Cormier: Father Alyre Cormier

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Father Alyre Joseph Cormier

Priest, Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick.  Ordained 25 June 1992.  Former teacher – late vocation.  1999:   GUILTY plea to charge related to attempting to hire the sexual service of an undercover male police cadet.  Given an absolute discharge


“Archidiocèse de Moncton | Retired Priests

“P Alyre Cormier Né à St Paul de Kent N B le 25 juin 1938 fils de Yvon Cormier et d Eugénie Richard Ordination le 25 juin 1992 à St Paul de Kent par Mgr Donat Chiasson Ministères Vicaire N D de Grâce Moncton 1992 Curé Port Elgin et Melrose 1993 St Timothée Shemogue 1993 1995 St Vincent Ferrier Sackville 1995 1998”  (Father Alyre Cormier retired)


Archbishops of Moncton Archdiocese from time of Father Alyre Cormier’s ordinationDonat Chiasson  (23 March 1972-  21 September 1995);  Ernest Léger (27 November1996 – 16 March2002) André Richard, C.S.C. (16 Mar2002  – 15 June 2012); Valéry Vienneau (15 June 2012  – )


The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand, and media (M)

2016:  address on Mountain Rd., New Brunswick (CCCD)

2013:  listed as retired

2012, 2011:  No address given.  Shown as incardinated in the Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD)

2010:  apartment Westerwald, Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Shown as incardinated in the Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD)

2000:  apartment on Broad Street, St. John, New Brunswick Shown as incardinated in the Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD)

2002:  Apartment in Halifax, Nova Scotia (CCCD)

1999: 75 Britain St. , St. John, New Brunswick.  Shown as incardinated in the Archdiocese of Moncton, New Brunswick (CCCD)

– charged (M) at time he was charged Father Cormier had presumably retired, but for whatever reason was helping out in the Diocese of St. John, New Brunswick

1998, 1997:  Pastor, St. Vincent Roman Catholic Church in Sackville, New Brunswick with mission Notre-Dames-du-Rosair, Middle Sackville, New Brunswick   (CCCD)

1995, 1994:  R.R. #1, Cap Pele, New Brunswick. Ph:  506-577-4219 (CCCD)  Was Father Cormier assisting at St. Theresa of Avila in Cap Pele I wonder?

1993:  at Notre-Dames-du-Grace with Father Robert Allain (CCCD)

25 June 1992:  ORDAINED (age 54) by Archbishop Donat Chaisson

Spent 20 years teaching in the Rexton area before apparently deciding he was called to the priesthood

25 June 1938:  Born in St. Paul du Ken, New Brunswick


Priest decides to plead guilty

New Brunswick Telegraph Journal

29 July 1999

Bruce Bartlett

A priest charged with attempting to hire the sexual service of an undercover male police cadet changed his plea to guilty yesterday.

Father Alyre Joseph Cormier, 61, was granted an absolute discharge, which means he will not have a criminal record.

Defence lawyer Douglas Howes asked the judge for the discharge instead of the normal $100 fine because of the pre-trial publicity the case generated.

He argued that the main purpose of a sentence is to deter people from attempting to engage in this activity, and that a Times Globe story about the charge identifying Father Cormier has been more of a deterrent than any fine could be.

“Your point about Mr. Cormier being publicly humiliated in the press is a valid point,” said Provincial Court Judge William McCarroll.

He noted that people are usually not publicly identified until they have either pleaded guilty or been convicted.

Father Cormier came to the priesthood late in life after spending over 20 years as a teacher in the Rexton area, said Mr. Howes. He had recently been employed with the Cathedral Parish until the charges were made public, but that position was terminated.

In asking for the absolute discharge, the lawyer noted that Father Cormier had never before been before the courts and had lost his job as a result of the charge.

There is a possibility some work could be found for him inside the church if he received a discharge, but there were no guarantees, said Mr. Howes.

In June, Mr. Howes made a Charter of Rights argument to have the charge thrown out because he said the pre-trial publicity had made it impossible for his client to have a fair trial.

However, the judge ruled that since he would only decide the case on the evidence presented in court there were no grounds to stay the proceedings.

Prosecutor Cathy McNally said the incident took place on Wellington Row around 10:30 p.m. on March 2, 1999. A police cadet, who was part of an undercover operation, saw a car circle the area three times before stopping. Father Cormier was the driver of the car and a conversation took place about exchanging money for sex. Other officers arrested the priest as he headed to a rendezvous destination suggested by the undercover officer.

Ms. McNally said she did not object to a discharge instead of the usual $100 fine because the case has received more publicity than normal.


Charge against priest will proceed

The New Brunswick Telegraph Journal

19 June 1999

Bruce Bartlett

A Canadian Charter of Rights argument to throw out the charges against a Roman Catholic priest has been denied. The priest was accused of trying to hire the sexual services of an undercover male police cadet.

Yesterday, defence lawyer Douglas Howes argued that information released to the press by the police department made it difficult for his client to get a fair trial.

However, Provincial Court Judge William McCarroll said his decision will be made on the evidence presented at trial, not anything contained in a newspaper.

“I’m the one who counts and I haven’t made up my mind,” he said.

Mr. Howes, who is representing Father Alyre Joseph Cormier, said none of the statements in the police file indicate the accused was a priest. The lawyer said newspaper reporter Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon called him to confirm that his client was a priest and said that she had seen the police file.

However, Ms. MacKinnon said yesterday that she only saw the cover of the police file in court, like any other court reporter, and it had the abbreviation “Fr.” in front of the name. Because of that she called Mr. Howes for confirmation of his client’s identity.

Mr. Howes said at yesterday’s hearing that the headline “Relocated priest faces trial on sex charges” sensationalized the case and would have influenced many members of the public to make up their minds that the man was guilty before his trial.

The story was carried on page three of the Saint John Times Globe on April 21, two weeks from the time the initial charge was laid and only after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint John had confirmed Father Cormier‘s identity to Ms. MacKinnon.

Prosecutor Cathy McNally, who opposed Mr. Howes’ application, said the occupation of the accused has no bearing on the elements the Crown has to prove to prosecute this case.

“There is no jurisdiction in this court at this time to issue a stay of proceedings,” she argued.

Judge McCarroll agreed that the law as it stands now gives him no grounds to stay proceedings based on the pre-trial publicity. Even if the case had been scheduled to go to a jury, it could still have gone ahead under Canadian law, he said.

The judge said that if anyone in the police department revealed to the press the occupation of the accused, he wondered why they would do that.

If the accused is found not guilty he could file a civil court action for damage to his reputation, the judge said.

The trial for Father Cormier will go ahead on Sept. 21, at 1:30 p.m.

Telegraph Journal Referring to the newspaper headlines and the suggestion that police had allowed a reporter to look through a file, Judge McCarroll said, “morally I find it difficult to accept what transpired here, but legally I have to deny a stay of proceedings.”


Lawyer for priest wants sex charge thrown out of court

New Brunswick Telegraph Journal

29 April 1999

The lawyer representing a Catholic priest charged with attempting to hire the sexual services of an undercover male police cadet has asked to have the case thrown out of court.

This week, Father Alyre Joseph Cormier was supposed to have a date set for his trial. Instead, his lawyer Douglas Howes asked for a hearing to rule on a stay of proceedings, a legal term meaning the trial will not be held.

Mr. Howes briefly stated that he believed the pre-trial publicity surrounding the case had made it impossible for Father Cormier to receive a fair trial. He asked for a hearing to present arguments to back up his claim.

Provincial Court Judge William McCarroll agreed to listen to Mr. Howes’s arguments on May 26 at 1:30 p.m.

Earlier this month, Father Cormier entered a not guilty plea to the charge and was given time to hire a lawyer before setting a date for his trial. The 60- year-old priest, who had been doing relief work for parish priests in the Saint John area, had retired last year from St. Vincent’s Roman Catholic Church in Sackville.

The incident giving rise to the charge is alleged to have happened on the evening of March 2 on Wellington Row in the uptown area.

Mr. Howes’s motion is based on the Canadian Charter of Rights which guarantees that any person charged with an offence has the right “to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.”


Relocated priest faces trial on sex charge

The New Brunswick Telegraph Journal

21 April 1999

Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon, Times Globe

A 60-year-old Catholic priest who has been doing relief work in Saint John has been charged with communicating for the purpose of prostitution with a male undercover police cadet.

Reverend Alyre Joseph Cormier, of Broad Street, has entered a not-guilty plea.

He did not appear in Provincial Court to face the charge earlier this month. Lawyer Doug Howes appeared as Father Cormier’s agent and entered the plea on his behalf.

Mr. Howes requested an adjournment to allow Father Cormier time to retain a lawyer. A trial date will be set on April 27.

Meanwhile, Father Cormier, who came here from Sackville, is no longer working with the Saint John Diocese, said Bishop J. Faber MacDonald. “Our relationship is suspended until he gets his situation cleared up – and no promises even after that,” he said.

Bishop MacDonald confirmed that Father Cormier had been doing some relief ministry at some local churches, but said he did not know where.

“Whatever he was doing here, he was doing it in negotiation with some of the parish priests who wanted relief from time to time,” he said.

“He came in a couple of months ago and we began discussions, but I hadn’t cleared anything at all with the personnel board. I hadn’t made any decisions about establishing a formal relationship with him at all. I was doing some research.

A call from this newspaper alerted the Diocese to the situation, said Bishop MacDonald. “Then the red flags went up.

The alleged incident occurred on March 2, about 11 p.m. on Wellington Row.

Archbishop Ernest Leger in Moncton declined any comment.

“We have a Father Alyre Cormier from the Diocese who is residing in Saint John. .. I can’t confirm that that’s the guy,” he said.

But a subsequent call to the Moncton Diocese about employment records confirmed Father Cormier has the same date of birth as the accused.

Father Cormier retired last year from his posting as pastor of Saint Vincents Roman Catholic Church in Sackville and its affiliated parish in Dorchester.

He had been with the parish of about 200 families for about three years and left under good circumstances, said Archbishop Leger.

“He asked for a year off to rest mostly and to seek work in the diocese of Saint John or somewhere else,” he said.

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