Picot: Father Charles Picot

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 Father Charles-J Picot

Defence lawyer in 2013:  Dave Paulin

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422 Responses to Picot: Father Charles Picot

  1. Baspuits says:

    L’ancien curé Charles Picot a plaidé non coupable, lundi à Bathurst, à de nouvelles accusations de nature sexuelle, contre deux différentes victimes. Charles Picot, qui habite la région de Montréal, n’était pas présent en cour. C’est par l’entremise de son avocat, Dave Paulin, qu’il a enregistré son plaidoyer.
    Ces nouvelles accusations d’attentat à la pudeur, d’agression sexuelle et de grossière indécence se seraient produites contre deux personnes de sexe masculin, que l’on ne peut identifier parce qu’elles étaient mineures à ce moment. Les faits reprochés à Charles Picot remontent au début des années 80, à Bathurst. À l’époque, Charles Picot était curé à la paroisse du Mont-Carmen.

    Il y a eu plusieurs ajournements dans ce procès, en raison, entre autres, de l’état de santé de Charles Picot qui a subi des traitements contre le cancer, au cours des derniers mois. C’est la quatrième fois qu’il fait face à la justice pour le même type d’accusation. Il a été reconnu coupable à deux reprises d’agression sexuelle, en 1993 et en 2011. Il avait été acquitté d’accusations similaires lors d’un autre procès en 2010.

    À l’annonce à la réponse de l’accusation de l’avocat de l’accusée, une des présumées victimes qui était en cour a éclaté en sanglots.
    Le nouveau procès se déroulera les 26 et 27 mai.

    Par ailleurs, Terry Blaquière, un homme de Campbellton accusé d’agression sexuelle sur une mineure en novembre, comparaissait aussi en cour. Il est incarcéré depuis sa mise en accusation.

    This from / Ceci de :
    http://m.radio-canada.ca/regions/atlantique/2015/01/05/002-agression-sexuelle-proces-picot.shtml

  2. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Baspuit. I just [posted the article:

    05 January 2015: Former Priest Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Charges: Trial Set For May

    An actual trial date set is good and welcome news for the complainants I am sure.

  3. Derek LaPointe says:

    My wife jackie and I have decided to plan our vacation time so I can attend these two important dates. I hope this will bring comfort to The Plantiff. I know that I found it reassuring to have support in Campbellton.
    I am praying for healing and strength for our brave friend.
    I have to confess that I have a strong need to see Picot again and to see him held accountable. It would be so much easier to stay away but I don’t feel that I can.

  4. Derek LaPointe says:

    Dear Friends
    My wife Jackie and I arrived in Bathurst a few hours ago. We will be attending Picot’s trial on both days.
    I am here to show the plaintiff my support. I hope you know that I am praying for you and have a great deal of respect for the courage you have shown in coming forward. May God give you peace like never before.

  5. Baspuits says:

    Went to court this morning only to hear case will be put off till August the 10, 2015, for an update to his cancer, that his figthing…………for He has a doctor meeting on 29 of July, 2015………….
    We might only hear,on the 10th his doctor’s report…………..
    How slow can one grind the justice system………………..and the poor victims……..

  6. mike says:

    Former Priest to Have Trial Date Set in August

    7/20/2015

    A former Bathurst-area priest facing charges related to incidents dating back to the 1980’s has had his case adjourned once again. Charles Picot is charged with four counts of indecent assault, two counts of indecency and two charges of sexual assault. His trial was supposed to be set this morning, however his attorney says he needs to consult with his physician. Picot lives in the Montreal area and is currently undergoing cancer treatment. His next appearance is scheduled for August 10th when a date will be set for his trial.

  7. Sylvia says:

    A trial date has been set for Father Charles Picot:

    26-28 January 2015:
    TRIAL, Bathurst courthouse (254 St. Patrick St.), Bathurst, New Brunswick

    I will blog a little more about this.

    Please keep Picot’s many victims in your prayers

  8. Derek LaPointe says:

    I just wanted to say that I am planning on attending the trial in January. I am truly sorry that the brave men who have brought the latest charges against Picot have been traumatized over and over again.
    When this man was given only 8 months and then served far less than that it sent a clear message to me that abusing children will never be a big deal in NB. While I was fortunate to have a judge with strong character and compassion, his hands were tied.
    I want to be at this trial to show my support and respect for these gentlemen. I also want to look Picot in the eye and let him know I will never go away.
    I pray this time that Picot is held accountable and that my friends can begin to close this chapter of their recovery.

  9. Baspuits says:

    Conrad and I read this for one of Charles Picot victim, after the court hearing:
    Statement to the Press:

    As victims, while preparing for yet another court appearance this morning regarding the proceedings taking place in order to finally bring Charles Picot to trial, our level of optimism was very low. Mr. Picot has failed to be present to address the court and submit a plea on six different occasions in the past. Also he has been allowed, due to illness, to request through his lawyer delays of trial. We hope that adequate medical reports are being provided to the courts to validate this request. However, we have not been provided any supporting documents.

    As one of the victims, I need to speak out about this. I am very upset and angry at how this situation can be allowed to drag on for years without the courts stepping in to force a conclusion. As far as I know, it is unheard of for a criminal convicted to two jail sentences for sex related charges to have so much power to delay or even possibly cancel court proceedings because of health issues.

    The current charges against Mr. Picot stem from incidents dating to the early 1980’s. Yes, it’s been a long time and, disturbingly, we’ve been presented with the argument that “we have waited so long already what does a few more months matter”. This argument was used in court a couple of years ago and yet we are still waiting. This adds to the burden we carry as victims. Many days I have been unable to leave my home to work or socialize because of the emotional and psychological scars left by the actions of this monster. In 2010, after seeing the cases of other victims of his conclude successfully with convictions, I found the courage to come forth with my charges.

    In the early 1980’s, as I was growing up, Charles Picot was our Parish Priest. He befriended me and others and gained our trust. However, over a period of time, his actions turned to abuse and the taking of our innocence. In our childish eyes he was our Lord Jesus Christ on Earth, we were taught this, as our parents and church instilled this religious belief in us. We were so confused, as children and victims, because we couldn’t understand why a man of Jesus would hurt us this way. He claimed that this was our secret and that we couldn’t tell anyone, no one needed to know.

    It took me so long to come out and report him because of the psychological effects I suffer from due to his actions. I have been suffering from post-traumatic stress since I was fifteen years old. The abuse I suffered from the age of twelve to fifteen still has repercussions even now, the effects present themselves in my dreams when I sleep, my daily thoughts, panic, depression and post-traumatic stress. The pain and guilt I have been dealing with has prevented me from being able to act sooner in order to stop him from abusing others but it will no longer prevent me from working towards him being held responsible for his actions.

    We need our day in court so that this criminal can be put back where he belongs, behind bars. He has to be held responsible and accountable for what he has done to us. We need our day in court to help his victims heal from the abuse he committed in the Mont Carmel Parish of East Bathurst during the 1980’s.

    Please share, this monster needs to be brought to justice once again.

  10. Bob Jensen says:

    Hello everyone – I just came across this. It appears that Bathurst diocese is so morally bankrupt that they are trying to get their insurance company to pay for their crimes.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/bathurst-diocese-sexual-abuse-priests-1.3354341

    Let’s hope that the trial finally goes ahead in January. Picot has made a mockery of the justice system for far too long.

    • mike says:

      Legal Process Leaves Alleged Victim in State of Anxiety and Depression

      1/13/2016

      A former Bathurst-area priest now living in Montreal will have his new trial date set next month. 69 year old Charles Picot has pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault, gross indecency and sexual assault. His trial was supposed to begin earlier this week but was rescheduled because of his declining health. One of Picot’s alleged victims who asked us not to use his name at this time, says he’s in a state of anxiety and depression because of how long the case is taking to get to trial, adding he’s had many sleepless nights as each new date approaches. A new trial date will be set February 8th.
      it is a mockery if we would get caught jay walking we would be sweeped up pretty quick………

  11. Derek LaPointe says:

    Barring some unforeseen circumstance my wife Jackie and I are heading to Bathurst for the trial.
    It is my prayer that the plaintiff will get the justice he deserves. I am praying that the court will hear the evidence and hold Picot accountable with a meaningful sentence.

  12. Bob Jensen says:

    Good luck Derek, to you and the victims. I have no doubt that he will try to postpone the trial again. You ought to try to find out if it is actually going ahead before you go all the way down there. I am away that week on business but will be watching and hoping for justice.

    • Derek says:

      Jackie and I will be checking with the court in Bathurst prior to leaving Ontario.
      It is still a gamble as he can always try to weasel out at the last moment.
      For the sake of the plaintiff I hope he either shows up or is brought to Bathurst in cuffs.

      • mike says:

        contact me when you can….email me for number
        Legal Process Leaves Alleged Victim in State of Anxiety and Depression

        1/13/2016

        A former Bathurst-area priest now living in Montreal will have his new trial date set next month. 69 year old Charles Picot has pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault, gross indecency and sexual assault. His trial was supposed to begin earlier this week but was rescheduled because of his declining health. One of Picot’s alleged victims who asked us not to use his name at this time, says he’s in a state of anxiety and depression because of how long the case is taking to get to trial, adding he’s had many sleepless nights as each new date approaches. A new trial date will be set February 8th.

  13. mike says:

    Legal Process Leaves Alleged Victim in State of Anxiety and Depression

    1/13/2016

    A former Bathurst-area priest now living in Montreal will have his new trial date set next month. 69 year old Charles Picot has pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault, gross indecency and sexual assault. His trial was supposed to begin earlier this week but was rescheduled because of his declining health. One of Picot’s alleged victims who asked us not to use his name at this time, says he’s in a state of anxiety and depression because of how long the case is taking to get to trial, adding he’s had many sleepless nights as each new date approaches. A new trial date will be set February 8th.

  14. jg says:

    Isn’t it amazing how the church and its priests have used the fear of death to sell Faith and in “their” time of need, to escape the “truth”, they use its “convenience” to crawl under a rock and out of sight…
    They never really had any Faith if they can treat it and use it that way! They are/were only “comfort and convenience” seekers, charlatans!
    “Declining health” ?…More like “coward in costume”!
    All my thoughts to accompany the courageous survivors of this …thing.

    How many years now has he been dragging this out? Simply shameful that the system would allow these avoidance tactics even if they allow us all to view their inadequacies as human beings who use to pretend to be leaders of our communities and in our lives.

  15. Sylvia says:

    Thank you to those who posted the unwelcome news that the sex abuse trial of Father Charles Picot is to be rescheduled. I have just now posted the article.

    Father Picot’s next court date is:

    08 February 2016: 09:30 am, to set new trial date, Bathurst courthouse (254 St. Patrick St.), Bathurst, New Brunswick

    What a terrible disappointment for the complainants!

    Please keep Father Picot’s many victims in your prayers.

  16. Bob Jensen says:

    Good morning – does anyone know if the trial will actually go ahead this morning? My heart goes out to the victims. I hope they can stay strong and get through this, and that justice will finally prevail.

  17. Bob Jensen says:

    Was just talking to a French reporter on Twitter. The trial is postponed until May 10th and 11th. If they keep allowing, he will die of natural causes long before he ever gets to trail.

  18. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Bob.

    I think it’s thanks to Judge Brigitte Sivret insisting a trial date needed to be set without delay that Father Picot’s trial has now been rescheduled for May:

    10-11 May 2016: TRIAL, Bathurst courthouse (254 St. Patrick St.), Bathurst, New Brunswick

    Please keep the complainants in your prayers.

  19. Bob Jensen says:

    Glad a date has been set, but I think we are long past the point where anything can happen “without delay.”

    I am still hoping more victims will come forward and put this guy away for a long time. I know that there are many, many more victims.

  20. Derek says:

    I too hope that more of those who have been harmed by Picot can find the courage to come forward.

  21. bob Jensen says:

    Does anyone know how many victims there are in the upcoming trail against Picot? As far as I can tell, there are at least two?

  22. Sylvia says:

    I think there are two bob, but not certain. The last I knew he was facing two counts of indecent assault, one count of gross indecency, as well as one count of sexual assault.

  23. Derek says:

    There are two.

  24. Bob Jensen says:

    Thanks – boy, would love to see him get federal time this time around. The justice system is a joke when it comes to cases like this.

  25. Derek says:

    I have just been made aware that Charles Picot has passed away. I am truly sorry that my friends will not have a chance to face him in court.
    Please send your support to the plaintiffs and let them know they are not alone. I hope that we can all devote our energy to getting our lawmakers to take a tougher stand on anyone who abuses any child.

    • Sylvia says:

      Thank you Derek. Here is the obit on the Magnus Poirier funeral home website (interesting – same funeral home as Father John Edward Sullivan)

      Obituaries and condolences

      PICOT, CHARLES JEAN

      1946 – 2016

      À Montréal, le jeudi 31 mars 2016 est décédé, à l’âge de 69 ans, CHARLES JEAN PICOT. Il laisse dans le deuil sa soeur Carmel (Charles Junod), Anne (Paul Thériault), Maurice Picot, Janet (Gérald Pitre), Mercedez (Michel Bourque), Gérard (Jake) Picot (Pauline Daigle), neveux, nièces, parents et amis. La famille vous accueillera au Complexe funéraire Magnus Poirier situé au 6825, rue Sherbrooke Est à Montréal, H1N 1C7, le vendredi 15 avril 2016 de 14h à 15h. Les funérailles seront célébrées ce même jour à 15h en la chapelle du complexe.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you Derek and the many Picot victims, and in particular at this time with Michael Jensen and those who had hoped to see justice done at trial this May.

      • jj says:

        I’ve been told by a very reliable source that defendants in these cases often use numerous “delay tactics”, particularly when they are older or ill (or both), hoping that they will kick the proverbial bucket before their case goes to trial… Strange tactic for someone who believes they will meet their maker in the afterlife, if you ask me…

  26. Derek says:

    I believe we can all gain a victory. Perhaps now is the time to press the NB government for changes to protect our children and in so doing help ourselves to heal.
    To all those who have been harmed by Picot and have not had your voices heard or believed I beg of you not to give up. Continue to seek help and find a way to make your voices heard.
    To those of you who have never spoken up about what this monster did to you I encourage you to reach out to me or someone else and what is shared will remain confidential. Please don’t take the pain and suffering to your grave. Dump your garbage and let it go into the grave with Picot.

  27. Bob Jensen says:

    I just heard on the news that Charles Picot just died in Montreal.

  28. Bob Jensen says:

    I just translated this from Radio Canada

    Former priest Charles Picot, who was to stand trial in New Brunswick for sexual assault, died in Montreal at the age of 69.

    Charles Picot, former parish priest of Mount Carmel Bathurst, was accused of indecent assault, sexual assault and gross indecency for acts allegedly committed against two underage boys in the early 1980s.

    He was to stand trial in Bathurst on 10 and 11 May The proceedings had been postponed several times because of his health. He suffered from cancer.

    Picot was convicted twice of sexual assault in 1993 and 2011. He was acquitted of similar charges in another trial in 2010.

  29. Jfranco says:

    So happy and relieved that this scum is no longer with us. In the early 80’s, Mr. Picot was our parish priest. During that time, we heard “rumours” and stories about what was going on at the rectory. After questions were asked, the church quickly tried to cover it’s tracks and teansfer him to Campbellton NB. I still feel rage and sadness for the things Mr. Picot made my classmates endure. My faith in the Church has been destroyed just like the innoncence of many children at the hands of this Monster, who used our faith in God against us.
    May he burn in hell.

  30. Marie-Ange says:

    Father Charles Picot was assistant priest at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bathurst NB before he was transferred to Mount Carmel Church. He used to come every day to play with the 6-7 year old boys in my school yard. At the time, we found that strange, but none of us teachers thought of sexual abuse. It was almost never spoken of at the time. It was only when the news broke out in the 80’s about the sexual abuse that I realized what had been happening under my nose with my dear Grade Two boys: sudden changes in behaviour, tears, isolation, serious lowering of grades, absenteeism, running away, etc. I was able to pinpoint all those he had interfered with: from broken homes, single mothers, welfare recipients, kids who welcomed the attention at first, when he invited them to his cottage for the week-end, or took them to Moncton at the Crystal Palace, or brought them to McDonald, etc. He even babysat one of them while the single Mom was working nights. To this day, I am unable to think about my little darlings without being choked up. What I find unbelievable is for a Catholic priest to not Repent and plead Guilty. At least, it would have spared the plaintiffs to have to relive those horrors over and over as the time stretched and stretched. But now, he has met His Maker. I would not like to be in the place he is now. God is Merciful but He does not forgive a Liar who does not Repent.

  31. bob jensen says:

    I write a lot of poetry. I just finished this. Felt good to get it off my chest

    A Heavy Millstone

    We gathered, we the faithful
    When summoned by that bell
    The small, the weak, the innocent
    Drawn towards its knell

    Three hours hid the sun
    When that vulgar show began
    The rapist with the Eucharist
    Upon his filthy hands

    Hands that tore the fleece
    From the smallest, faithful lamb
    And hands that left the soul defiled
    And primed it to be damned

    And when his rape had finished
    And mass had then begun
    He placed the Holy Host
    Upon the slaughtered lamb’s young tongue

    And one hundred chosen in their pews
    Knew well the father’s sin
    But offered up those trusting doves
    Their precious, helpless kin

    Men who to a burning house
    To save the child within
    Would rush without a thought
    Allowed that sacrificial sin

    And women, selfless shepherds
    Who were turned back at the inn
    Sat silent and obedient
    While the faithful flock was thinned

    And in that great cathedral
    Built to glorify his God
    The bishop killed the Lamb
    When he spared the priest his rod

    And for every priest and layman
    Who hid the vulgar truth
    May there be a heavy millstone
    To justify lost youth

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Bob, the poem is VERY good ! There is an abusive Priest I would like to present a copy of it to soon.
      In order that i cna print it off, would you please mail it to me at [deleted] ? Many thanks if you can. Tim

      • Sylvia says:

        I deleted your email address – you just don’t want it out there for spammers to latch onto. I think Bob probably got it, but I will ensure that he has it.

    • Lina says:

      This poem: ‘A Heavy Millstone’, comes from your deep inner courageous self.

      This impressive a piece of writing speaks volumes not only for me but as well for so many others.

      Bob…thank you for sharing.

      Lina

  32. bob jensen says:

    Thank you for your kind words. I will be happy to email it to you. It has been pointed out to me that there are some typos. I sent it within minutes of finishing it and should have been paying more attention.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Thank you, and GOD Bless ! I will let you know what kind of reception it got here. Tim

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Bob, I handed the poem to that pervert priest in the confessional this morning. He never said one word, but, he seemed perturbed that again I was hitting him with something he knew would not be a flattery of his behavior. Tim

  33. bob jensen says:

    If you know of an abusive of priest, I hope you can find the courage to go to the police. These guys never stop unless someone stops them.

    • paul says:

      Thursday june 9th was the day i told someone for the first time that i was a victim of Father George Ansel Smith dating back to the late 1970’s & early 1980’s. I’ve been carrying that weight on my shoulders for almost 40 years. I was never a fan of the social media/ internet, however regretting it now. Got hooked up a few months back for health reasons. My heart goes out to you. The poem you wrote The Heavy Milestone brought tears to my eyes. That was extrememly deep. I would love a copy if possible.

  34. Leona says:

    Powerful poem, Bob. Thank you for sharing.

  35. bob jensen says:

    Hi Tim – I never imagined that poem being handed to an abusive priest in a confessional. Wow. I do hope that if you have some proof about the guy, that you will do something with the information. I would love to know who he is – you can email me confidentially if you want and I will respect your wishes for privacy and won’t share that information unless you tell me I can.

  36. bob jensen says:

    Thank you Leona

  37. bob jensen says:

    Hello everyone – I have had an incredible response to the poem, “A Heavy Millstone.” Here is a spoken word version.

    http://goo.gl/AxwN7d

  38. bob jensen says:

    I am just seeing some of your comments now, Paul and Lina – I am truly moved. I write because I want to touch people, share deep feelings, and to read your words is more than I imagined possible for this little poem. Thank you all for you kindness.

  39. Derek says:

    Dear Friends
    I was just reading a yahoo article about The Bathurst Diocese losing their court case against their insurance company. They tried to force their insurance company to pay out over $5,000,000.
    Since it is obvious to me that those who run the show in Bathurst are without any integrity or honour perhaps hitting them in their wallets will give them a jolt or two.

  40. Bob Jensen says:

    Hi everyone. I have made a video of my poem, A Heavy Millstone, which I encourage any and all of you to share any way you would like, on Facebook, twitter, etc. Here it is.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8duXK_2aUI&feature=youtu.be

    Bob

  41. Sylvia says:

    Thank you so much Bob. I just posted it on the Home page . People can just click on the button and view.

  42. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Absolutely breath-taking and beautiful Bob! We just watched it here at home, and there is not a dry eye to be found.
    Thank you so much! Mike.

  43. Bob Jensen says:

    Thank you guys – I see the video has over 400 views in two days. I am told it is a hot topic of discussion on Facebook in Dalhousie.

  44. Bob Jensen says:

    Happy New Year everyone. I have written a story, not about Picot this time, but about black hearted priest who ruled over Dalhousie, NB like a rabid dog for 25 years. Please feel free to share it.

    The Life and Times of a Small Town Devil

    I started school in the beautiful little town of Dalhousie, New Brunswick in 1965. It was a caring community, very much blue collar as nearly everyone worked in the paper mill that ran the entire length of the main street. We grew up with tremendous freedom and a sense that everyone was looking out for us. As a small child, no matter where I ventured, someone would look at me and say, “You’re Max Jensen’s boy.” There was something comforting about that. The town was like a big extended family.

    We never locked our doors and crime, other than the most petty sort, was a rare thing. We were a community of good people, and we took care of each other. There was one man though, an outsider, who was a prolific criminal and was feared more than any person in the town. He was a predator, a man who raped small children with impunity. He wielded tremendous influence, as he had an organization of great power and wealth behind him, and he was not above using threats or intimidation, I would go so far as to say extortion, to get his way. His power was such that I am told he could have a man fired from the mill, which in our town, would have been a kind of death sentence for the many men who had little education and no other opportunities in the area. So people whispered, people muttered, but no one dared challenge him.

    And who was this man, this small town devil? There were those who called him Father, but I will not deign to do so, for he was no one’s father and nothing like a father, except perhaps of the cruelest, most brutal sort. He was commonly known as Monseigneur, My Lord, but I refuse to use that title either, as to do so would be to impugn the very word. I will call him by his given name, Aurele Godbout (1899-1965) and I do not hesitate to call him a devil, for that is what he was to the defenseless and innocent children whom he brutalized in Dalhousie from 1940 through 1965.

    When I tell my kids stories about this man they are astonished to learn that such things could have taken place in my life, seeming to think them more suited to Dickens’ time. Although he died when I was just six years old, I do remember him, in his black robe, seething at the pulpit. I knew that he was someone to be feared, and truly, up until that time, he was the only human being I had ever been afraid of. I also understood that my mother was scared of him, although she told me one story that makes me laugh to this day.

    My father had a couple of major strikes against him when it came to dating a Catholic girl. First of all, he was a foreigner, a long legged Dane and the only Jensen for a hundred miles in either direction. Had he been Irish, or even Scots Catholic he might have been acceptable, but he was a Lutheran. The very name conjured images of heresy. One day Godbout took my mother aside and told her she had to stop seeing my father for religious reasons. If she disobeyed, she could be excommunicated. I think it very difficult for young people today to understand what a profound and dire threat this was. Excommunication would bring shame on your family, cut you off from much of community life and was more or less a sentence to eternal damnation, something people took very seriously. He was taking out big guns to press his advantage, which makes her reply, at least in my mind, nothing short of heroic. “That’s fine,” she said, “There’s another church down the street.” (A point of interest is that my father eventually converted to Catholicism and became one of the most respected men in the parish, and was one of the very first to be given the honour of distributing communion.)

    One story I heard from a close friend had Godbout going to visit the house of a Dalhousie couple who had been failing to show up at Sunday mass. He was there to chastise them, shame them into returning to weekly services. The problem was, they would not answer the door. He was not opposed to simply opening it and walking in, unbidden, but it was locked. So, the story goes, he recruited a little girl, whom he lifted up and pushed through an open window with the explicit directions that once inside, she was to proceed to the front door, open it and let him in. And so with the help of his accomplice, like some latter day version of Bill Sykes, he gained entry to the house and barged in to verbally accost the miscreant couple.

    Another story with darker overtones involves elderly neighbours of ours. I remember the old man only as Mr. Fillmore, for he died some 50 years ago and I was very young. Apparently he was well known in the town and very well liked, so you may imagine that in a small community like ours, many people would have wanted to attend his funeral. But old Mr. Fillmore had the same strike against him as my dad, in that he was Protestant, or as my grandfather was fond of saying, “a horse Protestant.” The story goes that on the day of the funeral, Godbout showed up in his black robe and forbad any Catholic from entering the Protestant church, with various threats and gesticulations.

    New Brunswickers of a certain age will remember a colourful politician by the name of Charlie Van Horne, who was both a federal MP and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick between 1966 and 1967. Some of the most extraordinary stories I have heard about Godbout can be found in his unpublished manuscript which is located in the Centennial Library in Campbellton. These stories are set in the village of Atholville, which is some 20 miles west of Dalhousie, and date back to the 1930s. The first involves one Jack Winchester who was the quintessentially good Catholic man, salt of the earth and someone who was liked by his neighbours. One day Jack was found dead in his barn, apparently of a heart attack while he had been trying to help deliver a calf. According to Van Horne, who was a neighbour, Winchester had not made his Easter duties that year, had not been to confession or paid his $10.00 dues, so Godbout decided to make an example of him and refused to bury him in the consecrated cemetery behind the church. He was buried at 3:30 a.m. in a clearing on the mountain where the priest gave the Catholic rite for lost souls, whatever that may be.

    Van Horne goes on to say that Godbout was, “dead set against dancing, going to the movies, ladies wearing short sleeved dresses, girls wearing bathing suits and partying.” Apparently one day while preaching against the sins of the flesh he pounded the pulpit so hard it became dislodged from the pillar to which it was attached. But more than just a man of words, Godbout was also a man of action. One evening, upon learning of a private dance at a home in the village, he donned his black robe and took two altar boys in soutane and surplice and a bucket of holy water and marched up to the front door of the house. “He banged the door open incanting the direst of damnation prayers while sprinkling holy water all over the revelers and furniture,” says Van Horne. “In startled fright the young folks at the party bolted out the back door as if chased by the devil himself.”

    Another such story is best told by Van Horne. ‘I almost always went to the 8 o’clock Sunday low mass, and this Sunday I noticed Father Godbout mount the pulpit with a newspaper under his arm. He opened a current issue of the Campbellton Graphic and began to read a report of a social evening held at the home of one of the pulp mill foreman…of folks who had attended this social evening. He no sooner got through reading all the names when he ordered them all out of the church, never to come back.”

    There are several other tales, one as absurd as the next, but I will leave you with this one. As Van Horne states in his manuscript, during the Great Depression, pleasures were few and far between. One in particular was affordable and helped take people away from their hard and frugal lives. A company called Spencer Theatres had decided to open a movie theatre in the village and start showing contemporary films. Godbout, however, had preached that movies were the work of the devil and a certain pathway to hell. When he got wind of the new theatre, he planned a religious ceremony for the night of the grand opening, and made it mandatory, upon pain of being refused communion, that every Catholic in the parish had to attend his crusade against the theatre. “And he kept up his crusade, and all the while the theatre played to empty houses,” says Van Horne. “After two months, the theatre surrendered and closed, so we had to pay ten cent taxi fares to Campbellton, where the theatre was packed for every showing.

    Some of the scenarios described by Van Horne are so utterly absurd that even I had to laugh at them. But Aurele Godbout was not just a zealous, eccentric man and he certainly was nothing to laugh about. He was what law officials would describe today as a serial pedophile, a repeat offender, a sexual predator, a life-long criminal. He belonged in a federal penitentiary like Dorchester with other depraved criminals, not in a pulpit scaring the hell out of people who were already good and decent, and who had nothing to gain from his seething hatred, his contempt or his condescension. Our little town would have been far better off had he never darkened it with his long shadow.

    Godbout spent a good deal of time preaching about hellfire, about the devil. Well consider this – a chaste and innocent young boy in a white gown fellating a filthy old man in a black robe in the community’s most sacred Holy of Holies, a criminal who then would use his position as an officer in the church of The Prince of Peace to cover his crimes – if that is not the devil, then I have been misinformed about the devil.

    So why bring this up now, you ask? While I was never abused by any priest or anyone else for that matter, dozens of my friends and family were, dating back to the 1930s. I believe, based on what I have been told by various people, that the victims of abuse in the Dalhousie area alone numbers in the hundreds. Some are dead and some will never be able to come forward.

    For all that has been made public about sexual scandals in the Catholic Church in northern New Brunswick, most remain secret, and the victims are still there in the communities, suffering every day. There was a very telling incident some eight or ten years ago. I was speaking to a well-known community leader in my hometown about the abuse scandals, and when Godbout came up, his voice dropped to a whisper, and he suddenly appeared to be nervous, as if he feared that the old devil might show up with his bucket of holy water and excommunicate him on the spot. Fifty years after his death, the fear that this man instilled in the community still prevails among some who knew him. That is nothing short of remarkable. There were other dark-hearted priests, dozens of abusers, many who instilled fear into the people, but really, I think Godbout was special in this respect. He could be like a rabid dog at the pulpit and he made it known that there would be serious consequences for anyone who opposed his will. People were terrified of him. Those he hurt, he hurt very badly. He was a black cloud over our little community for decades. He did not come to save souls so much as he did to destroy them.

    This explains in no small way why most of his victims have never come forward. A part of these men was destroyed. Have you ever spoken to victims of sexual assault and seen them crumble before your eyes, fall to the floor and weep like small children? I have, and it is deeply disturbing to witness. You realize at that moment that for them, they are still back there, still the little boy, shaking and stuttering in the back of the church, waiting for the assault he knows is coming. They will never get out of that church, will never escape the assault. He just keeps coming. For them it is not “historic abuse.” It is a daily living hell.

    So what do I want? For starters, I want for the truth be out there, something the church has always resisted. I don’t want anyone to ever name a building or a society after this monster again. I want the victims to be believed, should they decide to come forward, and I want the church to investigate Aurele Godbout and to publish their findings. The truth will set you free. They also need to offer continued compensation not only to the victims of Aurele Godbout but to all the victims of sexual abuse, and to do it without pressure of any kind. I want them to publish the names of the 26 criminal priests who were reported to Michel Bastarache in 2010. (The diocese of Bathurst paid out some $7 million to victims and then had the audacity to sue their insurer, unsuccessfully, in a disgraceful attempt to have Aviva Insurance pick up the bill for its crimes.) I don’t care if they go bankrupt. Render unto Caesar those things that Caesar’s, and unto God, those things that are God’s. All they need do is follow scripture and the path will be clear and self-evident.

    The church still shrouds the issue of abuse in secrecy, which leaves us to wonder, what are you hiding from us, and why? I believe some of the 26 priests who were named in 2010 are still active. I also believe, from what I have been told in confidence, that some of the most horrific abuses have yet to come to light, and that some of those abusers are still very active members of the clergy in New Brunswick. I believe that the church and Michel Bastarache should be compelled under the Family Services Act of New Brunswick, Part III, sections (30) 1 through (30) 3 to hand over the names of the aforementioned 26 priests to the RCMP. This can be done without naming the victims. The police should at the very least be made aware of these people, and so should the community. The Diocese of Bathurst continues to protect men like Aurele Godbout, serial rapists who are still alive, and who have never seen the inside of a courtroom. If they refuse to follow scriptural law, then let’s hold them at least to the law of the land.

    If you would like to share a story about Aurele Godbout contact me here in strict confidence [email protected]

  45. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Incredibly well written, and thank you Bob. This scenario has been repeated, albeit a different story line, in many small communities across our land.
    The communities that I grew up in were no different. To speak up against the local “fuhrer” was a guarantee of what you allude to – loss of employment, ostracising by the local “Christians”, gossiping, blackmail, a general dispensation of ill-will, and the final need to “move out”, or leave, your own community to preserve one’s own sanity and reputation.
    To this very day this practise continues. I will testify to THAT! Mike.

  46. John MacDonald says:

    As I will attest to it still carrying on to this day also Mike!!! That is why I am where I am, but with NO regrets.

    John MacDonald

  47. Bob Jensen says:

    Thanks guys – as I was saying, please feel free to share the story on social media. That is why I write these things. If you do a google search of Aurele Godbout you will find a nice B&W photo of him, scowling like a devil.

  48. Derek LaPointe says:

    Dear Friends
    For some time now I have felt the urge to reach out to the current Premier of NB with the hope that he would take up the cause of changing /strengthening the current abuse laws. Today I sent an e-mail to Premier Gallant. Jimmy V once said, “don’t give up, don’t ever give up”. I truly want to be alive to see the day when all pedophiles and their enablers shake in their boots at the thought of standing before the courts.

  49. Bob Jensen says:

    Hi Derek;

    I would like to see the full light of the morning shine even on historical cases like those of Aurel Godbout. I wrote about him here.

    https://firsttimesinceaugust.tumblr.com/post/155076242856/the-beautiful-town-of-dalhousie-nb-taken-in

    Bob

  50. Baspuits says:

    Thank you for posting it!
    After reading it, some of those very good questions will come up/out in Conrad Brideau & one other victim in their civil suit end of October 2018 in Bathurst! It has to come out, or it will be like saying “Sorry for stealing you, very Sorry but we’re keeping the money/informations!
    I’ve posted your link in our Facebook groupe and know a couple victim of this criminal, and hope they help you out…………..in getting the much needed truth to come out!

    Baspuits

  51. Bob Jensen says:

    Hello all – I haven’t checked this site in quite a long time. If there are victims of Godbout out there, I would really like to hear from them. I can promise that anything that is said to me will be kept in the strictest confidence. From what I hear, Godbout was a monster. His power was such that people to this very day, even though he died in 1965, people speak about him in hushed voices, as if he was about to appear and drench them in holy water. They are still frightened of the man. If anyone wants to contact me, Sylvia knows how to get in touch with me. I also would like to see the truth come to light, even for historical cases like this, even if the perps are dead. I think it is important for the truth to be known.

  52. Bob Jensen says:

    I have started collecting stories about Godbout. Not all of them are about sexual abuse. Some are simply about how crazy he was, and how he terrified the people of Dalhousie. People are starting to email me stories about him at [email protected] and I would love to hear from anyone who has a story. I promise I will not publish them anywhere without express consent from the people who might send them to me, nor will I divulge any names.

    I may also send an open letter to the diocese of Bathurst demanding that they investigate him.

    Baspuits, can you tell me how many victims you are aware of, people who suffered sexual abuse from Godbout?

    Thanks,

    Bob

  53. Bob Jensen says:

    By the way, here is the link again on the story I wrote about Godbout.

    https://firsttimesinceaugust.tumblr.com/post/155076242856/the-beautiful-town-of-dalhousie-nb-taken-in

    Please feel free to share it on any social media.
    Bob

  54. Bob Jensen says:

    Thank you Baspuit. I have been getting emails about Godbout and his exploits. There were a lot of black-hearted priests back in the day, but even by those standards he was, let’s say, special.

    I would be very interested in hearing from anyone with stories about this guy.

  55. Bob Jensen says:

    Wow, this is really something.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/pedophile-priests-56-civil-lawsuits-1.4401729

    Does anyone know if Valéry Vienneau has ever been accused of sexual misconduct himself?

    Bob

  56. Sylvia says:

    Chilling. Well done Bob. Very well done.

    I tried to put it as a post – was able to copy the embed code but the frame is too wide and overlaps into the right-had column. I’m not very good at fixing things like that so unfortunately did not accomplish what I set out to do 🙁

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