Beahen: Bishop John Beahen

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John Michael Beahan


Auxiliary Bishop of  Ottawa.  Ordained 15 June 1946.  Consecrated Bishop 21 June 1977.  Died before facing charges of sex abuse of young boys.  Testimony at trial of Father Ken Keeler that Beahen was seen engaging in sexual activities with Keeler and that young boys at a summer camp used to barricade themselves into their rooms to keep Beahan out.  see (The Orator, January – February 1993:  Denial Denial Denial and May-August 1993 :  “a Travesty of Justice”)


April 1988: “In Memoriam” for Bishop John Beahen

Inquiry Classes in Archdiocese of Ottawa 1968 and 1971

Inquiry Classes in Archdiocese of Ottawa Fall 1968


18 April 2017:  Late Ottawa Catholic bishop who managed sex abuse complaints now accused of sex abuse


The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand, Living and Chosen Stones: History of  St.Patrick’s Basilica 1955-1995 (LCS), the 1980 Ontario Catholic Church Directory (OCD) 

18 March 1988: funeral Mass at St. Patrick’s Basilica, Ottawa officiated by Archbishop Joseph-Aurele Plourde.  On his homily Plourde said: “Bishop John’s pilgrimage of faith and hope is over. His journey of love is not.” Graveside service conducted by Auxiliary Bishop Brendan O’Brien (M)

14  March 1988:  died after he suffered a massive stroke while preaching a retreat at St. Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. ( According to LCS Bishop Beahen suffered the stroke in Pembroke:  that is incorrect).  The Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie at the time was Marcel Gervais, soon to become Archbishop of Ottawa.

There are those who say that Beahen headed out of  Ottawa  because he knew sex abuse charges were in the offing (P)

at the time of his death was Senior Vicar General (he functioned as Vicar General from 1976)

29 September 1985:  officiated at the groundbreaking service for Divine Infant Roman Catholic Church

1980: Vicar General (OCD)

1979:  MD alleges he was sexually abused by Bishop John Beahen at Father Dale Crampton’s West Carleton cottage (M)

21 June 1977:  Episcopal Ordination at Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa

11 May 1977:  named auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop of Ottawa (In Memoriam)

1969-1977:  Pastor, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in downtown Ottawa (LCS) 

11 May 1976: made Prelate of Honour (Monsingor) (In Memoriam)

1976:  named Vicar General (In Memoriam)

1967-1969:  Pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (LCS) 

1968-69:  Pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ottawa, Ontario (CCCD)

1963-1967:  St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, Ottawa, Ontario 

1967:  Pastor, St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church (CCCD)

One of Prosecutors and Lawyers for Ottawa Marriage tribunal, with Father Aurele Poirier, J. M. Theoret, Louis P. Vezina omi, , M.J. Barry and students from the Ottawa University Faculty of Canon Law (CCCD)

October 1965: off to New York with Father John Beahen for the Papal visit.  (Fathers Crampton & John Beahen to New York for Papal visit )

1965:  opened St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church in Ottawa West (LCS) 

1963  Archbishop Lemieus OP appointed him Superior of St. Pius X Prep Seminary on Fischer Avenue,  Ottawa (LCS) 

1957-1963:  appointed Administrator at St. Isidore’s Roman Catholic Church in South March (then the outskirts of Ottawa) and then served as Pastor of the parish for six years (LCS) 

1959:  Pastor, St. Isidore Roman Catholic Church, South March, Ontario (CCCD)

One of Prosecutors and Lawyers for Ottawa Marriage tribunal, with Father Aurele Poirier, J. M. Theoret, J. R. Windle, M.J. Barry and students from the Ottawa University Faculty of Canon Law (CCCD)

1956: opened a new English-speaking parish in  Hawkesbury,  Ontario (LCS)

1953:  upon return to  Ottawa was appointed advocate at the Archdiocesan Marriage Tribunal  (LCS)

1953:  Doctorate in Canon Law (LCS)  (according to “In Memoriam” it was 1952)

to the  Canadian  College  in  Rome  to pursue a doctorate in Canon Law

1949: studies in Canon Law at  St. Paul’s Seminary,  Ottawa,Ontario (LCS)

1946-1949:  while assisting at various parishes also taught at theUniversity ofOttawa and served as chaplain to the Retreat House

St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church, Ottawa (LCS)

Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church,Ottawa(LCS)

1946:  assigned to assist at Our Lady of Perpetual Help,Ottawa after ordination (LCS)

15 June 1946:  ORDAINED at Notre Dame Cathedral,Ottawa, Ontario by Archbsihop Vachon (LCS)

1942-1945: St. Augustine’s Seminary,  Scarborough,Ontario

14 February 1922:  Born in  Ottawa,Ontario


08 July 2012: Priests are every bit as weak as the rest of us

29 September 2006:  Are Roman Catholic clerical sexual predators a protected species?


Catholics bid farewell to bishop

The Ottawa Citizen

19 March 1988

Bishop John Beahen, born on  Nepean Street  in the shadow of St. Patrick’s Church steeple, was buried Friday from the nave of Notre Dame Basilica in one of the church’s most solemn rites.

Twenty-five bishops led by Archbishop-Joseph Aurele Plourde celebrated the funeral mass, attended by about 1,000 fellow priests, family, and other mourners.

Beahen, dressed in a bishop’s white stole, vestment and miter, was buried with a shamrock in his coffin, probably dropped in by someone passing the open casket as it lay in state at St. Patrick’s on St. Patrick’s Day.

The graveside ceremony in a section of  Notre Dame  Cemetery  reserved for priests was conducted by Bishop Brendan O’Brien, auxiliary bishop of  Ottawa.

Church dignitaries participating in the hour-long funeral service included Rt. Rev. John Baycroft, Anglican suffragan bishop of  Ottawa, Most Rev. Angelo Palmas, papal pro-nuncio, and Brig. Gen. Colin Campbell, chaplain general of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Senior clerics from the United and Presbyterian churches also attended the service.

In his eulogy, Plourde praised Beahen as a kind and humble man who remained close to his flock despite the demands of his office and one who never lost his sense of humor.

Plourde said Beahen even made a joke about the effects of his preaching while on a stretcher after suffering a stroke during a church service he was conducting in Sault Ste. Marie.

“Bishop John’s pilgrimage of faith and hope is over but his pilgrimage of love is not,” Plourde said. His love would remain behind in the hearts of those who had known him.

Beahan, 66, died Monday. He was ordained in  Ottawa  in 1946 and served as assistant priest at Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Our Lady of Fatima churches.

He was appointed pastor of St. Isidore’s, St. Elizabeth and St. Patrick’s and consecrated as auxiliary bishop of  Ottawa  in 1977. At the time of his death, Beahen was senior vicar general of the  Ottawa  diocese.


Parents may sue archdiocese for not acting on complaints

The Ottawa Citizen

03 June 1986

Tony Atherton and Anne McIlroy Citizen staff writers

Parents of children who have complained of sexual abuse by a  Nepean  priest are considering suing the Archdiocese of Ottawa for failing to recognize the problem earlier, Mike Gibbons, a spokesman for the parents, said today.

Meanwhile, the archdiocese is contemplating legal action against Gibbons for a pamphlet he distributed at several churches on Sunday claiming that several local priests and diocese officials have molested children or are involved in a conspiracy to cover up child abuse.

The pamphlet mentions four clerics by name, including Rev. Dale Crampton, 50, charged Monday with six counts of sexual assault against young boys.

Rev. Pat Powers, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said it has received a copy of the letter from one of the three local churches hit by pamphlets and has passed it on to lawyers for advice.

In the wake of Monday’s charges, Ottawa Archbishop Joseph-Aurele Plourde has criticized parents of the complainants for going outside the church with their charges.

“I regret that some of these parents have seen fit to seek a remedy through the media rather than placing their trust in their own pastors, priests and bishops,” said Plourde in a prepared statement.

A parent of one of the boys involved in the case told The Citizen he went public because the church was staging a coverup.

Monday, Crampton was charged with six counts of sexual abuse involving three young boys between the ages of 10 and 14 from 1978 to 1980.

Rev. Dale Crampton, pastor for nine years of St. Maurice’s parish onPerry Street  off  Meadowlands Drive, is to appear in court to face the charges when he returns from an alcohol-abuse treatment centre in  Michigan  in two weeks, police say.

The father of one alleged victim, now 17, said the group of parents went to the police because the church refused to do anything but cover up the matter.

He said at least three parents in the past five years had gone to a senior diocese official with their charges.

Plourde was not available to answer questions. His spokesman, Regional Vicar Peter Schonenbach, said only one parent had come forward. He said that parent had approached Bishop John Beahen, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese, with allegations against Crampton.

However, Beahen interpreted this information as a matter of confidence and had not reported it to anyone, said Schonenbach.

“The archbishop has reviewed what has been done, and is satisfied that internally it was handled as best as could be expected.”

The alleged victims were all altar boys at theNepeanparish where Crampton has been pastor since 1977. Police say they investigated incidents said to have taken place at the priest’s residence attached to the church and at a West Carleton township cottage.

Plourde’s statement, released within half an hour of the charges being laid, was his first comment since news of the investigation broke last month.

As well as chastising the parents for going public, Plourde criticized the media for reporting the investigation.

Police have said media coverage may have helped the investigation, by making alleged victims more co-operative when approached by police.

Crampton, now at a treatment centre for alcohol abuse in  Lake Orion,  Mich, served two terms as trustee for the Carleton Separate School Board 1975 to 1978.

Crampton was “probably one of the most effective trustees on the board” when he served with the Ottawa Separate School Board for two terms from 1975 to 1978, said trustee Roberta Anderson.

“If all trustees were as hard-working and conscientious as him, we would have a superlative school board,” said Anderson, who was a rookie trustee on the board the same year as Crampton..

Crampton remains one of five honorary chaplains at the RCMP training centre in  Ottawa, a post he has held for 14 years. As chaplain he provided “spiritual guidance” to members posted to the training centre, said RCMP spokesman Const. Chris Mackie.

Mackie would not comment on how the charges might affect his chaplaincy.

Crampton’s first posting after his ordination was as an assistant at St. Elizabeth’s parish inOttawa.

From there he spent two years teaching languages at the  Catholic  University  in  Ethiopiaand did post-graduate work in church law.

In 1970, he was appointed parish priest at Pendleton near Hawkesbury. He then returned to St. Elizabeth’s as a pastor in 1973, before moving on to the larger parish atSt. Maurice’s.

Last year, Crampton was appointed by Plourde as diocese representative to an Ottawa Separate School Board committee examining issues raised by the extension of funding of Catholic schools through high school.

Lamont said officials of the Archdiocese of Ottawa have promised the priest will return to  Ottawa  to face the charges in two weeks when his program at the treatment centre is complete.


The clergy’s duty

The Ottawa Citizen

02 June 1986

Circumstances surrounding allegations that two local priests have been sexually abusing children compel one to question the way church officials have handled complaints of abuse. The evidence suggests the best interests of children may have been submerged beneath the clergy’s inclination to protect its own.

In the first instance, a local man said he reported in February complaints of sexual abuse involving a number of boys to Archdiocese of Ottawa officials and to the Carleton Separate School Board. Neither the clergy nor the board reported the allegations to police or initiated an investigation at that time, although child welfare laws require them to report even the suspicion of abuse. They said they didn’t have enough details, and that the complainant, Mike Gibbons, refused to provide names. In fact, Archbishop Joseph-Aurele Plourde told Gibbons to provide proof that would stand up in court.

Other clergy officials said later Plourde had actually taken some action, in that he asked the parish council for information after hearing allegations against a priest. He was given the name of one family, but the family refused to talk. End of investigation.

One parent also complained about the priest to Bishop John Beahen, auxiliary bishop of the Ottawa Archdiocese. Church officials say Beahen didn’t pass on the information because he considered it confidential. Did Beahen try to explain to the parents the importance of their reporting the incident to police? Did he try to convince them their silence was potentially damaging to other young children?

Clearly, the clergy could have and should have responded promptly and thoroughly to such serious allegations against one of its own, even if church officials did question the complainant’s credibility and motives. The clergy had a duty to children and a legal obligation to do so.

In a second incident, the clergy’s behavior is even more troublesome. A  Cornwall  family say their son was sexually molested by a local priest eight years ago. And they’ve accused church officials of breaking a promise to keep the priest out of active church duties, after officials learned of alleged sexual improprieties.

The family says Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop Eugene LaRocque told them the priest had been removed from the ministry for treatment in the Gatineau-Hull diocese. The family later learned the priest was working in a  Hull  parish, and decided to go public. LaRocque refuses to tell his side of the story, leaving the public no choice but to speculate and to question his behavior in this matter – indeed to question the behavior of all clergy who have played a role in responding to the allegations.


Police may charge church officials in sex abuse case

The Ottawa Citizen

24 May 1986

Tony Atherton, Ottawa Citizen Staff Writer

Police are considering charging Catholic church and school officials for not reporting complaints that a  Nepean  priest sexually abused children, Insp. Ron Lamont said Friday.

“It’s been discussed … but before any action is taken we would have to consult with the Crown attorney.”

Lamont wouldn’t give any details about the discussions, and Assistant Crown Attorney John Campbell said “no conclusions have been drawn” on the possibility of charges.

Lamont said Friday charges against the priest will “very likely” be laid Monday.

UnderOntariochild welfare laws, professionals such as priests and trustees who fail to report suspicions of child abuse can be fined up to $1,000.

Mike Gibbons, organizer of a group of parents which in March went to police with accusations of abuse involving a number of young boys, had earlier raised the allegations with both officials of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Carleton Separate School Board.

One parent had also complained about the priest to Bishop John Beahen, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

Board trustees and a spokesman for the diocese have said they took no action on Gibbons’s charges because he refused to provide the names of children who had been abused.

In a letter to Gibbons April 14, Archbishop Joseph-Aurele Plourde said, “if you come to me with proofs that stand in court, I will deal with those priests you accuse.”

But he warned Gibbons he could be excommunicated for scandal  mongering by trying to involve the media.

“He thinks I’m a fanatic and I am a fanatic on this,” said Gibbons, who refused to give specific information to diocese officials because it was given to him in confidence by parents.

Regional Vicar Peter Schonenbach said Beahen had not passed the information on to authorities, or even to other church officials, because he thought it was confidential.

Board chairman Jocelyne Ladouceur said the board had been acting on the advice of counsel to avoid slander when it decided not to take action.

The board reports all suspected cases of sexual abuse to the Children’s Aid Society, Ladouceur said, but “as far as the board was concerned, there was no evidence brought forward.”

There have only been four charges laid in  Ontario  since the mandatory reporting legislation was passed in the mid-’70s, said Robert Nadon, program supervisor with the community and social services ministry.

Nadon said there are so few cases because the ” preferred practice is to provide a stern warning and an explanation of the responsibility to report.”

Lamont said Friday police will spend the weekend interviewing as many as six alleged victims who have come forward since a wave of media attention on the investigation began Thursday.

Those to be questioned are in addition to “several boys” who originally made accusations to police, said Lamont.

He said police had anticipated laying charges Friday, but have been instructed by the Crown to “tie it all up” before acting.

Lamont said the media coverage may have helped the investigation by making alleged victims “a little more co-operative” when approached by police.


 Charges against priest likely Monday: police

The Ottawa Citizen

23 May 1986

Tony Atherton and Cathy Campbell Citizen staff writers

Nepean police says it is “very likely” charges will be laid Monday against a Roman Catholic priest accused of sex abuse against young boys dating back more than 25 years ago.

Insp. Ron Lamont said today police will spend the weekend interviewing as many as six alleged victims who have come forward since a wave of media attention on the investigation began Thursday.

Those to be questioned are in addition to “several boys” who originally made accusations to police, said Lamont.

He said police had anticipated laying charges today, but have been instructed by the Crown to “tie it all up” before acting.

“We very likely will be laying charges (Monday), but we can’t say how many,” Lamont said.

Since a story in The Citizen Thursday, Mike Gibbons, organizer of a group of parents making the allegations, says he has been deluged by calls from parents who say their sons were victims, and from victims themselves. He said today he now knows of 19 boys who were assaulted by the priest.

Gibbons said that there have been allegations about other priests and a senior diocese official, but Lamont said “right at this moment in the investigation we’re still keying in on one man.”

A 60-year-old  Ottawa  woman told The Citizen Thursday the priest molested her sons more than 25 years ago when he was ordained.

Her sons, now 33 and 38, only told her about it several years ago, saying they didn’t think she would have believed them when they were younger.

When she read Gibbons’s allegations in The Citizen she phoned him to see if it was the same priest. It was, she said.

“I am so angry. Not so much for my boys, but because this thing has been covered up for so long,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name used because one of her sons is still in  Ottawa.

The woman, a widow who does volunteer work for a local hospital, said the priest grew up in her neighborhood and was “very charming, the all-American type.”

She said he asked her youngest son, then seven, to a drive-in, where he fondled his genitals.

“He kept inviting my son up to his cottage, but he never seemed to want to go.”

Her older son reported a similar experience.

Meanwhile, trustees of the Carleton Separate School Board say they heard the complaints of child sexual abuse three months ago, but had too little evidence to raise the matter with police.

Board vice-chairman Mel Thompson said Thursday that Gibbons, a former teacher, presented his allegations in a letter to the board in February, demanding that the priest be refused access to schools until the diocese had conducted an investigation.

Thompson, a  Nepean  trustee, said Gibbons came to the board with “unsupported, undocumented allegations. He didn’t offer any names” (of victims).

Gibbons made the same allegations to the board at a closed meeting three weeks ago, but still did not provide the names of children involved. Trustees moved to dismiss him from the meeting, Thompson said.

The board was acting on the advice of its lawyer when it refused to act on the allegations, said chairman Jocelyne Ladouceur.

The board reports all suspected cases of sexual abuse to the Children’s Aid Society, Ladouceur said, but “as far as the board was concerned, there was no evidence brought forward.”

However, an official with the Children’s Aid Society said professionals dealing with children are required by law to report even the suspicion of abuse.

Pat Russell, co-ordinator of child-abuse programs, wouldn’t comment on the specific case, but said under child welfare laws, professionals, including school trustees and priests, who don’t report suspected abuse can be fined as much as $1,000.

Reporters of abuse “don’t have to have all the particulars” , she said.

Thompson said parish priests regularly visit schools to visit or to say mass and hear confession, but they would seldom be alone with children. Even hearing confessions, he said, would not be done in a private place.

Gibbons also approached diocese officials with his allegations, but they too wanted specifics.

He says the information given to him by the parents was confidential so he could not release their names.

Archdiocese Regional Vicar Peter Schonenbach said Thursday he has learned that a parent did make complaints about the priest to Bishop John Beahen, auxiliary bishop forOttawa, some months ago.

He says Beahen did not pass on the information to Archbishop Joseph-Aurele Plourde because he thought it was confidential.

“The conversation was put in such a way he tough she was seeking counsel … rather than imparting information.”

Neither Plourde nor Beahen were available for comment.

Schonenbach said the accused priest has been sent to a centre in theU.S.for alcohol abuse treatment and full psychological assessment.



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