything wrong by coming to visit me. She came with a big smile on her face. When I was holding her, it was without precipitation and I was not molesting her. She seemed to enjoy what I was doing. At least it’s what I always believed. And it’s surely for this reason why she came back two or three times to relive this experience.”
Annexe 2 p.5
“Twisted thoughts or cognitive distortions” [ Pensees tordues ou distorsions cognitives]
“After each visit with her family or after having been with Sylvie in the school yard, I would go back home tormented and increasingly fascinated by this child. Far from chasing away these perverse thoughts that were inside my head, I nurtured them before going to sleep. I never thought of hurting her. I loved her too much to do that. Never did I approach her thinking about molesting her and making her sad. However I knew my behaviour was going to trouble her. I regret having wanted to satisfy my emotional needs at the risk of compromising her happiness. It is a memory for which I have been ashamed of for years and that will be engraved in my memory. These adventures with this child disturbed me more than the others because they opened the door to the subsequent abuses. I had crossed a step in my deviation which would last almost 25 years.”
“Each of these intimate encounters with her was for me a moment of ecstasy and sexual arousal. Only once do I remember, I had an erection while I was with her. I managed the situation, so she wouldn’t notice it. Of course because of the thickness of my frock, I felt protected. I would have been embarrassed if she had noticed it. I would also have been afraid that she speaks to her parents about it”
This paragraph follows the previous post. This whole part of Father Harvey’s documents was difficult to translate without betraying the meaning of his own words. The ellipsis (i.e. the 3 dots) – all I had to do was to be alone with her… – is disturbingly revealing in québécois french in the context of a sexual event. I can’t decide if Father Harvey was a) trying to communicate the notion that by the simple fact of being alone with Sylvie he had indeed already crossed the line; or b) that he had done more than just fantasized about Sylvie.
Annexe 2 p.5
“A favourable environment.” [un environnement favorable]
“I am convinced that the parish environment itself contributed to my crimes/torts. Being in contact constantly with women and mostly the status enjoyed by the clergy greatly contributed to my wanderings.”
Annexe 2 page 6
more from annex 2 of Father Harvey’s documents. He was clearly suggesting that one of his victims consented to his assaults on at least 3 occasions.
“Victim’s consent? [Consentement de la vlctime?]
“I don’t remember if I had asked the child to come and visit me without her parent’s knowledge. I don’t think she did, because I imagine that her mother would have wanted to know what were my intentions. So the child came to visit me secretly; trusting me; without suspecting what was awaiting her. If she had felt bad about after a first visit, she would have probably told her mom; and the subsequent visits wouldn’t have happened. Only after the third visit did she probably tell her mom. Which explains her father’s brother, who was a municipal cop, who talked to me about it.”
Annexe 2 p.7
“The legal proceedings [Les procedures judicia ires]
“The legal proceedings lasted four years. The list of plaintiffs was growing every passing month. On a few occasions my lawyer appeared in court on my behalf to tell me each time that the proceedings were rescheduled at a later date. For nearly three years I lived in virtual hiding in a retirement home for priests which was operated by nuns. It felt like I was living in a waiting room. In the summer of 1974* I decided to leave the area to be closer to one of my brothers and my sister in Montreal in anonymous settings, sheltered from the gossip. I spent nine months at the Manoir Outrement where I did have a good time. At the end of June 2015 the owners of Manoir Outrement asked me to vacate the apartment to spend the rest of the summer at my sisters up until my incarceration on September eleventh of that same year.
“I had to appear in court on June 16th 2015 regarding a complaint from an adult, a complaint which was dismissed as well on the day of my sentencing on September the 11th. During the hearing on June 16th a few plaintiffs came to make their victim impact statements. The Crown attorney fully exposed my guilt. It was humiliating and difficult for me to attend this spectacle, in reality it was a monologue, which ended in the late afternoon without my lawyer bothering to say anything or correct certain inaccuracies.
“The most difficult day was on September 11th. Justice Tardif was not kind with me. That`s when I became aware of the seriousness of my actions for so many years. As per the jurisprudence and at the recommendation of the crown attorney I was sentenced to a term of six years of incarceration assorted with a possibility of being paroled after two years. I couldn’t believe my ears and I almost fainted while I was listening to the verdict. Upon leaving the courthouse handcuffed and shackled, I was the victim of all kinds of insults. My life was taking a turn it had never taken before.
“The age and number of victims [L’age et le nombre des victims]
“The girls I victimized were between the age of eight and thirteen years old. Most of them attended neighbourhood schools. That`s where I could mingle with them. I think that it would be too difficult to detail the assaults that I subjected each and every one of them to. In most cases, it would be cutting and pasting.
“I would meet them during annual parish visits. There were also visits at schools, Girl-Guide events, playgrounds. All places to spot potential victims. Most of the time I assaulted them in their own houses. I would figure out when their parents weren’t home or when they were babysat by an older sister. That`s when I would show up unannounced. Without molesting her, I would ask her to sit on my lap, even if she was shy, especially during adolescence. For a few moments, I would touch their clothed genital area. Sometimes I put my hands inside their panties. I couldn’t resist the urge, even if I was convinced that the parents would find out what had happened.
“During a girl guide camp, I showed up early in the morning before the girls had dressed. I put my hand of the thigh of one of them. Another time, during evening games where we were singing around the campfire, I touched the thigh of the girl sitting next to me, for a few seconds. I figured out from her reaction that she did not enjoy it. Every time, I`d come back home saddened and humiliated by what had happened.
“Consequences for the victims [Consequences pour /es victims] [p.8]
“It’s hard to say what were the consequences for the victims, it varies from one individual to another. Without a doubt it must have occurred that one apparently harmless gesture would traumatize one more than another. A hug or a small kiss on the cheek could potentially harm someone, depending on the context of the gesture.
“After having read some depositions and after hearing some plaintiffs during the trial, I now know that most were traumatized for life. These are things that one may not easily forget. One day or another it resurfaces and haunts you.
“I suppose that some accused me and exaggerated what I had done. With the passage of time, as much as for them as for myself, one’s memory falters. On the other hand, many victims preferred not to file complaints. That’s why on the June 16th hearing, I spoke, I turned to face those in the courtroom and in tears I publicly asked to be forgiven by those who were in attendance and by all the other ones I had gravely harmed.
“As for me, my life has changed entirely, the figure I was for more than fifty years does not exist anymore. I didn’t only make mistakes during my life, I did beautiful things. It’s unfortunate, for me and my loved ones, that my past mistakes have tarnished a life which could have been better and would have left behind a legacy of better memories. All I can do now is to serve my sentence and hope for a better tomorrow.”
* the reference to a date of 1974 on p.14 of annexe 2 makes no sense.
Annexe 2 p.9
“Two different beings into one person” [Deux etres differents qui cohabitent]
“I never could understand how I could manage such a double life for more than 25 years without it impacting the quality of my ministry. I get the impression that there were two different beings inside me. There was the pervert who was constantly looking for thrills. There was also a devoted priest who knew how to be appreciated and who gave all of himself to his mission”
Annex 2 page 9
“I wish to set the record straight regarding my assaults of 50 years ago. Contrary to certain accusations made against me, I have never kissed on the mouth any of the girls, nor have touched their breasts. I never looked at their genitals and I never asked any of them to look at my penis. I always found that repugnant, until I had a brief affair with a consenting female. This passage to a loving relationship was a turning point in my emotional life.”
“Nowadays, it’s the new trendy cool thing, virtually every morning media report cases of sexual assault which make the headlines, to please readers who are looking for thrills. It’s driving (newspaper) sales. And so because I happen to be a priest, tabloid journalists did not pull any punches. I wouldn’t want to relive the last year I’ve endured.”
Annexe 2 p9
“I never understood how I could live a double life for more than twenty years without it being a stain on the quality of my ministry.”
“The first three years were eventless, one year spent in a parish followed by two years as a teacher at the seminary. I enjoyed these two years until my superiors appointed me as pastor in a working class parish in the middle of the summer of 1965. Folks were warm and friendly, and I felt welcomed as soon as I arrived. Circumstances were favouring me: their priest was a grumpy old man and he was difficult, and the other priest was often away. We virtually never spoke. Most of the time, I was the one meeting people in the office.
“I used every possible opportunity to befriend folks, especially the young: parish activities, sports, school, taking a walk down the street where I felt welcomed with open arms. Often, at the least opportunity, I would seek to create a rapport with families. That`s how, especially during summer months, that I spent my spare time and filled the whole of my solitude.”
Annexe 2 p.10
“One wrong note before leaving” [Une fausse note avant de quitter ]
“A few days later, as I was getting ready to leave the parish, I heard that the girl guides would be having a sleep over in Saguenay in a community centre. There were thirty or so of them including their adult supervisors. In the middle of the evening, without having been invited, I decided to join them bring a sleeping bag and a few things. In the early morning, the girls started whispering. Without making any noise, I decided to go lie down with a gorgeous girl I had been dreaming of holding into my arms. As I was lying next to her, I touched her thigh while I had an erection. I ejaculated and soiled my pyjama. I said I was sorry and I went to the bathroom to clean myself up and change clothing. Some girls found out about what happened and were shocked. Word quickly spread about what had happened. I was ashamed. I had just ended a term of service in a parish which could have been perfect. This sad story shocked many young and continues to haunt me to this day. Providence was good as I wouldn’t be their priest anymore!”
Annexe 2 p11
“Lessons to be learned” [Leçons ‘a tirer ]
“All the charges against me fell into the same categories of sexual assault and/or gross indecency without any nuances. But you’ve got to admit that kissing on the forehead or on the cheek of a child is not as consequential as what I’ve disclosed. My memory hasn’t failed me yet. I assure you that a good number of the charges against me today were not sex crimes per se when I committed them. Justice 50 years ago was a whole lot more permissive and less coercive than it is now.”
Annexe 2 p12
“Back then the legal system which was much more forgiving, far from helping me and stopping my perverted ways allowed that the same sexual abuses repeat themselves.”
If these document are authentic, Father Harvey had stricken out the words perverted to replace it with the word erratic. And he would have also stricken out the words sexual abuses to replace them with the words sexual gestures. His intention clearly was to minimize his criminal intent at the time he made these handwritten corrections.
Annexe 2 p.13
Mistakes my Bishop made [Des impairs de mon évêque]
“My relationships with Church superiors haven`t always been easy from the very beginning of my ministry until this day. I believe that successive Bishops were transmitting information about my deviant past to each other and that it was factored in the appointments I received.
“I want to share with you some of the problems I`ve had with my current Bishop. They hurt me so much that I quit talking to him.
“On January 4th 2012, the scandal of the charges laid against me broke out and with it came all the publicity surrounding these charges. It was a true tsunami, the community was in shock. Fortunately, I got the support and sympathy of the residents where I was living. The following day, my Bishop contacted me to let me know he would be coming to visit. We talked for about an hour about the difficult times ahead for me. He told me that had set aside funds that could help pay part of my legal fees. That same evening, I was totally happy to announce this news to my sister and my brothers, because I had spent almost all of my pension fund.
“A few weeks later I met again with my Bishop. I was stunned to learn that he contradicted himself about helping me and that the diocese has not set aside funds to assist me with my legal bills. I was on my own. I never got over this kickback *
“Before we parted, I showed him a letter sent to my lawyer, a letter which had been sent five or six years ago to my Bishop. It was written by a hospital employee where I had worked for nearly twenty years, in which she makes grave accusations, totally invented, concerning my conduct. The rumours had begun concerning me started when I showed up inappropriately at a funeral. I’ve got a feeling about it. Among other things she was accusing me of raping a a woman in her 30s as well as one of her friends. The author of the letter was lamenting that a Bishop would appoint as chaplain to a hospital a priest who like me had a checkered past.
“As soon as he got this letter, my Bishop should have called me to fact check the claims in the letter. He did no such thing, thus tacitly approving the letter. Although he apologized for his mistake and despite the fact that he told me that the letter had been forwarded to his assistant, the harm was done. Even if it’s getting harder and harder for me to communicate with my Bishop, I’ve learned to forgive him.”
* re: kickback
Father Harvey used the wrong expression when he referred to retour d’ascenceur. Retour d’ascenceur means literally to send the elevator back. It translates into: return the favour. He should have used another expression: such as:-my Bishop made a 180 degree turn.
Annexe 2 p.14
“Towards a new future” [Vers un nouve/ avenir]
“I don’t know what tomorrow has in store for me, but I get the impression that the future is promising and that the sun sill shine again. There is no age to continue to dream. These last months spent in detention have provided me with all the time I needed to reconsider my whole life. this work isn`t finished but I have done a lot to heal. Despite a few missteps (sic!), I concede that I am in the hands of trusted and qualified professionals who will stand by my side and advise me upon my upcoming release.
“I want to thank in advance all those people that shall be with me in this liberation process, especially my parole officer and my lawyer.
“Much alike the small caterpillar who takes it`s time to change itself and fly away, I too am benefitting from all the time I have to transform myself from the inside before being released into the community. Already, I am not the same man, I have a maturity that I never had before. This maturity and this new outlook on things will allow me to better appreciate life and to enjoy happiness on a daily basis.
“Despite the ordeal I had to endure, I never lost hope. I feel the support of my family and of many friends (male and female) who stayed in touch with me. I have a profound faith a faith I`ve had since my childhood. If God takes care of little birds, he`ll surely know how to care for the exiled that I am. I know that I am still important in his eyes.
“Upon my conditional release, I intend to make a substantial gift to a children`s hospital or to a charity in need proportionally to the amount of damages for the multiple assaults in the past. I continue to pray for all the victims and their loved ones so that life can smile back to them once again.
“Document completed on March 6th 2017 at the Montée St-François to be handed over to my parole officer and my lawyer.”
[Signed “Paul-Andre Harvey” 6/3/2017]
“Justice in the 1960s and 1980s was different compared to that which have nowadays. It was easier back then to tolerate mistakes including those involving sexual abuse. What was then called sexual touching are nowadays labelled as sexual assaults and gross indecency. They are now considered to be criminal acts. Today, there`s no tolerance for it whereas back then, one was only cautioned about being more prudent. That`s what happened in my case. I am certain that I would not have been a repeat offender had justice been more strict and more repressive.
“I recall observations of my bishop who would ask me to be more prudent in the future and to pray more, as if that could solve my problem. And what can one say about the warnings of four policemen who were advising me to change my ways without following-up on the parent`s complaints. I would be reassigned elsewhere to put out the fire! After a few months in a new parish, I would occasionally have the same problems.”
“I wish to inform you of the circumstances regarding the multiple charges of sexual assault over a period of twenty years, specifically between 1975 and 1985. I was a priest in many parishes in the Diocese of Chicoutimi. My victims were female minors.
“Right after the first infractions, my bishop called me to his office after a complaint had been filed. I told him about my problems and admitted to him my need to get help. He only recommended that I be more careful around children and to pray more. So I left this meeting with my problem. Whenever he would receive another complaint, he would reassign me to another parish, thinking that it would resolve my emotional problems. It was to no avail. After a few days I would reoffend.
“One day, a girl who was one of the victims of my deviant behaviour came to the diocese with her parents to tell her story and file a complaint. She was greeted in an offhand way and my Bishop didn’t believe a single word she was saying and accused her of lying. She was nevertheless telling the truth.
“During this 25 year period when the assaults were reoccurring in various settings, other figures of authority, among them four policemen, contacted me after having received complaints.
“The first time was at the end of the year 1965 or in the beginning of 1966, officer Hovington of the then municipality of Kénogami, met with me and reprimanded me after he had received a complaint. Once again, I got away with mere suggestions to be more prudent, without any consequence.
“A second time, officer Léo Lessard, of Jonquières also stepped in to reprimand me following a complaint he had received. He would also only warn me to be more careful around children.
“In the fall of 1978, I was brought in for questioning by an officer in Alma in the Lac St-Jean area for a sexual abuse complaint. Once again I got away with it by being admonished and warned about being more cautious.
“One last time, in the early 1980s a Québec Provincial Police officer questioned me in his office. He had received complaints regarding my deviant behaviour involving girls. Just as was the case with all the other law enforcement officers, but for the warnings, I was sent back home with my problems and a fear of reoffending.
“I was left alone struggling without any consequence, but I should have been helped to not reoffend. I don`t have any grievances, back then justice did not consider this actions the same way it does today. We left”*
*the document is incomplete
[Sylvia comment: This unfortunately is where the document ended in the copy to which I had access.]