French: Brother Edward French

Share Button

Edward A. French

Brother with the Christian Brothers.  CONVICTED 1991 for sexually abusing three boys at the Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s Newfoundland.  Sentenced to one year in jail.

(Row one of the following pictures show Brother French during his years in Newfoundland.  Row two show Brother French during his years teaching at St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby, BC.  Click on pictures to enlarge)

Brother French taught at St. Bonaventure College (St. Bon’s) in St. John’s, Newfoundland prior to his assignment at Mount Cashel.  French was molesting at St. Bon’s.  He was reported to the Principal.  French was removed and sent away.  Brother French was at St. Bon’s in 1960. According to the 1961 Adelphian (School yearbook) Brother French had been transferred to St. Pius X High School in Montreal.  At some point French returned to St. John’s and taught at Mount Cashel orphanage.

Also teaching with French at St. Bon’s in the 1953-54 school year was Brother Ronald Justin Lasik.  Lasik, like French, later worked at Mount Cashel, and was, like French, later convicted of sex abuse at boys at Mount Cashel.

(Archbishop Alphonsus Penney was a 1941 graduate of St. Bon’s College.  A 1947 Adelphian notes that Penney, and ex pupil, is “studying for the secular priesthood at St. Paul’s Seminary in Ottawa.” Bishop Raymond Lahey attended from 1947 to his graduation in 1958 and subsequent departure for St. Paul’s Seminary, in Ottawa)

Brother Edward French also taught St. Thomas More Collegiate, Burnaby, BC 1982- 1983

____________________

Archbishops of St. John’s while Brother French was teaching in Catholic facilities in the archdiocese:   Patrick James Skinner (January 1951-April 1979); Alphonsus Penney (April 1979-Feb. 1991); Paul-Émile Léger, P.S.S. (25 March- 20 Apr 1968);  Paul Grégoire  (20 April 1968  – 17 March 1990)

Auxiliary Bishops Montreal: Valérien Bélanger  (16 March 1956 – 19 February 1983); Léo Blais (18 March 1959 to 11 May 1971); Joseph-Conrad Chaumont  ( 28 June 1941 – 08 October 1966); Paul Grégoire  (26 Oct 1961 -Archbishop 20 April); Lawrence Patrick Whelan  ( 28 June 1941 -o 4 October 1980)

 _______________________________

The following information is drawn from copies of the Adelphian (A) and media (M)

1991:  CONVICTED

1982-1983: St. Thomas More Collegiate in  Burnaby (M)

? :  Mount Cashel, St. John’s Newfoundland

1961:  Pius X school, Montreal, Quebec (A)

1960, 1959, 1958, 1957:  teaching at St. Bonaventure College, St. John’s Newfoundland (A)

actively involved with the school’s Cadet Corps (“moderator”) (A)

1956:  no copy of the Adelphian available

1954-55:  teaching at St. Bonaventure College, St. John’s Newfoundland (A)

1953:  not shown in the Adelphian (A)

According to media, originally from St. John’s area (M)

____________________________________

Christian Brother gets a year in jail

The Montréal Gazette

07 August 1991

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – Christian Brother Edward French was sentenced yesterday to one year in jail for fondling three boys at Mount Cashel orphanage.

French, 59, a small man with a white beard, seemed relieved and smiled at his lawyer after the sentence was handed down by Judge James Puddester.

It’s the lightest term delivered yet to five former  Mount  Cashel  officials convicted of sex crimes against residents of the  St. John’s  orphanage in the 1970s.

Puddester called French’s crimes “inherently serious” and “offensive” but judged them less severe than the sexual abuse and beatings committed by other present or former members of the Roman Catholic lay order.

French, who has been teaching in  British Columbia  for the last decade, was convicted last month on three charges of indecent assault against former residents of the orphanage, which shut last summer.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a fourth charge of gross indecency and French will be retried on that count, probably this fall.

During the trial, two victims said French fondled their genitals while they were patients in the sickroom. Another said he was fondled while in his bunk.

The three victims testified they had trouble forming trusting relationships as a result of the crimes, which Puddester called traumatic.

But the Newfoundland Supreme Court justice said French’s lack of violence and the fact that he touched each boy just once and did not force them to participate must be taken into account.

On Monday, Brother Edward English was sentenced to 12 years in prison on 13 charges of sexual and physical abuse. Three others were handed prison terms ranging from 25 months to six years.

 ________________________________

Christian Brother who taught in B.C. jailed for sex crimes

The  Vancouver  Sun

07 August 1991

ST. JOHN’S – Christian Brother Edward French was sentenced Tuesday to one year in jail for fondling three boys at  Mount  Cashel  orphanage.

French, 59, a small man with a white beard, seemed relieved and smiled at his lawyer after the sentence was handed down by Justice James Puddester.

It’s the lightest term delivered yet to five former  Mount  Cashel  officials convicted of sex crimes against residents of the  St. John’s  orphanage in the 1970s.

Puddester called French’s crimes “inherently serious” and “offensive” but judged them less severe than the sexual abuse and beatings committed by other present or former members of the Roman Catholic lay order.

French, who taught at St. Thomas More Collegiate in  Burnaby  until the late 1980s, was convicted last month on three charges of indecent assault against former residents of the orphanage, which shut last summer.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a fourth charge of gross indecency and French will be retried on that count, likely this fall.

During the trial, two victims said French fondled their genitals while they were patients in the sick room. Another said he was fondled while laying in his bunk.

The three victims testified they had trouble forming trusting relationships as a result of the crimes, which Puddester called “traumatic” and noted that “an avenue of escape was denied” them.

But the Newfoundland Supreme Court justice said French’s lack of violence and the fact that he touched each boy just once and did not force them to participate must be taken into account.

“It is not just the hope but the rightful expectation of society . . . that each of these individuals would receive shelter and care,” he said.

“(But) punishment must fit the circumstances of the offence . . . and the offender.”

Credit: CP

 _______________________________

Brother gets stay on one charge 

The  Vancouver  Sun

11 July 1991

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – There were new wrinkles Wednesday in the trial of Christian Brother Edward French.

Crown prosecutor Cathy Knox asked and received consent from Justice James Puddester to amend one charge and order a stay of proceedings on another.

French, 59, of  St. John’swas charged with four counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency against four boys at the  Mount  Cashel  orphange in the 1970s.

He now stands accused of three counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency.

The Crown asked for one count of indecent assault to be stayed and for the dates of another charge to be broadened so the charge and time it allegedly occurred conforms with evidence already given.

Meanwhile, a pediatrician who treated boys at the orphanage in the 1970s testified it was common practice for certain types of medication to be applied to all areas of the body to children with an itchy skin condition known as scabies.

Dr. Chaker Hobeika said if such a condition existed, a lotion should be applied everywhere, including genitalia.

At least two of the charges against French concern incidents in a sick room at the orphanage where sexual assaults are alleged to have occurred during application of a medication.

French, who also taught at St. Thomas More Collegiate until the late 1980s, when he retired, is one of eight current or former Christian Brothers accused of sexually and physically abusing boys at  Mount  Cashel  in the 1970s.

The trial continues today.

__________________________________

Six charged with molesting boys moved to Lower Mainland schools; Six charged brothers sent to B.C. schools

The  Vancouver  Sun

06 December 1990

Douglas Todd

SIX CHRISTIAN Brothers charged with molesting boys at  Mount  Cashel  orphanage in  Newfoundland  were sent to work with boys at two prominent Greater Vancouver Catholic schools.

Parents of students at St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby and Vancouver College in Shaughnessy have a right to be upset that the schools took on teachers linked to the Mt. Cashel sex scandal, says Michael Harris, author of a new book called Unholy Orders: Tragedy At Mount Cashel.

St. Thomas More, perhaps unknowingly in some cases, gave teaching jobs to four Christian Brothers who had been accused of sexual assault atMountCashel, according to Unholy Orders and aVancouverSun search.

Some brothers came to  Vancouver  after the Christian Brothers made a secret 1976 “deal” with  Newfoundland  justice officials, says Unholy Orders. A damning police report about molesting at  Mount  Cashel  was suppressed, says the book, in exchange for the Catholic order moving the accused brothers far away from  Newfoundland.

“That whole process of (transferring brothers to B.C.) worked nicely because it was such a long way from the hot spot,” said Harris, a veteran investigative journalist who is now an executive director at the Newfoundland Broadcasting Corp.

Brothers Edward English and Kevin Short were sent to St. Thomas More Collegiate. Short later became principal of the 640-boy high school.

St. Thomas More also hired Brother David Burton – who was convicted in 1982 of having oral and anal sex with a  Mount  Cashel  boy in a case that church officials strove to keep out of the public eye. TheBurnabyschool also took on Brother Edward French, who was charged with sexual assault in connection with incidents at  Mount  Cashel  years after the 1976 deal.

Vancouver  College  was sent two brothers – ex-Mount Cashel superintendent Douglas Kenny and Joseph Burke – who are the subject of lurid allegations of physical abuse and sexual molestation at the  Newfoundland  orphanage. Burke became vice-principal ofVancouverCollege, which includes boys from Grades 1 to 12.

None of the brothers teach any longer at St. Thomas More or  Vancouver  College, which are run by the Christian Brothers order. Burke, Short and  Burton  lost their positions last year after the  Mount  Cashel  scandal broke.

Neither St. Thomas More Collegiate principal Brother Hugh O’Neil, nor  Vancouver  College  principal Brother Ken Farrell was available for comment.

This week in  Vancouver, Harris wondered if further publicity about abuse at  Mount  Cashelwill bring forth victims who have remained quiet. Parents who sent children to St. Thomas More or  Vancouver  College, he said, might receive “some surprising and disturbing answers” if they asked their children if they were ever sexually abused at the school.

Given victims’ general reluctance to admit they’ve been abused, Harris said, the frightening thing is that parents “can’t necessarily take any comfort in having their child tell them that nothing happened.”

The Christian Brothers order acted “indefensibly” by transferring brothers fromNewfoundlandwho were the subject of criminal investigations, Harris said.

“They showed a brutal indifference to the victims and acted as if their members were above the law.

“The transfers show a strong sense of strategy for an institution that’s supposed to represent the highest ideals of humanity. It’s not as if these people are used-car salesmen.”

Unholy Orders quotes numerous documents describing the transfer of the accused molesters to Vancouver Catholic schools, including several letters from Gabriel McHugh, the head of the Christian Brothers order inCanadauntil 1978, and now a leader of the worldwide order.

Despite a detective’s report that five boys had made sexual-assault allegations against Kenny, Unholy Orders says McHugh wrote a letter in 1976 in which he said he hoped Kenny would “be able to assist with the boarders” at Vancouver College.

McHugh told Kenny: “I feel sure, also, that you will be happy to know that no accusations have been levelled against you whatsoever. . . . I feel sure that for awhile you will not want too many reminders of the painful experience. . . .Vancouverwill take care of that.”

In transferring English to St. Thomas More, the book says McHugh “lied” to the  Burnaby  school’s then-principal.

Although the book says English was a pedophile under psychiatric care, McHugh told St. Thomas More that English “will prove to be a flexible and dynamic personality. . . . He became involved in the  Mount  Cashel  situation because of his overemphasis on corporal punishment. This has been rectified and will not be a difficulty.”

Unholy Orders says McHugh knew that English hadn’t been ordered out ofNewfoundlandbecause of corporal punishment. McHugh showed “surprising” judgment, the book says, by placing English in charge of young boys at St. Thomas More despite the brother being only halfway through a six-month psychiatric program to deal with his sexual problems.

This week, inNewfoundland, English pleaded not guilty to sex-abuse charges and will stand trial in the summer of 1991.

Short, French and Burke will enter their pleas in January. Rooney’s trial begins April 15. Kenny has not yet undergone a preliminary hearing.

Newfoundland Justice Minister Paul Dicks is now considering whether obstruction of justice charges should be laid against police, government officials and others involved in the  Mount  Cashel  scandal, which has been the subject of a royal commission.

 _____________________________

Christian Brothers face sex charges in St. John’s

The Montreal Gazette

13 June 1989

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP) – The number of sex-offence charges laid against members of the Roman Catholic community in Newfoundland continues to rise.

Two men from British Columbia – members of a lay order called the Christian Brothers – were charged in provincial court yesterday with sexually abusing a young boy.

Kevin Short, 38, of Burnaby, B.C., was charged with one count of indecent assault and another count of gross indecency against a boy at St. John’s Mount Cashel orphanage between 1973 and 1976.

Short will reappear in court Aug. 4 for a preliminary hearing.

Edward French, 57, of Vancouver was charged with one count of indecent assault against the same boy during the same period of time.

His preliminary hearing was set for July 28.

Both men were arrested in British Columbia and brought to Newfoundland to face charges.

Originally from the St. John’s area, the two men were working at the orphanage at the time of the alleged incidents.

The orphanage is operated by Christian Brothers.

This brings to eight the number of brothers and former brothers who have worked at the orphanage and now face charges of sex abuse.

Over the past 18 months, 16 priests, former priests, brothers, former brothers and other members of the Catholic community have been charged with or convicted of sex offences against boys.

The problem is being studied by two Catholic inquiries and a judicial inquiry set up by Newfoundland.

1 Response to French: Brother Edward French

  1. Michael Carey says:

    I have tried to research stories and photos of Mt Cashel Orphanage from the years 1952 – 1958 ,, Photos of the all the Christian Brothers ,,and hoping some photos of the orphans there in those years I have read many articles Of the years of 1973 – 1975 and up but not a word on the earlier years , As I was placed in Mt Cashel In late 1951 and lived there till 1958 ,, The stories I read Of the Brothers brought back terrible nightmares but there were some Brothers that never were investigated and walk away free ,Everyone speaks about the later years But so much went on in the earlier years
    As I Have no photos of this time in my life , I was hoping that a search might show photos of Boys of the years mentioned , so that I may find a time of my life that has been missing all those years ,,, If possible a reply would be appreciated Thank you ,,,,,,,,, Michael Carey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *