Catholic Archbishop, Parish React to Charges Against Local Priest

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580 CFRA

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Anna Drahovzal with Lauren Davis

A popular Ottawa priest is facing charges of fraud, theft, and money-laundering after an 11-month police investigation into the finances at Blessed Sacrament parish.

Father Joe LeClair is charged with taking more than $400,000 in cheques and cash.

Fourteen people attended a quiet mass at Blessed Sacrament on Wednesday morning.

Most parishioners weren’t happy to see media at the church. Holly Doan believes many are bitter.

“I think a lot of people have been very disappointed and very torn,” Doan tells CFRA. “I think, probably, many people will still be reluctant to accept this.”

Father Francis Donnely, who led the service, asked parishioners to pray for Father Joe.

In a statement, Ottawa Archbishop Terence Prendergast says it’s a sad day for people in the community.

1 Response to Catholic Archbishop, Parish React to Charges Against Local Priest

  1. Cyril North says:

    *I’m disappointed to see a case like this on the site.    The trial is about a man with a gambling problem.    This happens with plenty of individuals, in all walks of life.     The consequences for those around them can be very serious.    However, I don’t believe the bishop tried to hide this; no reason to believe that church authorities are trying to cover up whatever wrong-doing may be involved here.    The accusations will be dealt with by the courts, as is only right. 

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