Barrett: Father Edward Barrett

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Edward H. Barrett

Roman Catholic priest  Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario.  Ordained 1957.  Canon lawyer.  Former president Canadian Canon Law Society.

1998 NOT GUILTY by Justice Dan Chilcott on number of sex offence charges.  Lawsuit filed and settled out of court.


2012, 2011, 2010:  address for the Diocesan Centre, Kingston, Ontario (listed as retired on diocesan website)

2002:  address c/o the Diocesan Centre Kingston, Ontario

1991, 1994, 1997, 1985-86 :  Pastor, St. Patrick Church, Napanee, Ontario (CCD)

1970, 1971-72, 1973-74: Pastor, St. Patrick, Railton, Front. Ontario (CCCD)

“In 1970 the Reverend E. H. Barrett was appointed pastor. In addition to his duties at Railton and Odessa he was a permanent member of the Regional Matrimonial Tribunal which convenes in Toronto, and in 1974, was elected trustee on the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington County Roman Catholic Separate School Board. He served until June 30, 1975, when Reverend L. P. Byrne was appointed pastor …” (St. Patrick’s. Railton & St. Mary’s, Odessa online history)

The history indicates Father Barrett was pastor from 1970 to 1975

1971-72:  President Canadian Canon Law Society (P)

1968-69:  address “curate, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Toronto Regional Tribunal, Ontario”.  (Rector at Cathedral Right Rev. B.J. Walsh.) (CCCD)

 Other members of the tribunal Fathers A. J. Walsh, W.J. Lynett, E.J. Way and R.C. Pickett (CCCD)

1967:  Immaculate Conception Cathedral,  Kingston, Ontario (Rector at Cathedral Most Rev. B.J. Walsh) (CCCD)

Member of the Marriage Tribunal.   Other members Fathers F.J. Spence, E.J. Way and R.C. Pickett)

1959:  student at the Canadian College in Rome (Canon law studies?) (CCCD)


Two men testify in sex-crimes trial

Kingston Whig Standard

06 October 1999

Arthur Milnes

NAPANEE – A 32-year-old Kingston man who lived in Amherstview as a youth took the stand yesterday and said a priest on trial for sex crimes had anal sex with him in a rectory bathroom and often fed local boys liquor when they visited the rectory.

The man also said Father Henry Barrett, 68, often groped boys at his residence and bit them on the shoulder or neck on more than one occasion.

The testimony came in the second day of Barrett’s trial before Mr. Justice W. Dan Chilcott of the Superior Court of Justice in Napanee. He is facing seven sex charges involving four alleged victims.

“I felt numb. I didn’t know what to do,” the man said while being questioned by Crown attorney George Dzioba.

“All I remember is being [in front of the bathroom] vanity and getting [deleted] up the [deleted].”

He said the incident took place while Barrett served as the parish priest at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Amherstview when the witness was 12 or 13 years old.


The man also testified the priest often allowed him and other altar boys to consume alcohol while they visited the rectory. Drinking sometimes took place in the church itself, he said.

“We even had drinks before we went up on the altar,” he said.

Now a recovering alcoholic, the man said his parents never knew he was impaired on the numerous times he left the priest’s home. In cross-examination, defence lawyer Geoff Griffin questioned this testimony.

“So, you would arrive home intoxicated for your evening meal,” he said. “How many times did you get into this shape?”

“Quite a few times,” the man replied.

Griffin said he found it hard to believe no one ever noticed such a young boy being drunk and wondered aloud how such behaviour by a priest in a small community could continue before being detected.

Another alleged victim, now 28, took the stand yesterday. He said he met Barrett while he was serving a sentence for aggravated assault and the priest was serving as Roman Catholic chaplain at Quinte Regional Detention Centre. The priest, the witness said, began to perform oral sex on him while the pair shared a hotel room near Toronto in 1993 or 1994.


He and Barrett had kept in touch after he left the jail and had golfed together, he said. On the nights in question, he awoke to find the priest performing the act. He brushed him away with his arm and went back to sleep, he said. When he next awoke, he told the court, he fled the motel room, ran across Highway 401 and hitch- hiked back to the area.

He said he went to the police after he heard about Barrett’s charges in the media and said he has not launched a civil suit against the priest.

Griffin was aggressive when questioning him. The defence lawyer asked how he could have gone back to sleep and not reacted in a more angry manner to such an assault.


The man said he had been drinking with the priest, was impaired and felt he might have been drugged. He then provided an answer which brought chuckles from some in the court during an otherwise very serious day.

“I have a record. Aggravated assault. I slap a priest and you know where I’m going – federal [penitentiary time] – and,” he said to Griffin, “I’m going to hire you [to defend me].”

“You’ve got me there,” the defence lawyer answered.

In the afternoon, Barrett took the stand in his own defence. While he admitted knowing all four men, he denied any allegations involving sex or alcohol.

One of his accusers told the court Monday Barrett had fondled him while they shared a bed in a Toronto hotel room while on a golfing trip. Barrett said the fact the pair had only one bed in the room was the hotel’s mistake. They didn’t make a big deal out of it because they were in a hurry to get to a golf course for a round, he said.

Barrett said he mistakenly touched the boy’s privates during the night.

“I reached out behind me to see if he was on his side of the bed and he told me I’d touched his private parts,” Barrett said.

“It was a very brief touch. He knew it was an accident.”

The priest categorically denied taking a trip to the Toronto area, where another of his accusers said the priest performed oral sex on him.


As to allegations he allowed drinking to take place in his Amherstview rectory, he denied them. “The word would have got around the parish and it would have been stopped immediately,” he said.

Barrett said the allegation he had sodomized a boy in his bathroom was also false. “[It] never happened,” he said.

A trustee on the Algonquin and Lakeshore District Roman Catholic School Board, Barrett received character references from two area educational leaders yesterday.

The board’s director of education, Dr. Gregory Cosgrove, and Paul LaMarsh, principal of Harrowsmith Public School, testified to Barrett’s reputation for honesty.

This morning the Crown and the defence are expected to present their closing arguments to Mr. Justice Chilcott.

8 Responses to Barrett: Father Edward Barrett

  1. Brenda Dhaene (nee O'Connor) says:

    Fr. Barrett – not sure if you remember me when I was secretary/notary of the Toronto Regional Tribunal from 1968 to 1975 working with you, Fr. Ronald Krafchik, Fr. Larry McManus and others. I was browsing the web and found your name. Peter and I have been living in BC since 1975. First in Vancouver and for the past 26 years on Vancouver Island in Duncan. Both of us now retired. Our son Peter Jr. is also living in Duncan (now 38). Years sure fly by and if you are ever out this way would love to have a visit with you. Hope you are keeping well. God bless
    Brenda (Dhaene)

  2. Maureen Bedard-Slack says:

    The defence!!! dismissed most of the witnesses. Griffin lined up 3 of Barrett’s boys. The judge in Napanee stepped aside and this Judge Chilicott took his place. He has been a judge in other cases of priests abusing young boys and surprise, surprise the priest were all deemed innocent. Sneaky, sleazy and vile.

    • Sylvia says:

      Do you know why the first judge stepped aside Maureen?

      And, yes, Justice Chilcott let Father Charles MacDonald/”Charlie” walk.

      I have no idea how many settlements have been paid out to victims of “Charlie” – quite a few.

      • Maureen Bedard-Slack says:

        It is unknown as to why the first judge stepped aside and why a defence lawyer from Cornwall replaced the usual defence lawyer. He systematically dismissed most of the witnesses for the defence. It was a last minute occurrence. The OPP officer that investigate this case was surprising moved to a detachment way up North. He knew this priest was guilty. It was such a complete farce. Our family has been sorely affected by this creature and he still wears the collar, says mass, baptizes and marries…I wrote a letter to the bishop at that time and sent a copy of the letter to every priest in the diocese. Guess what? Every priest was forbidden to talk or assist me in any way. Needless to say my family are no longer catholic. Big answer to a simple question…Sorry.

        • Rory says:

          Best wishes Maureen,
          I remember being a young student at Saint Linus school in Bath. I remember many of my fellow students who were working as alterboys under father Barret and I also clearly remember them talking about the pool parties and the overnight stays at his home and the drinking. I clearly remember them talking about being fed alcohol by him. I was sort of amazed at it, but it was an open secret and of course not open to the adults though. Sleazy lawyer tricks.

          • Jennifer Drew says:

            I, too, remember these stories, that Rory recounts. They were more prevalent when I got to high-school at ESS. Boys assured us that they could get booze for parties (when we were under-aged) through Father Barrett. It was all very bizarre to me!

  3. tyler says:

    I was one of the boys that was molested at the church I just came out an told my mom but had keeped in side all this time he told me if I had said anything to anyone that I would not go to heaven but not sure if I can go after the chucrh for anything I feel that it was my felt an I feel asamed of my self
    need any add vice I can get you can reach me at […]..

    because of what he did to me I am going for help to get through this

    • Rory says:

      Best wishes Tyler.
      I remember being a young student at Saint Linus school in Bath. I remember many of my fellow students who were working as alterboys under father Barret and I also clearly remember them talking about the pool parties and the overnight stays at his home and the drinking. I clearly remember them talking about being fed alcohol by him. I was sort of amazed at it, but it was an open secret and of course not open to the adults though. Sleazy lawyer tricks.

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