Gauthier: Father Azaire Gauthier

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Joseph Azaire Edmond Gauthier (Father Azaire Gauthier)

also spelled Azarie in several places (Father Azarie Gauthier)

priest, seems to ‘belong’ to the Diocese of Saint Boniface, Manitoba,  Ordained 1953.  1991:  GUILTY plea to charge of gross indecency – two-year suspended sentence.  Victim was introduced to Gauthier by the boy’s parish priest Father Maurice Albert Bonneville:  Bonneville was convicted for molesting the boy and two other boys. Bonneville told Gauthier that the victim was “ better in bed than he is in his books.”

Priest, Diocese of Saint Boniface, Manitoba

1953:  Ordained


2010:  St. Joseph St.. Winnipeg, Manitoba

1998:  180 Norice St., Nepean, Ontario address

1990:  chages laid.  Living in Courtenay, BC at the time

1985-1986:  110 Irving Ave., Ottawa, Ontario

1973-74:  175 Main St., Ottawa, Ontario (Saint Paul University)

1971-72:  Not listed

1968-69:  Pastor: St. Mary Church, St. Vital, Manitoba

1967:  Pastor: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Carman, Manitoba

1961-1966:  Carman, Manitoba.  (later charges relate to offences during this time frame)

1957-1966:  St. John’s, Morden, Manitoba



26 July 1991  22.57 EDT

Canadian Press


   A retired Roman Catholic priest was given a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of gross indecency arising from a relationship with an 18-year-old altar boy more than two decades ago.

   Provincial court Judge Winston Norton said Friday he agreed with a Crown recommendation that Joseph Azaire Edmond Gauthier,  64, should not be jailed for the offence.

   “While he was a member of the Roman Catholic clergy at the time, it (the offence) did not arise out of his duties as a priest,” said Norton.

   “The offence did not arise out of any position of trust he had with the  complainant.”

   The former priest was also ordered to complete 150 hours of community  service by next June.

   The offence took place after Gauthier was introduced to the 18- year-old male by his priest, Maurice Albert Bonneville.

   Bonneville was sentenced to one year in jail earlier this year for sexually abusing the same complainant and two other teenaged boys.

   Gauthier was sexually involved with the complainant three times over a three-year period ending in early 1968.

   The allegations didn’t come to light until 1989 when the victim, after a number of failed relationships, sought counseling for emotional problems.

   The charge of gross indecency, which prohibited homosexual contact with a male between the ages of 18 and 21, has since been removed from the Criminal Code.



Canadian Press

23 July  1991  22.49 EDT


   A retired Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of gross indecency for pursuing a sexual relationship with a teenaged alter boy almost 30 years ago.

   Joseph Azarie Edmond Gauthier, 64, was sexually involved with the young man between 1965 and 1968.

   Gauthier will be sentenced today. The Crown is recommending probation.

   During Tuesday’s hearing, both Crown and defence urged the court not to jail Gauthier, saying the case differed greatly from others in Manitoba and the rest of Canada involving  priests.

   The victim, who had also been abused by another priest, agreed Gauthier shouldn’t necessarily be jailed for the offence, but added someone must pay for his years of suffering.

   “I’m very angry and I’m very bitter,”  he said in an interview from his home in British Columbia, adding he will now turn his attention to a civil suit against the church or Gauthier to help pay his mounting legal and counselling bills.

   Crown attorney Lynn Stannard told court Gauthier was initially introduced to the victim, then aged 18, by Maurice Albert Bonneville, a former Winnipeg priest.

   Court heard Bonneville was also involved in a sexual relationship with the complainant and told Gauthier: “He’s better in bed than he is in his books.”

   In May, Bonneville, who pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault and one charge of gross indecency, was sentenced to one year in jail for sexually abusing three teenaged boys between 1962 and 1965.

   The allegations against Gauthier didn’t come to light until 1989 when the victim, after a number of failed relationships, sought counselling for emotional problems, Stannard said.

   She also said there wasn’t the same breach of trust as in Bonneville’s case, in which court heard tales of younger boys being plied with alcohol and lured into sexual promiscuity, because Gauthier was not the victim’s parish priest at the time.


Canadian Press

08 August 1990


   A 63-year-old Roman Catholic priest from suburban Nepean, Ont., has been charged by Winnipeg police with gross indecency and indecent assault against a teenaged altar boy during the 1960s.

   Rev. Joseph Azarie Gauthier was returned to Winnipeg under RCMP escort Tuesday to be formally charged. He was to make his first court appearance to answer to the charges Wednesday.

   A 73-year-old former priest currently living in Courtenay, B.C., was to be returned to Winnipeg today to be jointly charged with Gauthier, said Winnipeg police Insp. Lou Spado.

   The charges were laid under sections of the Criminal Code in effect at the time of the alleged offences.

   Spado, in charge of his department’s youth division, said an investigation was initiated in December after a married man in his 40s and living in B.C. revealed during psychiatric counseling sessions of being molested as a boy. Spado said the incidents occurred between 1961 and 1966.

   Gauthier was interviewed by Ottawa police before Winnipeg issued a warrant for his arrest.

   At the time of the alleged incidents, Gauthier was a parish priest in the farming community of Carman, about 95 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg, as well as in the City of Winnipeg.

1 Response to Gauthier: Father Azaire Gauthier

  1. Richard Girouard says:

    Fr. Gauthier was my mother’s first cousin. We heard rumours of the incident around in the family. So no one spoke about it. It was kind of shoved under the carpet, but when Fr. Touchette was convicted, then my mother spoke about it.

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