Open season on priests?

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Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Saturday, September 01, 2007 – 08:00 

McIntosh, Claude

Local News – A Cornwall priest has been “retired” by the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese because a man in Prince Albert, Sask. claims he was assaulted by the priest many years ago in that community.

No charges have been laid. Repeat. No charges have been laid. In fact, police in that city weren’t even aware of the complaint.

The dilemma for the priest: How do I defend myself against this kind of vague, but very public accusation? At least when criminal charges are laid, an accused person has the opportunity to defend himself in a public criminal court.

However, this claim is being tried in the cruel court of public opinion, where fairness and the theory that one is innocent until found guilty aren’t considerations.

According to the alleged victim, he only wanted the priest removed from the job.

Policy (post Project Truth reaction) required the bishop to “retire” the priest and make the “retirement” public. It’s the Achilles heel of a policy aimed at transparency.

In this case it just feeds the rumour mill and tarnishes a sterling reputation.

What is true is that if this wasn’t a case involving a Roman Catholic priest and the Project Truth backdrop, it wouldn’t be making the classified spill page, let alone the front page.

The open season on priests has been extended.

Mohawk council isn’t saying much about the sudden resignation of Chief Administrative Officer Russell Roundpoint.

If I’m OPP Supercop Julian Fantino (some members of the force call him Julius Fantino), my next move would be getting rid of the stetsons.

Local federal Libs still trying to find somebody to run against Super Guy when the Harperites are brought down and the country goes into election mode.

Hard to believe that just a few years back potential candidates were climbing over each other to get the nomination.

Builder Bob’s expense account is exhausted and there are still four months to go. Time council took the limit off the mayor’s expense budget. A $12,400 ceiling just doesn’t cut it in today’s world.

The Cornwall Public Inquisition is taking yet another break. Won’t be back until Sept. 10. It’s expected to continue until October . . . that’s October 2008!

Talk about a legal cash cow.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will have to keep buying lottery tickets. Winners (the watering hole, not the clothing chain) celebrated its 25th anniversary Friday.

Half the original barkeep team (Ron “Jiggy” Johnson) still on the job. Mort Belmore now owns the popular Quinn’s Inn.

Once again, in the name of saving gas and being a darker shade of green, can somebody not get our stoplights synchronized?

Canada Geese still have the run of Lamoureux Park while dogs are barred. Ironically, the city is looking for a dog and handler to put the run on the geese. Don’t know any dog handlers, but know plenty of people with the solution – a .410 shotgun.

Only in the Canadian Football League, eh.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, last in the East with one lonely win in nine games is still very much in the playoff hunt, just two points back of the punchless Argos.

Talk about aging in a hurry. Windsor Star columnist Gord Henderson, in a glowing piece about Ed Lumley’s role in securing millions of dollars in private funding for his alma mater, the University of Windsor, had Lum’s age as 73.

He’s really only 67.

Ed, an assistant coach with the Royals back in the Central Junior and Montreal Metro league days, and Si Miller were the opposing coaches at Friday night’s Cornwall Colts intrasquad game at the LumDome.

Might have been a first for hockey: two opposing coaches with arenas – Si Miller Arena and Ed Lumley Arena – named after them.

A year ago, Chris Savard wasn’t given much chance to knock off Jim Brownell. With the countdown to election day under way, he’s very much in the race.

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