The Campbellton Tribune
Tribune Letter To The editor
Re: Bishop responds to process critics in The Tribune dated Aug. 31.
My father was one of the clergy abuse victims I believe the Bishop refers to in this form letter which was provided to all the media in the province, in English and French. I will attempt to explain how my father and family were treated by the Bishop and the diocese’s advisor/mediator, Michel Bastarache. If I omit the titles and limit the use of their names it is not by mistake.
Some of the Tribune readers may recall a letter which I sent to the editor and dated Dec. 11, 2010, where I explained my experience with the so-called reconciliation process initiated by Vienneau and their obvious relief at my father’s passing on July 9, 2010. I thought that letter was to be the end of my involvement.
Without breaking down the timeline of the various messages to and from Michel Bastarache or his assistant Marc Sauvé during the month of December 2010, I can categorically affirm that they and the diocese were intent on “delaying” by any means possible. I was told by Bastarache on Dec. 9 2010 that a letter was sent to my attention by mail. I never did receive that letter! A copy of the letter was sent by e-mail after I gave Bastarache an “ultimatum”…on Dec. 22, 2010.
I was told the letter had been refused, that no one was at home. That is complete nonsense! The truth is that even though the Honourable Judge and the Most Rev. had all my personal contact information, they sent the letter to an incorrect address in the Tracadie area!
On Jan. 7, 2011, through a simple coincidence, I received a call from “that” Ontario lawyer, Rob Talach. He explained to me that I was not the only person whose “letter” had been sent to the incorrect address. The reason for this charade by the Diocese of Bathurst, through Bastarache, was to delay until after the six months from my father’s death. The reason?…simple! The family, my family only had six months to start a legal action!
Faced with this attempted slight, I authorized Mr. Talach to take that action against the Diocese of Bathurst. We had less than 36 hours left before the weekend, to appear before a judge in Moncton.
On Jan, 10 as if by enchantment, Mr. Bastarache’s assistant found my e-mail address to tell me they had not been able to find me…letter refused…etc.
The Church eventually paid a small amount which was split between the ‘‘Restigouche County Volunteer Association’’ and the lawyer’s fees, for the attempted deception, not for the abuse my father suffered through. Two years after this so-called reconciliation by Bishop Vienneau I am still here, at their choosing. If they were able and morally inclined to lie to my family as they did, what else have they done to cover their tracks, to protect their dear properties and “dollars”?
In the 13-minute film I took of my father on his death bed I asked my father if the Bishop’s apology would make things better. This is how we were treated. My father never got his apology, which would now be worthless! The only document on which I saw the Bishop’s signature was to ask for a receipt!
So Valery Vienneau, I find it very offensive after your charade you would call on “Dear friends” and ask for forgiveness for your predecessors! That you would dare associate yourself with God and call on Christ’s example. You represent the institution like a good corporate employee but I never saw or felt God’s presence in your process.
You do not represent me ever again. After more than two years, this is how you have left my family. You can write all the excuses and give yourselves a good pat on the back for the money you saved, for the names of predators you sealed along with the judges’ pay, but please don’t misuse again “Christ’s Love” to prop yourself up and to “benefit” the institution…and abandon the sheep!
You want to “justify” your process but the victims are for ever trying to understand and “justify” their lives.
You have understood and shared nothing! I hope the “Faithful” will see, hear and demand more transparency and honesty from its clergy.
One abused child should have been one too many to try and justify. Otherwise, everything else becomes irrelevant. Bishops and faith, judges and rule of law included! Jean-Guy Theriault