Gordon: Father George Gordon

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George Gordon

priest, Archdiocese of Vancouver, British Columbia.  Ordained 19 June 1951.  GUILTY 1992 to sex abuse of three altar boys age 10 to 13  in the 50s.  Sentenced to 6 months.

Archbishops of Vanacouver during Father George Gordon’s tenure: William Mark Duke (1931 –March 1964);   Martin Michael Johnson (March 1964- Jan 1969): James Francis Carney (Jan. 1969-Sept. 1990);  Adam Joseph Exner, O.M.I.( May 1991-Jan. 2004); : Raymond Roussin, S. M (Jan. 2004-Jan. 2008); : John Michael Miller, C.S.B. ( 02 Jan, 2009 –  )

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Bio on Guardian Angels Parish website:  http://www.guardianangelsocd.org/the_past.html

FATHER GEORGE GORDON

Born in Bounty, Saskatchewan on November 19, 1915, Father Gordon came to Vancouver in 1934. He worked in various occupations before starting studies for the priesthood in 1941. He graduated from Christ the King Seminary in June 1947, and went to St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton to complete his theology studies. He was ordained May 19, 1951. Father Gordon was appointed Pastor of Guardian Angels Church in 1967. He served diligently until Aug. 5, 1984. Retired now, he lives in North Vancouver.

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The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) of that date , media (M) and Guardian Angels Parish website (GA)

2002:  not listed (CCCD)

15 June 2000: died  (http://www.rcav.org/Diocesan_Offices/Default.aspx?id=422)

2000:  address for diocesan centre =150 Robson St., Vancouver, BC, V6B 2A7

1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991:   524 W 6th Street, North Vancouver,  604-987-6128 (Sisters of Instruction of the Child Jesus ) (CCCD)

1992:  GUILTY to sex abuse of three boys in the 50s.  Sentenced to six months in jail (M)

1985-86:  524 W 6th Street, North Vancouver, BC  604-987-6128 (Sisters of Instruction of the Child Jesus ?) (CCCD)

1967-1984:  Pastor, Guardian Angels RC Church, Vancouver, BC  (GA)

1968-69, 1971-72, 1973-74:  Pastor, Guardian Angels RC Church, Vancouver, BC (Archbishop James Francis Carney) (CCCD)

1968:  General Secretary Canadian Catholic Conference (now Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops)?

There is only one George Gordon listed in the 1967 & 1968-69 CCCDs.  An online article contains this footnote:   “Rev. George GORDON, General Secretary of the Canadian Catholic Conference, in a letter to the editor, Globe and Mail, March 15, 1968.” http://www.umanitoba.ca/colleges/st_pauls/ccha/Back%20Issues/CCHA1974/DeValk.html

1967:  pastor, Assumption of Mary RC Church, Coquitlam, BC (CCCD)

1959:  pastor, Assumption of Mary RC Church, Coquitlam, BC (CCCD)

1955-57:  Pastor Our Lady of Good Hope RC Church. Hope, British Columbia click here for link

1957:  Pastor Our Lady of Good Hope, Hope, BC on 29 July 1957 when the church hall and rectory were destroyed by fire . (http://ologhope.rcav.org/parish%20history.htm)

Mid 50s:  assisting at Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver, BC (M)

Guilty plea in 1992 to sex abuse of three altar boys at Holy Rosary Catherdral

19 May 1951:  ORDAINED (at age 46 – definitely a very late vocation in those days.  Also ten years is a long time for a diocesan priest to complete his formation)

June 1947:  graduated from Christ the King Seminary.  Then went to St. Joseph’s Seminary in Edmonton to complete his theology studies. (GA)

1941:  began studies for priesthood (GA)

1934:  moved to Vancouver (GA)

19 November 1915:  Born in Bounty, Saskatchewan (GA)

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Canadian Press

October 9, 1992  13.53 EDT

VANCOUVER (CP)

A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced today to six months in jail for molesting three altar boys 40 years ago.

Rev. George Gordon, 76, earlier pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court to charges of indecent assault.

His victims were altar boys at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver where Gordon worked in the mid-1950s shortly after being ordained.

Court was told they were all 10-13 years old when they were fondled by Gordon and made to fondle him.

During a sentencing hearing Sept. 29, Crown counsel Kerr Clark had asked for a jail sentence.

But when defence lawyer Ken Bell suggested electronic monitoring for the priest, Clark said he would not object to that form of house arrest.

But Justice David Campbell ordered Gordon to serve the sentence in jail.

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Canadian Press

September 30, 1992  06.19 EDT

VANCOUVER (CP)

When two former altar boys went to confront Father George Gordon in 1989, the men, then in their late 40s, were prepared to forgive the priest who had molested them as youngsters.

The three together bowed their heads in prayer, then one of the men said: “I forgive you, father.”

But the priest’s response startled the pair: “I forgive you, too, my son.”

The incident was recalled Tuesday by prosecutor Kerr Clark at a sentence hearing in B.C. Supreme Court for the Catholic priest, now 76 and still working as a priest.

“The initial reaction of (the men) was it was a somewhat arrogant comment on the part of Father Gordon,” Clark told Justice David Campbell. “Why would they have to be forgiven when they’re the victims of the offences?”

Kerr asked Campbell to give Gordon jail time, but when defence lawyer Ken Ball suggested electronic monitoring, the prosecutor told the judge he wouldn’t object to that form of house-arrest.

Campbell agreed to order an assessment of the priest to see if he is a suitable candidate for the electronic “shackle,” but added he hasn’t yet made up his mind.

The judge adjourned the passing of sentence until Oct. 9.

Before the court appearance ended, Campbell asked Gordon if he wanted to speak, and the balding, bespectacled priest rose from the prisoner’s box.

“The only thing I can say is that I’m extremely sorry,” Gordon said, his voice quavering. “I don’t think there’s anything more I can say.”

Clark told Campbell that in their meeting with Gordon the two victims demanded a list of all the boys he molested.

A further victim was found from the list of 10 names, charges of indecent assault were laid and Gordon pleaded guilty last month.

All three had been altar boys at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver where Gordon worked in the mid-1950s shortly after being ordained, the prosecutor said.

They were all 10 to 13 years old when they were fondled by Gordon and made to fondle him, Clark told Campbell.

Gordon’s current post as as chaplain at the Sisters of the Child Jesus in North Vancouver.

7 Responses to Gordon: Father George Gordon

  1. Richard Pearson says:

    Its been many years now since attending the court hearing while Gordon was sentenced for what he did to me. My life has been blessed. Married to a wonderful woman who has given us two great children of our own and now with 5 grand children, life is wonderful. My faith is still very much intact and stronger than ever in spite of what happened to me many years ago. The Catholic Church has had to do a lot of re alignment in their thinking in dealing in matters such as this. One thing I really question is in the Sacrament of Confession that should be noted. I believe if someone confesses a serious problem such as pedophilia etc, that unless that person can prove they are receiving professional outside help in the matter, absolution should not be granted. There has to be more accountability by the Penitent in Confessing ones sins. Forgivness is easy but accountability makes it stick.
    love in Christ
    rick

  2. Sylvia says:

    It is great to hear that life has gone well for you Richard. Thank God for that. Stories such as yours are few and far between.

    Do you have any contact with the other two ‘boys’? Do you know how they have fared?

    As for absolution, I believe that absolution should not be granted until the molester has turned himself in to police. If he is truly contrite he will agree to turn himself in.

  3. Mario Denis says:

    I am in a state of shock. Father George was my confessor when I attended Guardian Angels from 1975 to 1985. I never suspected anything. I just found out about this event while reminiscing about my time spent in Vancouver. If he did that to 3 men in the 50s he must have done it also in the 60s and 70s. Hopefully he got himself ready to meet his Savior. You just never never know…

    • Richard Pearson says:

      *

    • Brian Clarke says:

      I realize that a lot of time has passed and that this priest, and I use the term lightly, has passed but from what I read he got away very lightly. I was abused by this man in the late fifties in Port Coquitlam. Others were also abused and when he was found out, he was just transferred to another church. I left the church as soon as I was old enough and still live with the fact that the Catholic church was complicit in this vile act by not acting.
      When I read the news that the men who he abused said that they forgave him and then him saying that HE forgave them, I couldn’t believe it. It was like I was abused all over again. I do not forgive him or the Catholic church for what happened to me and all the many other boys that he abused.
      Following the news over the years has done nothing to curb my disdain for the church authorities.

  4. Leona says:

    Hi Brian,

    I’m so sorry that you were abused by this man. Thanks for your courage in speaking out. Hearing how church officials protected predators and failed to support victims can definitely be re-traumatizing. Unfortunately, you are one of the many survivors I am aware of who like me, experienced abuse by a priest in the lower mainland.

  5. Leona says:

    Hi Brian,

    In the life of a survivor it can feel like just yesterday. The body memories and isolation that we as victims feel and need to work through have attached themselves at a cellular level. Just walking past a church, or sitting around chatting with friends about childhood days can bring it all back. I am SO sorry to hear that you were abused by this man. From the assignment record that Sylvia has outlined, I’m sure there were many communities that he left his mark where victims have been afraid to come forward. It takes great courage to speak out. Well done!
    My abuse happened in the Lower Mainland in the ’70s. by Fr. Jack McCann. I currently live in the Coquitlam area. You are not alone.

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