Paul Vincent Hughes
Priest from Archdiocese of Pretoria, South Africa who came to Canada in 1969, presumably – according to the bishop of Pretoria, – because Hughes didn’t like apartheid. Ordained sometime in the 50s. 1995 faced seven charges related to sex abuse of three males. FLED THE COUNTRY. In 1999 was receiving Canada Pension and Old Age Security: the cheques were being sent to an address in South Africa.
Archbishops of Kingston, Ontario from time of Father Paul Hughes arrival: Joseph Lawrence Wilhelm (14 December 1966 – 12 March 1982); Francis John Spence(24 April 1982 – 27 April 2002 ); Anthony Giroux Meagher (27 April 2002 Appointed – 14 January 2007 ); Brendan Michael O’Brien (01 June 2007 – )
The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) of that date, the 1980 Ontario Catholic Directory (OCD), and media (M)
June 1999: Whig-Standard reveals that Hughes is collecting taxpayer-subsidized federal pensions at a mailing address in South Africa
1997, 1996: not listed
05 October 1995: warrant issued for Hughes’ arrest (CCCD)
29 August 1995: failed to appear in court for bail hearing (CCCD)
August 1995: Paul Hughes arrested, released without bail on a promise to appear in court in Kingston (M)
1995: living in Toronto (M)
-not listed in Canadian Catholic Church Directories. According to media he has retired
1994, 1993, 1992, 1991: not listed (CCCD)
1980: not listed (OCD)
1978: a former altar boy at St. Joseph’s told Father James McGillivary that he, the former altar boy, had been sexually abused by Hughes. The boy allegedly asked McGillivary not to tell higher Church authorities: there was no discussion of going to police. The matter was not, as was required, reported to the Children’s Aid Society. Father McGillivary and Father Brian McNally performed an exorcism on the boy – it seems this may have been what was referred to as counselling?
1973-74: St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Kingston, Ontario (Pastor Msgr. B.J. Walsh) (CCCD)
1971-72: not listed (CCCD)
1969-74: St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church (M)
Sex abuse allegations date to 1971-72 while Hughes was serving at St. Joseph’s (M)
1969: left South Africa (M)
Sometime in the 1950s: ordained (M)
Early 30s: DOB
Make priest answer charges
Kingston Whig Standard
09 July 1999
Re: the story “Fugitive pockets federal pension” (June 26), about a former Kingston Catholic priest, Father Paul Vincent Hughes, who fled abroad after being charged with molesting altar boys and is collecting two federal pensions.
There are law-abiding people in this country who can’t even get enough to eat because the federal government likes to spend taxpayers’ money on this type of nonsense.
We seem to live in a society where the rights of criminals outweigh the rights of victims. Consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were spent on the defence of Paul Bernardo. I think that we taxpayers have done our share to make sure that the rights of criminals are safeguarded.
It’s time for the “bleeding hearts” to take a moment and think about that before they start worrying about whether or not the rights of the accused are being well-looked-after in this country.
John Cooke, a supervisor in the Toronto office that investigates abuse of the federal pension programs, is quoted as saying the charges against Father Hughes and his receiving pensions are “two separate matters” and that the government cannot stop the pensions . I say Father Hughes should be told that until he comes back to Canada to answer the charges against him, he is no longer eligible for these pensions, or he simply should be cut off. What is he going to do about it, hire a lawyer? Then he would have to come back to Canada, wouldn’t he?
Here’s something that happened to my family: when my husband’s income tax return was not filed on time, a letter was sent to me stating that until the form was filed, I was not eligible for family allowance.
I realize that the federal pension department and the justice department are not connected, but this is a matter of justice. Why don’t we take care of victims for once and make sure that this man answers the accusations against him before funding his retirement.
Man’s civil suit claims exorcism: Former altar boy says priests performed ritual
Kingston Whig Standard
12 July 1999
Rob Tripp, Whig-Standard Staff Writer
Two Roman Catholic priests performed an exorcism on a former altar boy after he confided he’d been sexually abused by another Kingston priest, the alleged victim claims.
The man, now 36 and living in Kingston, alleges the exorcism, performed when he was a 16-year-old student at Regiopolis Notre Dame High School, was done by Father Jim MacGillivary, then the chaplain at the school, and Father Brian McNally, then chaplain at Hotel Dieu Hospital.
The as-yet unproven allegations are contained in a civil lawsuit launched by the man and two other people against the priests and a number of organizations.
The priests and the Kingston archdiocese deny the exorcism took place, in statements of defence filed with the court.
“As a result of what the [man] disclosed to him, the defendant MacGillivary decided to conduct a ritual similar to an exorcism …” the lawsuit claims.
The document does not describe why the ritual was allegedly performed.
“As a result of the exorcism, the [man] suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized, causing him to miss a year of his schooling,” the lawsuit says.
The exorcism allegation is another bizarre element in the strange case of Father Paul Hughes, a fugitive Roman Catholic priest wanted in Kingston on seven sex charges.
Hughes was arrested by Kingston Police in 1995 and charged with sex offences involving three boys in the early 1970s. This allegedly occurred when he was a priest at St. Joseph’s Church in Kingston. The civil suit was filed by two of the three complainants in the criminal case.
A court order in the criminal case prevents publication of any of the names of the alleged victims.
Hughes vanished after he was released from custody, on a promise that he’d appear in a Kingston courtroom Aug. 29, 1995.
Last month, The Whig-Standard revealed Hughes is collecting taxpayer-subsidized federal pensions through a mailing address in South Africa.
Police and federal agencies say they are powerless to stop the payments or to bring Hughes back to Canada to face the charges.
The disappearance of the central figure in the case hasn’t stopped the alleged victims from suing everyone else connected to the matter.
The lawsuit also names: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston; Archbishop Frances Spence; the estate of the deceased archbishop, Joseph Lawrence Wilhelm; St. Joseph’s Church and the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph of Hotel Dieu Hospital.
The Catholic school board was dropped from the lawsuit in December 1998, but court documents do not indicate why.
In an interview with The Whig-Standard in 1995, MacGillivary acknowledged that a Regiopolis student confided to him in 1978, claiming that he’d been abused by Hughes. MacGillivary did not report the allegation to church superiors or to the police, he said.
The priest said, in the 1995 interview, the student wouldn’t let him report the accusation to others.
“He just wasn’t ready to go any further,” MacGillivary said, in the 1995 interview. The priest said he and another priest met with the student for three or four counselling sessions.
MacGillivary is now at St. Francis Xavier Church in Brockville. McNally is now at St. Francis de Sales Church in Smiths Falls. The two priests would not return phone calls.
“They’re not going to be returning your calls on my advice,” said Monica Heine, a Kingston lawyer representing the archdiocese.
The lawsuit over the alleged abuse and exorcism seeks more than $2.5 million in damages on behalf of three people who filed the action.
All of the defendants named in the suit have filed documents denying the allegations.
The Kingston archdiocese denies the abuse by Hughes took place, but if it did, “neither the Archdiocese nor St. Joseph’s Catholic Church are vicariously liable for the said abuse.”
Hotel Dieu Hospital denies an exorcism took place “on its premises as alleged.”
The archdiocese cites a number of issues in its statement of defence, claiming it, St. Joseph’s Church and the estate of the late archbishop cannot be sued.
Catholic priest Paul Hughes is a fugitive wanted in Kingston on seven sex charges. He is the principal figure in a strange story that includes allegations of exorcism by Catholic priests:
– 1969 to 1974: Hughes, resident priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Kingston, allegedly abuses several young altar boys during this period
– 1978: One of the former altar boys, now a 16-year-old student at Regiopolis Notre Dame High School, confides in the school chaplain that he was abused; the teen undergoes an exorcism by two priests, he claims in a lawsuit filed years later
– August 1995: Paul Hughes arrested, released without bail on a promise to appear in court in Kingston, but disappears
– October 1995: Warrant for Hughes’ arrest issued, citing seven sex charges
– August 1996: Civil lawsuit filed against Hughes, Kingston archdiocese and a number of others
– June 1999: Whig-Standard reveals that Hughes is collecting taxpayer-subsidized federal pensions at a mailing address in South Africa
Fugitive pockets federal pensions
Kingston Whig Standard
26 June 1999
A fugitive former Kingston priest accused of molesting altar boys is pocketing two federal pensions while living in exile abroad, where he is evading prosecution, The Whig-Standard has learned.
Federal authorities, including the Mounties, say there’s nothing they can do to stop Father Paul Vincent Hughes from collecting the taxpayer-supported payments, which are being sent to South Africa.
“It’s two separate matters,” said John Cooke, a supervisor in the Toronto office that investigates abuse of the federal pension programs. “I cannot stop him. I would be violating his rights.”
Hughes was arrested by Kingston Police in August 1995 and released without depositing any bail money. He disappeared within days of being freed. A warrant for his arrest was issued Oct. 5, 1995.
Court documents list seven charges against him involving three male victims that allegedly took place in the early 1970s, while Hughes was a priest at St. Joseph’s church in Kingston.
Hughes, 67, is collecting money through two programs, the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security plan. The money is being sent to a post office box in South Africa, said a Canada Pension Plan spokesman.
“He’s receiving both benefits,” said Lionel Sinanan. Sinanan would not say how much Hughes is collecting and would not reveal the specific address. The maximum combined amount anyone can receive is roughly $1,160 a month, although it’s unlikely Hughes is pocketing the maximum.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated the issue in March this year.
“His pension can be sent out of Canada,” said Sgt. Mark Pearson, at the Kingston RCMP office. “There’s no offence, no fraud has taken place.”
Cooke said a legitimate recipient of either of the two pension programs can have the money sent anywhere they want, whether or not they are living at that address.
“[Recipients] can live anywhere in the world,” said Cooke, who is team leader of program integrity for Human Resources Development Canada.
Pearson said the Mounties passed on the information they gathered to Kingston Police.
Sgt. Rick Carter, who is still in charge of the Hughes investigation, said the information did not make it to him. Carter said he didn’t know that Hughes was receiving federal pension benefits at a South African address, until told by a Whig reporter on Thursday.
“I’ll have to go to the Crown to see where we go from here,” Carter said.
Police suspected in 1995 that Hughes fled to South Africa, where he was ordained in the 1950s, but weren’t sure.
It’s believed Hughes came to Canada in 1969.
Carter said he checked in 1995, and was told that it would be impossible to get Hughes sent back from South Africa. Canada does not have an extradition treaty with the country.
Carter said he’s not sure if he can get access to Hughes’ personal information held by the pension officials.
“We don’t have access to Canada Pension Plan records,” Carter said.
Roman Catholic Church officials in Kingston refuse to answer questions about Hughes’ status, but issued a terse news release after being told that Hughes has a South African mailing address.
“The Archdiocese of Kingston has had absolutely no knowledge of, or contact with, Father Paul Hughes since the date of his arrest,” the church says, in a statement issued by lawyer Monica Heine. “The Archdiocese does not know, and has never known, Father Hughes’ whereabouts since that date.”
Who: Father Paul Vincent Hughes, 67, a former Roman Catholic priest in Kingston
What: Hughes is wanted on seven sex charges filed in 1995 in Kingston
Money trail: Hughes is collecting money from two Canadian federal pension plans, including one wholly supported by federal taxpayers; the money is being sent to a South African address
1995: Hughes was arrested by Kingston Police in August in Toronto. He disappeared after being released without posting any bail money; a warrant for his arrest has been outstanding since then.
MP calls fugitive’s pension `insanity’
Kingston Whig Standard
29 June 1999
Rob Tripp, Whig-Standard Staff Writer
Federal officials should stop the “ridiculous” payment of federal pensions to a fugitive priest wanted on sex charges in Kingston, says an Opposition MP.
“It’s just insanity,” said John Reynolds, the Reform party’s justice critic, in an interview yesterday from his B.C. riding.
Reynolds was shocked when he learned details of the case of Father Paul Hughes. The former Kingston priest, who fled the country four years ago to dodge seven sex charges, is receiving taxpayer- subsidized money at a mailing address in South Africa.
“Why would we want to send somebody who is a fugitive of the law a pension cheque in a foreign country?” Reynolds asked incredulously.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and officials in the government department that handles Canada Pension and Old Age Security programs say they are powerless to stop the payments.
The Mounties investigated Hughes’ case in March and they concluded there is nothing illegal about the arrangement. The priest fled Canada in 1995 after he was arrested and charged with molesting altar boys at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Kingston in the early 1970s. Court documents name three male victims.
Hughes is accused of buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency. A warrant for his arrest was issued Oct. 5, after he failed to appear in a Kingston courtroom Aug. 29 for a routine appearance.
He had been released without depositing any bail money.
Kingston Police suspected Hughes went to South Africa, where he was ordained in the 1950s, but they were not certain. Sgt. Rick Carter, the officer who handled the 1995 probe, said he will consult the Crown’s office about what to do next.
Canada does not have an extradition treaty with South Africa that would give police the authority to demand Hughes be returned.
“We’ve written the minster of justice just now because of [this case], asking her to talk to the other departments and find out what we do to stop those payments until he returns and faces the charges that have been laid against him,” Reynolds said.
The politician said he’s never heard of a case like this, and he said he will investigate to see if it’s commonplace for wanted criminals to receive taxpayer-backed pensions in foreign countries, where they dodge justice.
“If we find out when we get the answers back from the minister that that is the fact, I will put a private members bill in the House to try and stop it because I think it’s ridiculous,” Reynolds said.
Hughes is receiving Old Age Security payments, subsidized by all taxpayers, that are based on years of residency in Canada. He’s also getting Canada Pension Plan payments, which are based on contributions.
The Archdiocese of Kingston has refused to answer questions about Hughes’ status and has denied any knowledge of his whereabouts since he disappeared in 1995.
More abuse charges laid against priest: Third former altar boy makes abuse allegations
Kingston Whig Standard
20 September 1995
Accusations by a third former altar boy at St. Joseph’s Church has led to additional sexual assault charges against a Catholic priest.
Kingston police have laid charges of indecent assault on a male, gross indecency and buggery against Father Paul Hughes.
Const. Laurel Pringle said the third person came forward when the charges were reported in local media.
All the charges date back to 1971 and 1972.
Father Hughes, 63, was arrested last month in Toronto, where he lives, and was charged with two counts each of gross indecency and indecent assault, based on allegations from two former altar boys.
After failing to appear for an Aug. 29 bail hearing, police issued a warrant for his arrest. He still hasn’t been found.
Father Hughes was assigned to St. Joseph’s Church in Kingston from 1969 to 1974.
He had come to Canada from his native South Africa because of his dislike for apartheid, according to Archbishop George Daniel of Pretoria.
Archbishop Daniel told The Whig-Standard last week that he heard Father Hughes may have been planning to move back to South Africa.
That information has not been verified. When contacted yesterday, a spokeswoman for the archbishop said she was told that “if anybody calls from Canada [the archbishop] has no further information.”
The case of one of the three alleged victims was made known to two other priests in 1978.
One of them, Father James MacGillivray, was the chaplain at Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School in Kingston when one of the former altar boys said he had been molested by Father Hughes.
Father MacGillivray, now the pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church in Brockville, said Father Hughes had moved out of Kingston by the time he heard the accusation.
Father MacGillivray didn’t deal with the matter again until 1990 when Kingston police questioned him about it. Last month police informed him that a second altar boy had brought forth allegations.
Didn’t Report Incident
Father MacGillivray and another priest had counselled the first boy for several sessions in 1978, but the priest said the boy would not give them permission to take the information to higher church authorities. Nor did they consider reporting it to police.
That, says the director of the Kingston Children’s Aid Society, would have been considered a criminal offence in 1978, as it would be now.
Since 1965, said Ray Muldoon, the Child Welfare Act has stipulated that anyone knowing about an incident of child abuse must report it to a Children’s Aid Society.
In 1978, the Act was strengthened and revised to include a $1,000 fine for failing to report.
“These statutes were applicable then,” said Muldoon. “There was a requirement to report in 1978.”
He said that priests and other clergy were “compelled to report” under the law unless the disclosure was taken in confession and therefore bound by rules of confidentiality.
Even though the revision to the statute that year may have led to more public awareness, Muldoon said people were still less likely to report abuse to authorities in 1978 than they are now.
“It’s a different climate today,” he said. “Now there is a better understanding of the issues on the part of the community and professionals in the community.”
Muldoon said reports of institutional sexual abuse are difficult for communities, such as in the case of the St. George’s Cathedral scandal in Kingston and Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, Nfld.
“It’s always difficult when people come forth, but it’s not restricted to this community,” he said. “I think it’s a sign the community is better aware.”
Priest accused 17 years ago
11 September 1995
Boy alleged in 1978 that priest molested him, former chaplain says
A former altar boy who has alleged he was sexually assaulted by a former Kingston priest revealed the alleged abuse to another priest 17 years ago, The Whig-Standard has learned.
Father James MacGillivray, who was the chaplain at Regiopolis- Notre Dame Catholic High School, said a teenage boy confided in him in late fall 1978, and alleged that he had been molested by Father Paul Hughes.
Father MacGillivray said he wanted to report the matter to his church superiors, but the student wouldn’t let him.
“He just wasn’t ready to go any further,” said Father MacGillivray, who is now the pastor at St. Francis Xavier Church in Brockville.
Father Hughes, a native of South Africa, was a resident priest at St. Joseph’s Church from 1969 to 1974.
Father MacGillivray said Father Hughes was no longer living in Kingston when the Regiopolis student made his revelation.
“Maybe that’s what gave him the courage to bring it up,” he said. “I was devastated by [the news].”
Despite his shock, the priest did not tell anyone else about the allegation.
“He had come to me privately, so I respected that. But it would have been more helpful if he’d given me permission to go to the bishop.”
The student later met with Father MacGillivray and another priest for three or four counselling sessions, but reporting the student’s allegations to police was never seriously considered.
“I think we have to remember the climate. In those days, this stuff was not discussed. It just wasn’t the acceptable thing.
“When [the student] came to me, we never discussed going to the police. It would have been his word against the priest’s. [The police] didn’t seem to be an avenue.”
The next time the matter came to Father MacGillivray’s attention was about 1990, when Kingston police contacted him and asked him to confirm that the student had indeed confided in him in the late 1970s.
“The police wanted to check if [the former Regi student’s] stories were fabrications. They wanted to check if this wasn’t a story this guy was creating.”
Father MacGillivray didn’t hear from police again until last month. They told him another person had come forward with similar allegations against Father Hughes, and that they were pursuing the case.
Early last month, Father Hughes was arrested in Toronto, where he now lives, and charged with two counts each of gross indecency and indecent assault.
According to court documents, the alleged offences occurred in Kingston between Jan. 1, 1972, and Dec. 31, 1973, and involved two males, one of whom is the former Regiopolis student who confided in Father MacGillivray.
Father Hughes, 63, failed to show up at an Aug. 29 court appearance in Kingston and no one knows where he is. Police have a warrant out for his arrest.
But Father Hughes may be planning to leave Canada or may have already left.
The archbishop of Father Hughes’ former diocese in South Africa has heard reports that he might be returning there.
“I heard a couple of weeks ago that he was coming back,” said Archbishop George Daniel, of the Diocese of Pretoria, South Africa, where Hughes was ordained in the 1950s.
Archbishop Daniel was unaware of the charges against Father Hughes until he spoke with a Whig-Standard reporter this weekend in a telephone interview from Pretoria.
“Oh, my,” he said, upon hearing the allegations.
The archbishop said Father Hughes served at “a couple of churches” in the Diocese of Pretoria in the 1950s and 1960s. The young cleric and another priest who has since died left South Africa for Canada in 1969.
“[Father Hughes] said he couldn’t live with apartheid,” said the archbishop. “I understood he had no wish to come back here.”
The archbishop said Father Hughes hasn’t contacted him, but if it happens, “I will present him to the committee that we have to assist in matters of this nature, and we’ll see what we can do.
“I think I’d try to persuade him to return [to Canada] to face the charges.”
On Sept. 7, the Archdiocese of Kingston issued a news release stating that while Father Hughes was in Kingston, “the Archdiocese had no knowledge or complaints of any misconduct on his part.”
Father Frank O’Connor, St. Joseph’s current pastor, made no mention of the Hughes affair during the 9 a.m. mass yesterday, and he refused to comment when The Whig-Standard contacted him later.
Other church officials remain similarly tight-lipped.
“You’re not going to get any information about this case from me, so just save your breath,” said Father Bernard Walsh, who worked at St. Joseph’s with Father Hughes. Father Walsh now lives in Prescott.
Kingston Archbishop Francis Spence could not be reached for comment.
People who knew priest surprised by sex charges
Kingston Whig Standard
08 September 1995
News of sexual assault charges against Father Paul Vincent Hughes, a former priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Kingston, surprised some of the people who knew him.
“I knew him quite well to talk to,” said John McGovern, a long- time St. Joseph’s parishioner. “He didn’t seem that type of guy. You never can tell, though.”
Father Bernard Walsh, who was a priest at St. Joseph’s when Father Hughes worked there, said there had been no sign of any misconduct during that time.
“Certainly something like that comes as a surprise,” he said of the accusation, adding that he didn’t feel it was appropriate to discuss the matter further, since the assaults allegedly occurred more than 20 years ago.
Father Hughes was charged after two former altar boys recently alleged that they were assaulted during the 1970s when he was at the church.
The court information said the alleged incidents took place between Jan. 1, 1972, and December 31, 1973.
Hughes, 63, was arrested early last month. He was to appear in court on Aug. 29, but did not show up. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Kingston has issued a statement concerning the charges.
According to the Archdiocese’s statement, Father Hughes came to Kingston in 1969 from the Diocese of Pretoria in South Africa, and worked as an assistant at St. Joseph’s for 10 years.
During that time, the statement says, there were no complaints about any misconduct on his part, and Father Hughes has not been involved with the church for some time.
The Archdiocese also closed the door on further comment.
“Since the matter is before the courts, any specific comment on the charges would be inappropriate,” it concluded.
Police in Toronto, where Hughes was living at the time of his arrest, are co-operating with Kingston’s force in the search for the retired priest.
Police hunt priest over sex charges: Retired St. Joseph’s cleric accused by ex-altar boys
Kingston Whig Standard
07 September 1995
Jennifer Partridge and Harry Kilfoyle
A former Roman Catholic priest has disappeared after being charged with sex assaults on two altar boys at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Kingston.
Two former altar boys came forward recently and alleged that Rev. Paul Vincent Hughes assaulted them during the early ’70s at the Kingston church while Hughes was the parish priest.
Const. Laurel Pringle said Hughes, now 63, was arrested in Toronto early last month and charged with two counts of indecent assault on a male and two counts of gross indecency.
He was scheduled to appear in a Kingston court Tuesday, Aug. 29, but didn’t show up.
A warrant for his arrest has been issued by the judge, Pringle said.
It is not known whether Hughes is a Kingston native.
Now retired, he was a recent resident of the Toronto area, Pringle said.
Kingston and Toronto police have joined forces in their attempts to locate Hughes, she said.
Pringle said the two victims “came forward several months ago.” She would not provide any information about the two men.
Catholic church officials would not comment on the charges against Hughes.
“The diocese will have no comment,” said Father Joseph Lynch, chancellor of the Kingston Roman Catholic Diocese.
He didn’t know when the diocese planned to issue a news release.
Police did not issue a news release about Hughes’ arrest and subsequent disappearance until Whig-Standard reporters began asking questions yesterday about reports of an investigation.