LeBlanc guilty pleas ‘important moment’ for victims

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The Halifax Chronicle Herald

May 15, 2012 – 12:18pm

By PATRICIA BROOKS ARENBURG Staff Reporter

Former Roman Catholic priest Albert LeBlanc pleaded guilty Monday to sexually abusing six young victims in the 1970s and 80s. He is shown here leaving Yarmouth Provincial Court on Monday. (BRIAN MEDEL / Yarmouth Bureau)Former Roman Catholic priest Albert LeBlanc pleaded guilty Monday to sexually abusing six young victims in the 1970s and 80s. He is shown here leaving Yarmouth Provincial Court on Monday. (BRIAN MEDEL / Yarmouth Bureau)

Their cases are far from over, but seeing former Roman Catholic priest Albert LeBlanc plead guilty to sexual abuse is an important step for some of his victims.

“It means a big deal to the men because it shows he acknowledged what he does,” lawyer Aaron Lealess said.

“There shouldn’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind that he was an abuser and he did commit those crimes.”

Lealess, an Ontario lawyer representing four of the victims in civil cases against LeBlanc, spoke to the men shortly after Monday’s proceedings.

The men, who were children when the abuse occurred, “were prepared to testify at the criminal trial and it was only yesterday that the issue of a plea bargain came up,” Lealess said.

Not having to testify relieved some of the stress, at least in the short term, for the men, he said. And it marked an important moment for them.

“It’s one of the biggest steps in a victim’s healing processes,” Lealess said.

“And the fact that he’s pled guilty on his own, especially within Catholic circles. . . there always seems to be a group of supporters of people that don’t believe . . . it could happen or they don’t believe a priest could do that. And then when the priest pleads guilty, it just bolsters the victim’s confidence.”

LeBlanc’s plea also means the civil cases against LeBlanc, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax and the Diocese of Yarmouth can proceed.

The plaintiffs are suing over abuse they say took place over several years in the 1970s and 80s, while LeBlanc was a priest and after he left the priesthood in 1975 to become a probation officer.

The diocese has said LeBlanc, who served at St. Ambrose Cathedral and Notre Dame de Fatima, wasn’t asked to leave the priesthood.

Lealess said he has been in contact with Roman Catholic officials in Nova Scotia and dates have been set to move the case along.

11 Responses to LeBlanc guilty pleas ‘important moment’ for victims

  1. ProtectNovaScotians says:

    *Its sad but in the end it is really all about the money!

  2. JG says:

    *Right on!…it’s all about the MONEY!!!

    …and the church wants to keep it all! They abused little boys and little girls but they are fighting tooth and nail to keep the money, the properties, the favors they made us believe were deserved!

    It’s all about the MONEY the POWER and the church doesn’t want to loose either!

    You are right ”ProtectNovaScotians”!

    You may want to question Andre Richard’s departure from Yarmouth at about the same time these offenses were occurring… Was he aware of the ”Leblanc” problem…as he recently became aware of the Cap Pelé problem, shortly before retiring!!??….He was the bishop in Yarmouth…that was about the money as well when he ”transferred”??….

    Which of these explanations do you prefer?…he moved for the ”Money” or he was part of the scheme to blurr the trail leading to ”Leblanc”…

    Waiting for your ”insight”…

    jg

  3. JG says:

    *I said in error that ”He was the bishop in Yarmouth”—–correction—-was going on ”memory” of  my ”perception” at the time…as to the importance of his person!…as a ”good catholic”…He was a priest in Yarmouth from 70 to 76…At best or at worst he served with Leblanc. 

    Did he have any knowledge of Leblanc who left the priesthood just a year before?…We will never know!…any ”knowledge” of Camille Leger, 40 years or so ago?..

    Unfortunate they keep us guessing at all the ”links” with the constant movement from parish to parish, province to province when it is not from country to country….In the 1970’s my perception of the church and the clergy were a world away from where I stand today with so many others…

    My memory of André Richard at the time inspired reverence.  After the last two years, I  only have doubts left, no trust …about all.  

    They have taken and destroyed so much of all our lives…everything has turned ”grey”; the black and white impossible to tell apart…and that is everyone’s loss.

    The ”good ones” will have to be heard to change this ”perception”!  One color on a canvas will never be a ”masterpiece”…but a total waste!

    jg

  4. PJ says:

    Hey ProtectNovaScotians – You too are a moron. I agree with JG, it is about the money that that church wants to worship…they don’t care about the victims and only care about their parishioners (as long as they keep giving money). As a Bluenoser living in NS, I resent your username because it implies that there is some sinister plot against Nova Scotia, you are delusional. After I came forward about my abuse to a priest in our parish here in NS, I was derided and put down by him for having the courage to come forward…so much for a priest caring for his flock. Just go away…

  5. jon smith says:

    Name calling does not help the situation.

     

  6. Lina says:

    *Jon smith, I was wondering where I read that name before?

    I remember it from that awful Super Bowl weekend this year in January.

    I remember Jon saying he miss those two priests (from Pembroke Diocese) posting here. Jon even ask Sylvia if she was afraid of those priests. 

    The poor Sylvia had to banned those two from this site because the way they conducted themselves.

    Jon smith, I’m sure PJ, JG and many others do remember you.

  7. PJ says:

    Thanks Lina…Jon Smith, you probably won’t mind being called a moron as well for your current and past comments. You simply write cr@p here to inflame and goad the victims. So why don’t you leave and go say mass somewhere, I believe you too wear sheep’s clothing.

  8. Mike says:

    Hey Jon Smith;
         You seem to have all the answers!  Well, if name calling doesn’t work, please enlighten us all and tell us in your words what will work.
         By the way, you, in your enlightened state, neglected to answer my question to you almost a year ago. Chicken out, or do you have a really bad memory?   Mike.

  9. PJ says:

    Mike…you gotta remember that Jon Smith is a coward when it comes to sincere intelligent conversation, just like all the other cowards in collars.

  10. JG says:

    *Mike, PJ and anyone else…

    Please don’t play into this ”weasel’s” hand…pun intended! This is just what he does, detract from more valuable issues. He wants to get us/anyone on a different tangent, away from subjects that are getting too close for ”their” comfort…

    I would LOVE to hear your comments and views on the “Rosminian abuse” before you even consider sparring with him…just a swat, like you would a fly! Anything more is wasted!

    Don’t give him and his “teammates” any satisfaction!!!  Remember they only have brief comments when the subject is too uncomfortable for them…they remain hypocritically polite to hide their anger..

    You win by ignoring their comments. Look at the treads that came up before their interference and you”ll “feel” what they “fear”…

    He doesn’t understand or wants to maintain the “clergy’s” feeling of superiority by putting you down…If you listen to the videos about the “Rosminian’s”, one abuser tells a victim he “thought he was an angel” but he found out he is a “devil”…after they(abusers)were reported. Same type of mind game being played here. Don’t fall for it!

    Please listen to the right “stuff”…ignore the “mushrooms”!

    jg

  11. PJ says:

    Good points jg, and well said. I will now consider you-know-who with the initials js to be another pathetic pervert collar wearer. They have already earned their places in hell…the sooner they get there, the better we’ll all be.

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