Email exchange with Msgr. Kevin Beach re Fathers Ed MacNeil omi and John Huels and Msgr. John Renken

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From: Kevin Beach [mailto:kbeach@archottawa.ca]
Sent: February 02, 2011 6:47 PM

To: ‘Sylvia’
Subject: RE: Ed MacNeil

Dear Mrs. MacEachern,

With respect to Fr. MacNeil, I note that you were privy to a private communication that was misdirected. I expect the Oblate superiors to give Fr. MacNeil the proper instructions with respect to his questions.

With respect to Msgr Renken and Fr. Huels, I have nothing further to add to what I sent to you previously.

Msgr Kevin Beach


From: Sylvia [mailto:xxxxxxx]
Sent: January 28, 2011 14:49
To: Kevin Beach
Subject: RE: Ed MacNeil

My apologies for the delay in response Monsignor.

Are you telling me that the Archbishop of Ottawa would have no jurisdiction if the Oblates were running a brothel in Springhurst or St. Paul’s?

I’m sorry Monsignor, but that makes not an ounce of sense to me.

I am no canon lawyer, but it seems to me that Canon 383 would apply to the Archbishop’s responsibility to those who may have their confessions heard by a convicted child molester.

Can. 383 §1 In exercising his pastoral office, the diocesan Bishop is to be solicitous for all Christ’s faithful entrusted to his care, whatever their age, condition or nationality, whether they live in the territory or are visiting there. He is to show an apostolic spirit also to those who, because of their condition of life, are not sufficiently able to benefit from ordinary pastoral care, and to those who have lapsed from religious practice.

I see nothing there which implies that a bishop’s responsibility to all Christ’s faithful ceases the moment they cross the threshold of an Oblate facility within the diocese.

Furthermore, since the Archbishop saw fit to revoke Father MacNeil’s faculties in the archdiocese then I fail to understand why he would think it satisfactory that MacNeil continue to say Mass and hear confessions in an Oblate facility IN the archdiocese. Not only that, who gave him faculties?

Regarding Father Huels and Msgr. Renken, I draw your attention to an article pasted below from the Washington Post, and a similar but poor quality article from the Ottawa Citizen (http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Huels.pdf).

The Archbishop of Ottawa was vocal and actively involved in 2002 when Father Huels was first discovered at St. Paul’s? What has changed?

Finally, does canon 383 not apply to the bishop’s responsibility to those studying at St. Paul University?

Sylvia MacEachern

xxx-xxx-xxxxx

Justice Delayed Brings Vindication, Not Peace; Victim Remains Troubled as Priest Steps Down

The Washington Post

August 7, 2002

Alan Cooperman

Michael Bland waited a long time for vindication. But when it finally arrived yesterday, there was no sweetness to it.

When the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops listened to sexual abuse victims in Dallas in mid-June, one of the most troubling stories came from Bland, a former priest in the Chicago-based Order Friar Servants of Mary, known as the Servites.

In 1994, nearly seven years after ordination, Bland revealed to superiors that he had been sexually abused as a teenager by an older member of the same order. He was quickly called to Rome to discuss the case. But after he refused to reconcile with his alleged abuser, the Servites just as quickly closed ranks against him.

“The priesthood lost me, but kept the perpetrator,” Bland told the bishops in Dallas, noting that the alleged abuser had recently been promoted to full professor and vice dean at a major Catholic university.

Bland’s presentation helped prod the bishops to require the permanent removal from ministry of any priest who has sexually abused a minor. He spoke so eloquently but so circumspectly — never naming the alleged abuser or their religious order — that the bishops appointed him to a national review board of lay Catholics charged with ensuring that the zero-tolerance policy is carried out.

Yet Bland’s own case languished, for two reasons: his alleged abuser was living in Canada, and he was a member of a religious order. The policy adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops applies only to the United States, and only directly to priests serving in dioceses. Priests who belong to religious orders, such as Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans, answer to the heads of those orders unless they are assigned to parish jobs.

Yesterday, in a brief statement that made no mention of Bland, St. Paul University in Ottawa announced that the Rev. John M. Huels has temporarily left his posts as a professor and vice dean of canon law.

“Upon recommendation of a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist, Dr. Huels informed me that he will be on medical leave for the treatment of severe depression,” said the university’s rector, the Rev. Dale M. Schlitt.

Also yesterday, the Archbishop of Ottawa, Marcel Gervais, issued a statement saying that Huels has “announced his intention to leave the Servite order and seek laicization,” the church’s term for leaving the priesthood. “It is my hope that his voluntary actions today will bring peace to all involved,” Gervais added.

Bland confirmed in an interview that Huels was his alleged abuser, but said the news did not bring any peace. “There are no winners in this,” he said. “I’m sure that this is a difficult time for John Huels. It is for me, too.”

Huels did not return messages left on his office answering machine seeking comment. No one answered his home telephone.

Gervais also is chancellor of St. Paul. In his statement, he said that when Huels was hired several years ago, he was not told “of any inappropriate behavior” in Huels’s past. It was not until in mid- June, he said, that “I was made aware of a situation” involving the priest.

Bland said, however, he had written to the dean of canon law in March, “expressing my concern and wonderment why my perpetrator was teaching at St. Paul University” and questioning Huels’s promotion to vice dean.

In the past week, Bland said, he received two phone calls from Gervais, who explained that he was not bound by the U.S. bishops’ policies but nevertheless invited Bland to fly to Canada, at the archbishop’s expense, to discuss the allegations.

Bland said he told the archbishop that he saw no point in a meeting until Gervais took action against Huels.

This week, the heads of all the male religious orders in the United States will gather behind closed doors in Philadelphia to discuss the application of the Dallas policy to their priests.

A spokeswoman, Marita Eddy, said the Conference of Major Superiors of Men is likely to accept the requirement for removal from ministry of any priest who has abused a minor. But she said its members might decide that, unlike diocesan priests, some religious order priests could remain in office jobs in which they have no contact with children.

“The person would not just be thrown out, but would be given a chance to turn his life around,” she said.

Bland said he did not know if the bishops’ review board would take a stand on the conference’s final decision. “I personally would hope that we do not create a double standard for priests in the United States,” he said.


From: Kevin Beach [mailto:kbeach@archottawa.ca]
Sent: December-20-10 1:18 PM
To: ‘Sylvia’
Subject: RE: Ed MacNeil

Dear Mrs. MacEachern,

Fr. MacNeil is an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, a religious institute of pontifical right. Therefore, what he can, or can not do, within an Oblate house falls under the jurisdiction of his religious superiors.

As for Fr. Huels and Msgr Renken, I can advise you that neither have faculties from the Archdiocese of Ottawa. St. Paul University is a university possessing a pontifical charter. Even though the Archbishop of Ottawa is Chancellor ex officio, his powers of governance are limited. The university is under the jurisdiction of the Oblates who correspond, on education matters, with the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Msgr Kevin Beach

Vicar General & Chancellor

Archdiocese of Ottawa


From: Sylvia [mailto:xxxxxxx]
Sent: December 8, 2010 12:51
To: Kevin Beach
Subject: RE: Ed MacNeil

Thank you Monsignor for that clarification.

Does that then mean that each incoming bishop must rely on others to advise him which clergy functioning as priests and with faculties in the diocese are known clerical molesters? Does he not ask? In this day and age I would think that would be the wise thing to do, but, perhaps that is not the case?.

Is it possible therefore that Archbishop Prendergast does NOT know that John Huels, a known clerical molester, is teaching canon law at USP? (http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/charged/huels-john-father-or-ex-priest-john-huels/) Does he NOT know that Monsignor John Renken is also teaching canon law at USP? (http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/charged/renken-john-monsignor-john-renken/)?

If that is the case, would you please draw both situations to his attention? Both bring scandal to the Archbishop and to the Church.

I have attached FYI an email I received yesterday from Father Ed MacNeil, obviously in error, and my response. In addition to my other questions I respectfully ask for answers to Father MacNeil’s questions: (1) Can Father MacNeil say Mass at Springhusrt? and (2) can Father MacNeil hear confessions at Springhurst?

Once again, thanking you in advance for your assistance

Sylvia MacEachern

xxx-xxx-xxxxx


From: Kevin Beach [mailto:kbeach@archottawa.ca]
Sent: December-07-10 9:41 PM
To: Sylvia
Subject: RE: Ed MacNeil

Dear Mrs. MacEachern,

Fr. MacNeil received faculties during the time of Archbishop Gervais’ ministry. Therefore, the faculties were in place when Archbishop Prendergast arrived in 2007. When our present Archbishop learned of Fr. MacNeil’s history, he instructed that his faculties be revoked.

 

Msgr. Kevin Beach

Vicar General & Chancellor

Archdiocese of Ottawa

 


From: Sylvia [mailto:xxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 7:32 PM
To: Kevin Beach
Subject: RE: Ed MacNeil

Thank you for the advisory Monsignor. I believe people will be relieved to hear the news.

Could you please confirm that Archbishop Prendergast and Archbishop Marcel Gervais before him gave Father MacNeil faculties for the Archdiocese of Ottawa, or clarify the information I have received if necessary.

Thanking you in advance for your assistance in this matter,

Sylvia MacEachern

xxx-xxx-xxxxx


From: Kevin Beach [mailto:kbeach@archottawa.ca]
Sent: November-30-10 3:57 PM
To: ‘Sylvia’
Subject: RE: Ed MacNeil

Dear Mrs. MacEachern,

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.

I can advise you that Fr. MacNeil’s faculties for the Archdiocese of Ottawa have been revoked.

Msgr Kevin Beach

Vicar General & Chancellor

Archdiocese of Ottawa

________________________________________________________________________

From: Sylvia [mailto:xxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 11:02 AM
To: Kevin Beach
Subject: RE: Ed MacNeil

Dear Monsignor Beach

I am a freelance reporter and, as you may recall, a Roman Catholic in the Archdiocese of Ottawa. I currently operate a blog, Sylvia’s Site: http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/

I have been told that Father MacNeil has been assisting with the Kateri Native Ministry of Ottawa and saying Mass regularly for the past eight. I have been told that Bishop Prendergast gave his approval. Those who attend the Kateri ministry in Ottawa were not made aware, nor were they aware until recently that Father MacNeil is a convicted child molester

I have three questions Monsignor:

(1) Could you confirm that Bishop Prendergast gave Father Ed MacNeil OMI faculties to say Mass and/or hear confessions?

(2) Father MacNeil has been working with the Kateri ministry for 8 years. I am assuming that this means that Archbishop Gervais also gave his approval. Am I correct in that assumption?

(3) Could you comment on the fact that these people were not advised of Father MacNeil’s conviction?

Thank you for your assistance Monsignor.

Sylvia MacEachern

xxx-xxx-xxxxx

5 Responses to Email exchange with Msgr. Kevin Beach re Fathers Ed MacNeil omi and John Huels and Msgr. John Renken

  1. Sam says:

    I am a member of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh where Msgr Renkin spends the summer. He gives wonderful homilies but I have difficulty listening, knowing his background. How is he able to still be a priest, muck less a Msgr? Our church seems clueless regarding his past activities. The only reason I found this site was after someone in the administration of the cathedral mentioned him and thought him to be “a little weird”. I Googled his name to see if it was the priest I thought she was describing and boom!!! I had no idea. Then I searched a priest I served with as an altar boy, Father Seitz and another shocking revelation about his past. He was a priest at a church in Hilton Head and had a building named in his honor. I later spoke with a friend of mine that said nothing ever happened (not sure I believe him) but when we were in the eight and ninth grades, he would go over to Father Seitz’s apartment, get drunk, and watch porn. Absolutely disgusted by all this.
    Should I write a letter to our current Bishop here at SHC regarding Msgr?What should I say or ask in this regard?

    • 1abandoned sheep says:

      Sam, I will give you what I know about Msgr. Renken.
      A few years ago he showed up in Ottawa, Ontario at my Parish- Our Lady of Fatima . I was curious about him. A priest told me to google his name, and I learned he seemed to be on the run from the Philadelphia area, had been questioned about the murder of a gay man in a park, had lived with his gay friend, who was also a priest, then fled to Ottawa. He knew the Pastor of our Church.
      After I learned this I put pressure on the Parish Council, and had a Priest phone the Archbishop about this guy living in our Parish House. He had been hired to teach Canon Law at St. Pauls University here in Ottawa. He was kicked out of the house.
      Until 2 years ago he was still at St Pauls, but his bio had been removed.
      I hope this helps

  2. Outraged says:

    As of today John Renken is still at St. Pauls U. And continues to live and commit his sins in the Oblate residence @ Springhurst.

  3. Katt says:

    Monsignor Renken was at Sacred Heart Cathedral when I had heard about his situation. I inquired of the Passionist priests regarding him and was given the impression that they had no idea of his background. Later on I found that not to be true because they had heard things but decided to act like they had not. The situation in the Catholic church appears to be well orchestrated when things like this occur. If the Monsignor is reformed and no longer in those sins, it would make some difference. However, from the comments I read, it said he is still engaged in that type of behavior. I know why they say we need to pray for our priests so much because it seems that much of the problems originate from the priest hierarchy. The Monsignor did give some good sermons and is acceptable if he practices what he preaches. But am I to believe that the previous post is accurate indicating he is still engaged in homosexual activity? Some would say not others would agree with that post. I am not sure.

  4. KM says:

    No further comment

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