Articles re Father Barry Glendinning’s past catching up with him in Willowdale

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Congregation finally informed of child-molesting priest’s past

The Edmonton Journal

22 August 1989

SHERRI AIKENHEAD Journal Staff Writer

Special masses were held at a Toronto church last weekend at which a priest told his parishioners he accepted a former child molester to be his associate.

Rev. Tony Meagher of Blessed Trinity Church in Willowdale, Ont. told those attending five separate masses that former Edmonton priest Rev. Barry Glendinning had a history of molesting boys before being transferred to Toronto.

Glendinning, now 56, was sent to Edmonton in 1976 following incidents in the London, Ont. diocese involving altar boys. He spent several months in treatment before coming to Edmonton, where he repeated the offences and has been in therapy since he left in 1983.

Rev. Glendinning didn’t attend any of the masses at which his background was discussed, parishioner John McGivney said from Toronto.

“Father Tony told us that what we’ve read in the papers is true and explained the situation. He said he knew about it and decided not to tell the parish ahead of time, rightly or wrongly.

“He was very open about his problems and it was excellently done. I feel reassured that we know now.”

The police were never contacted about the allegations. Instead, church officials in Edmonton and London sent Glendinning for treatment and then transferred him to another parish.

Archdiocese officials in Toronto have said they will allow parishioners to decide if Rev. Glendinning should continue to be active in their church.

Another former Edmonton priest, Rev. Angus McRae, 63, was recently banished from parish work for life after he pleaded guilty to a second offence of molesting boys.

McRae was in a Toronto parish working after serving a four-year sentence for buggery in Edmonton in 1980.

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Media criticized for `hounding’ priest

The Edmonton Journal

08 August 1989

CONAL MULLEN Journal Staff Writer

A priest who reformed after having molested children should be left alone by the news media, a church official said Monday.

Suzanne Scorsone, director of the office of family life for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, said Father Barry Glendinning has put his life together and shown excellent behavior for the last six years.

“I do rather wonder why you don’t leave the poor man alone. The guy has done well, why turn around and hit him?”

She said the message that news coverage gives to those in Glendinning’s situation is, “Don’t bother reforming because we’re going to hound you.”

Scorsone said one Toronto paper wrote a brief story on Glendinning but another had decided not to “pursue” him.

“I don’t think it’s human to turn on someone who made a mistake and is trying to put his life together,” she said.

Glendinning was taken out of parishes in Ontario and Alberta after molesting boys. Following both incidents, he underwent counselling and treatment at Southdown Institute near Toronto. He later worked in a Toronto parish and has recently been assigned to another Toronto parish.

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Sexual encounters with boys prompted moves of priest

The Calgary Herald

06 August 1989

Paul De Groot, Special to the Herald

A priest who has been removed from parishes in Ontario and Alberta for molesting boys may remain in a Toronto parish if parishioners accept him, says a church official.

Suzanne Scorsone, director of the office of family life for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, said the Church has “great confidence” in the ability of Father Barry Glendinning to serve in a parish.

“In the six years he has been here he has conducted himself beyond question, and beyond reproach.”

Police were not informed of the incidents in the Catholic dioceses of Edmonton and London, Ont.

Glendinning, 56, was sent to Edmonton in 1976, following an incident in the London, Ont. diocese involving altar boys. He spent several months in treatment and counselling at Southdown Institute near Toronto after that incident.

While teaching at Newman College in Edmonton, Glendinning assisted in a rural parish, where he was again accused of improper activities with boys in the parish.

He returned to Southdown, and then began to work in a Toronto parish. He was recently assigned to another parish in Toronto as part of a routine rotation of priests, archdiocesan officials say.

“It would seem tragic to take a man who has put his life into ministry and commitment back together and carried it out well over six years, and just because a news story appears throw him on the trash heap,” Scorsone said in a telephone interview on Saturday.

Glendinning’s future in parish work will depend on the reaction of people in his parish, said Scorsone. She said it is unfortunate that information about his case was revealed at this time, because if he were in the parish where he served for the last six years, his many friends might support him.

Whether he remains in parish work is something the Church will have to decide “depending how things develop,” she said.

“What’s crucial is that the archdiocese knows what his background is, and is very careful about his treatment.”

(De Groot is an Edmonton Journal writer)

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Parish to decide future of abuser priest

The Edmonotn Journal

06 August 2012

PAUL DE GROOT Journal Staff Writer

A priest who has been removed from parishes in Ontario and Alberta for molesting boys may remain in a Toronto parish if parishioners accept him, says a church official.

Suzanne Scorsone, director of the office of family life for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, said the Church has “great confidence” in the ability of Father Barry Glendinning to serve in a parish.

“In the six years he has been here he has conducted himself beyond question, and beyond reproach.”

Glendinning, 56, was sent to Edmonton in 1976, following an incident in the London, Ont., diocese involving altar boys. He spent several months in treatment and counselling at Southdown Institute near Toronto after that incident.

While teaching at Newman College in Edmonton, Glendinning assisted in a rural parish, where he was again accused of improper activities with parish boys. He returned to Southdown, and then began to work in a Toronto parish. He was recently assigned to another parish in Toronto as part of a routine rotation of priests, archdiocesan officials say.

“It would seem tragic to take a man who has put his life into ministry and commitment back together and carried it out well over six years, and just because a news story appears throw him on the trash heap,” Scorsone said in a telephone interview Saturday.

Glendinning’s future in parish work will depend on the reaction of people in his parish, said Scorsone. She said it is unfortunate that information about his case was revealed at this time, because if he were in the parish where he served for the past six years, his many friends there might support him. In his new parish, people have not had enough time to get to know him.

Whether he remains in parish work is something the Church will have to decide “depending how things develop,” she said.

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A remorseful priest describes his shame

The Edmonton Journal

05 August 1989

SHERRI AIKENHEAD Journal Staff Writer

Rev. Barry Glendinning knows pain, remorse and disgrace. But he cannot explain why his sexual desire has drawn him to teenage boys.

“I’ve wrestled with that. It’s a hard thing to get hold of. Even the therapists have difficulty getting on top of why these things happen,” he said in an emotional interview with The Journal.

“But surely it has to do with a very inhibited and undeveloped sexuality in the early years. In the formative years good things could happen and if they don’t, things could explode in later time.”

His sexuality went awry before he was sexually mature and at a time in his life when his vocation required him to abstain.

“I think if a person is really well matured sexually when it comes to celibacy they’re able to deal with that and cope with it. It can be a very good thing for them. But I think I was immature and that just doesn’t go together correctly,” said Glendinning.

Confronting the consequences of his misbehavior and knowing that he’s left victims behind has been a daily struggle, he says.

“There’s a flood of remorse. The more you get better and establish a kind of sound sexuality, the more you feel the shame. It’s just a terrible thing you have to carry.

“It’s the sort of thing that has to be dealt with in therapy as well. The whole business of one’s ownership of sexuality (and) also dealing with the remorse. It’s a big thing.”

Initially, therapy failed. He says he doesn’t know why.

“It’s not an easy thing to deal with or correct,” he said. “What a person wishes from the start of his life, that everything he does will work out for the good of people,” he said.

A person has to be willing to accept help, he reflected.

“Even this is a gift or grace I guess to be open to therapy and accept it. That’s not an easy thing either. It’s an exploration of a person’s life and the pain.”

Glendinning feels good about his sexuality now and grateful for the opportunity for therapy.

“It’s hard to identify emotions but there’s a deep well in me. I just know most of all that my recovery has been a difficult struggle for me and meant an awful lot to me of course.”

He hopes to be able to continue his work and says his own suffering has made him a good counsellor.

“I want to make a genuine contribution. That’s the best way for me to make up and redress, to give 100 per cent,” he said. “I recognize now that I have an increased capacity to have sympathy for people who are suffering and have compassion.”

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