[Please note: There are a few pieces of information required to round out the story. I am awaiting callbacks. As soon as I get the answers to my questions I will make note and amend]
This is about the skateboarder /hitchhiker who alleged he was sexually assaulted by Father Michael Mullins as they drove down the Queensway (Hwy 417) in the wee hours of the morning, 19 August 1989 .
And about Mullins, the Irish priest serving in the Archdiocese of Ottawa. Mullins, chaplain to theGloucesterpolice force. (Gloucester, now part of thenew cityofOttawa, was then a city on the suburbs of Ottawa)
It’s also of necessity about Mullins’ 12 September 1990 acquittal, and the judge who wasn’t about to take the word of a skateboarder.
And it’s about Mullins July 1991 sentencing to eight years in jail – in his native Ireland – for beating and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old Irish boy.
It’s about the damage done by Father Michael Mullins and those who rallied to his defence.
I always thought Mullins ‘got off’ here in Ottawa.
I have thought of “the skateboarder” so often over the past 20 years. I often thought how difficult it must have been for a lad of 18 to be so publicly demeaned by a judge and essentially called a liar, because, well, just because he happened to be a skateboarder.
A few days ago I heard from the skateboarder. He agreed to talk to me.
I was told that the skateboarder has been variously spat upon and jeered at by Roman Catholics, demeaned by a judge, lied about by private investigators, and deemed a liar by family and friends. He twice attempted suicide. He dropped out of high school. Amazing as it may seem, the skateboarder still at times feels guilty that Mullins’ acquittal in Ottawa allowed him, Mullins, to head over to Ireland and beat up and molest that boy.
More amazing, and perhaps most amazing, there was an apology from the judge. Yes, from the judge who acquitted Mullins here in Ottawa..
An actual apology from the judge. A telephone call. Private. Personal. Nothing public. Nothing to redeem Scott’s name.
Yes, it’s been a rough, painful and lonely road for Scot Wharram, the skateboarder.
The sordid saga began when Scot was back in Ottawa visiting. He and his family had lived in the Ottawa area before. He was visiting. He had gone to the exhibition. He had missed all the buses. He needed to get to Carleton Place.
Seventeen-year-old Scot decided to hitchhike. He was in the area of Bank St. and Isabella – close to the on-ramp onto the Queensway, the highway which runs through the nation’s capital.
Along came Father Michael Mullins. It was about 1:15 am.
Mullins offered Scot a ride, at least part way to Carleton Place.
There was nothing to indicate Mullins was a priest. In fact, he outright lied to the boy. Mullins said his name was Peter, and that he was from Montreal. (Scot, by the way, is not and never was Roman Catholic.)
Scot hopped in the car.
Barely did Mullins establish on the Queensway than the advances and assaults started.
Mullins reached over and rubbed Scot’s chest. “He told me how muscular I was. He told me how attractive I was.” He rubbed Scot’s leg.
He asked what Scot thought of him.
It continued. Hand into Scot’s crotch. I asked no more on the assault.
Scot was mortified. Terrified. “It’s hard to put into words what goes through your mind at a time like that. ..I was sure I was dead.” He thought he would be a statistic. “I was catatonic.”
We know from media coverage that the car was driving slowly and weaving erratically down the highway. Around Pinecrest Road Mullins was pulled over by Nepean police.
Did Mullins say anything to Scot before police arrived at the side of the car?
I ask. Yes. Yes indeed he did. According to Scot, Mullins told him in no uncertain terms: “Keep your f—–n’ mouth shut.”
Scot had been told to keep his mouth shut. Initially, for a variety of reasons, he said not a word. Then, thankfully, an officer took him aside to question him privately.
Scot broke down. He blurted out what had been happening.
He still had not a clue that Mullins/”Pete” was a Roman Catholic priest. It was only during police interviews that he found out. An officer asked him when he found out Mullins was a priest? He replied that he didn’t know he was priest.. That’s how he found out.
Mullins was charged that same day, Saturday 19 August 1989.
Of interest is the fact that Mullins failed the breathalyser and had his license suspended for 12 hours.
And, of note, particularly in light of the many negative stories we have been reading about police of late, Scot thought very highly of two of the officers who dealt with him. He wishes he knew who they were so that he could thank them. He does recall that one of the officers was reprimanded for the way he treated Mullins. Scot tells me that the officer “roughed him [Mullins] up a bit.”
By Tuesday 22 August the media was reporting on the Archdiocese of Ottawa’s “swift decision to investigate a priest from nearby Gloucester charged with sexual assault.”
The Archbishop of the day, Joseph Aurele Plourde, announced a “commission of inquiry to investigate Rev. Michael Muillins.” According to canon law guru Father Frank Morrissey omi, the latter action followed new guidelines for dealing with sexual assault and was proof that Plourde was taking the matter seriously. Morrissey also indicated this would give Mullins a chance to be heard.
The four-member commission included Msgr. Roger Morin (chancellor of the diocese), Adrian Hewitt (a lawyer), Dr. Jean-Yves Gosselin ( director of in-patient psychiatric services at the Ottawa General Hospital) and an as yet unnamed health professional.
The commission was to set out “to find the facts.” They planned to meet with the victim.
What kind of investigation was conducted? Well, that’s top secret. Barring disclosure in a court case or lawsuit the report of the commission’s activities will never see the light of day.
I can tell you though what, in very short order, Scot was going through in his home-town of Cobourg, Ontario.
Scot was under investigation. That’s a fact. An investigation was under way in Cobourg. And it was Scot who being investigated.
According to Scot, there were two private investigators either on the phones and/or buzzing around the community.. They were contacting his family. They were contacting his friends. They were at his school, both his high school and the public school he had attended..
As Scot tells it, they were looking ‘for dirt’ on him. Anything.
I’d say the real dirt lay in the PI’s tactics and the malicious rumours they were spreading about Scot.
Now this is dirty. Really dirty….
According to Scot, the PIs used two different lines, one was geared more for friends and acquaintances, and the other for family who would not be inclined to go for the first story.
The one line was that Scot was in relationship with a man, and the pair had been living together, and they had had a lover’s quarrel, and Scot had been thrown out, and Scot had him arrested to get back at him.
False. Not a whiff of truth. For want of a better word, a lie.
The other line was that Scot was a male prostitute who was trying to get money out of the man.
False. Again, not a whiff of truth. Again, for want of a better word, a lie.
Both stories were planted and put into circulation.
The PI’s contacted staff at his former public school, Dale Road Public School. To Scott’s absolute amazement, the principal and other teachers had actually talked to them. Scot phoned the school board to complain that the principal and teachers at the public school had talked to private investigators. The board, on behalf of the school, denied it. Scot knew it was fact. He had the court transcripts and saw their names and what they had to say. He told them so. But, it was done.
On the other hand, the principal at his high school told the investigators to leave. That was good. But, the ruthless and relentless investigators took to hanging around the school, loitering on the sidewalks talking to anyone they could commandeer to get whatever ‘dirt’ they could dig up on Scot.
To add insult to Scot’s injury at this time, in short order everyone in Cobourg knew he was the youth alleging he had been assaulted by the Ottawa priest. There was supposed to be a ban on publication of his name, but, unfortunately for him, the media referred to an 18 year-old skate-boarder from Cobourg. Scott tells me with a wry laugh: “I was the only 18-year-old skateboarder in Cobourg.”
Between what was in the media and what the PI’s were planting the word was spreading that Scot had a fling with a priest and was having him charged to get back at him.
How does anyone, let alone an 18-year-old boy, defend himself against such mud slinging or refute such lies?
Anyway, it was all more than Scot could take. He was harassed. He was beaten. He stopped going to school. He was eventually asked to leave school because of his absenteeism.
He never went back to school. “That,” he tells me ” was my biggest regret, that I never went back.”
Through it all, Scot was alone.
His parents wanted nothing to do with any of this.
Yes, Scot was alone. Totally alone.
That bridge with his parents has been crossed in the intervening years, but, the assault is not discussed. Even after Mullins was convicted in Ireland there was no discussion on the matter. Perhaps it’s a case of the parents not quite knowing what to do or what to say?
Twenty years later and it still hurts. It’s painful. Scot doesn’t say so, but, I hear it in his voice.
Scot was on his own going to court. Totally alone. He found his way from home to the train station in Cobourg, Ontario alone. He travelled to Ottawa alone. He checked into a hotel in Ottawa alone. He attended the preliminary hearings on his own. He attended the trial on his own. He was on his own in the courthouse.
Court is hard for any victim, never mind an 18-year-old boy who has been what can only described as the object of a cruel smear campaign..
He was referred to in court as a punk-rocker, but he tells me that actually he was never a punker. He did always want to look a little different and dress a little different, but felt his dress was more goth with the black clothing appropriately torn. At one time he sported a mohawak. He bleached his hair blonde. He spiked his hair. His style, he tells me, was actually skate punk.
Scot wore a suit for court.
Father Mullins’ supporters were gathered outside the courthouse.
They spat on him. These ‘good’ Catholics actually spat on him! They spat on him, and jeered at him. Scot was literally afraid they were going to kill him. Thankfully, when court authorities realized what was happening they made alternate arrangements for his entry into the building.
In court it was Mullins’ supporters, and a whole front row of people whom Scot thought were probably Church officials from the diocesan centre. He doesn’t know for sure, but he thinks that’s who they were.
And, there was Scot. In the courtroom. Alone.
Did he perhaps call some former friends in Ottawa who might support him?
I wonder about that. I ask. No. No, is the answer. He called no one. He was too ashamed.
It was trial by judge. No jury.
The Crown attorney was Mac Lindsay (Malcolm Lindsay).
Scot, incidentally, thinks the world of Lindsay. Lindsay, he says, believed him. And Lindsay, he tells me, was upset that Scot was there at the hearings and trial alone.
Scot doesn’t recall the name of Mullins’ lawyer. I am searching. (If anyone can help please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will eventually find it, and have several feelers out in various places, but, it’s taking time)
The judge at trial was Justice Edward Houston.
Houston, it turns out, had caused an uproar in 1986 for handing out suspended sentences to two child molesters. The Sexual Support Centre in Ottawa sent a letter to Judge William Lyon, chief judge of Ontario district courts, specifically requesting that Houston not be given any more cases involving sexual assault.
But, sad to say, there was Houston on the bench.
According to Scot, Mullins had admitted the assault to a police officer. That evidence was excluded. Scot thought it was because of Mullins’ Miranda Rights, however we don’t have Miranda Rights in Canada but we do have Charter Rights. I gather it must have been a technicality based on violation of his Charter rights? Whatever the reason, for some technical reason Mullin’s documented acknowledgement of guilt was excluded.
There was also evidence from the arresting officers that Mullins was not wearing undershorts. He was wearing Bermuda shorts. And a T-shirt. But, undies? No..
Scot refers to Mullins’ lawyer as “a ruthless bastard.” But, he does not understand how he (the lawyer) got Mullins off. He recalls no defence per se which would have gotten him off. He doesn’t recall the lawyer calling him a liar. He has no idea how it happened.
He does recall Justice Houston saying that he wasn’t about to be the first to convict a priest. If Scot’s memory on this is accurate, that was a strange comment indeed. Ottawa priest Father Dale Crampton had been convicted right here in Ottawa in 1986. There was no lack of publicity in that case.
Scot also recalls a big point being made of the fact that he was a punk rocker and had bleached blond hair, and he recalls that it was in that vein someone in court said “don’t be fooled by the suit he’s wearing.”
And then, there was much ado about Scot not telling police for about 15 minutes that Mullins was assaulting him in the car.
We know that Mullins had threatened him to keep his mouth shut. Whether or not that came into evidence or Scot thought of it when he was on the stand I don’t know, but what did come out, according to media reports, was that Scot said he hadn’t told police about the assault immediately because he was shy and embarrassed about what had happened.
Mullins was acquitted.
According to the media, Justice Houston
said the young man showed no shyness during his testimony …and that, in his experience, skateboarders are seldom shy.
Houston didn’t believe the boy.
Scot recalls Houston saying something to the effect that “in his experience the word of a skateboarder carries no weight.”
Twenty years later, it still hurts: “He called me a liar in front of everyone.”
Mullins was foot-loose-and-fancy-free. His one comment to the media was: “I believe the judge was correct in his decision.”
Over in Ireland
On the heels of the acquittal the Ottawa Archdiocese packed Mullins off for treatment somewhere, presumably in the States, and, presumably to deal with a drinking problem.
Around May 1991, in the midst of his “treatment,” Mullins was keen for a break to head over to Ireland for a visit. The word in Ottawa was he was going for a little rest and relaxation in his homeland to recuperate from the rigours of the trial.
Whatever the reason, the new archbishop of Ottawa, Marcel Gervais, agreed!
Away Mullins went.
September 1991 Mullins was back in court – in Ireland– convicted for the beating and sexual assault of a 17-year-old boy.
Spokesman for the archdiocesan Father Pat Powers said the Ottawa archdiocese had reopened a special inquiry into Mullins conduct. He said it was ”a tragic mistake in hindsight” to grant Mullins permission to go to Ireland. He also said the archdiocese did not feel responsible.
Did Scot hear of the conviction? Indeed he did.
From none other than Justice Houston’s office.
There was more.
As Scott tells me: “the funniest thing was, it was a call from the judge’s office and the judge apologised to me”
Do you believe it?
The judge’s office called to let Scot know that Mullins had been charged and convicted. And the judge got on the phone himself ……to apologize!
According to Scot, Houston said that his verdict in the Mullins trial had always left a bad taste in his mouth, and that he felt bad for how he had acted, and that he would have acted differently if he had to do it all over again, and that he wanted to apologize, and he hoped Scot felt exonerated.
It was a private call. A quiet apology to a man Houston obviously felt he had misjudged and wronged.
I tried to get in touch in Justice Houston. He died some time ago.
I have no reason to disbelieve Scot. In fact, I believed him 100% when he told me that Houston apologized. I will add that I don’t think Scot has the slightest idea how very rare and unique such phone-call and apology is.
When I think about it I can see that it was probably a tough phone call for Houston to make. And I wonder if he felt at least partially responsible for the abuse that boy in Cork, Ireland endured at Mullins hands? That aside, I’d say he obviously felt badly that he had acquitted Mullins. I’d also say that he obviously felt badly at the way he dealt with Scot.
But, what good was such a private apology to a young man now deemed a liar, with a reputation in tatters and life in utter turmoil?
Did Scot feel exonerated by the apology? I don’t know that he did.
I do know that Scot did NOT feel exonerated by Mullins’ conviction in Ireland. He was happy to hear that he was convicted, but that did not make him feel exonerated. Not at all. He was already branded a liar, and the conviction in Ireland, he felt, was no proof of the assault against him.
The newspapers called after Mullins’ conviction. They wanted to publish his name He wasn’t ready for that. He just was not ready to go public.
In fact, Scot wasn’t ready to be identified until now.
He doesn’t mind his name being published. “Maybe it would help someone” he tells me “I’ve dealt with it. I’m not trying to kill myself anymore. I’m not in a three-year depression.”
He was surprised to to learn that Mullins did not murder that boy. For all of these years he thought the boy had been murdered. He is relieved to learn that is not the case.
As strange as it may sound, there is a little part of Scot which feels responsible for that boy’s abuse. I ask how he could possibly think he was in any way responsible? I am surprised at the answer: He berates himself for his appearance in court: He thinks he was judged on how he looked. “I could have been more presentable” he tells me. He thinks that had he been more presentable the verdict would have been different.
Sad indeed that such a message was conveyed to an 18-year-old in our courts, and, by a judge.
Scot wonders now what Mullins’ parishioners in Ottawa thought when they found out their former priest had been charged and convicted in Ireland.
And, he says he has tried countless times over the years to find out what happened to Mullins. He truly wanted to discover that Mullins was dead:. “I was hoping the son of a bitch would be killed in jail.”
A few days ago he found Sylvia’s Site.
He’s never really talked about all of this before to anyone. It’s a big step.
The whole ordeal cost him a lot. “I felt like the most hated man in the world,.” he tells me.
He thinks being alone was the worst part.
Terrific work Sylvia on the Mullins case.You are amazingly talented at putting all this to-gether.
Scott’s ordeal shows the length to which guilty priests have manipulated not only the legal system, but the Church system, over the years. However, today, guilty priests are still managing to do the same thing, but in an entirely different manner.
Today, the agenda in society is to accept homosexual actions, and this is extending to sex with children. Yes, the latter is taboo for now. But the times they are a-changin’. That, however, is a topic for another discussion. Developments are frightening. Those who support “human rights” may soon find themselves supporting the “rights” of a new group: minor-attracted persons. (http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/academic-conference-seeks-to-normalize-pedophilia/)
Today, if Father Mullins committed a sexual crime in Canada, he may indeed face criminal prosecution. But within society, among his colleagues, in the Church itself, his homosexual behavior would be tolerated, as long as overt violence was not involved. This article in the September 22nd issue of “The Daily Gleaner,” from Bathurst, N.B., presents some prime quotes from Canadian clergy:
Rev. Wesley Wade, vicar general of the Diocese of Bathurst
Rev. Rejean Landry, pastor of the RC Church, Saint-Leolin
The Bishop of Bathurst, the Very Rev. Vlery Vienneau, you see, revoked the rights of an 85 year-old priest to serve Mass across the Diocese of Bathurst, because he gave a sermon addressing homosexuality, as well as abortion.
The sermon Rev. Donat Gionet, 85, gave at the Roman Catholic church in Saint-Leolin while replacing the regular parish priest late last month generated a firestorm that culminated with a call for Gionet to be relieved of his duties.
He stands by the comments he made in Saint-Leolin, a village of about 730 people located about 50 kilometres east of Bathurst.
Reached in Caraquet on Wednesday afternoon, Gionet declined an interview. He did, however, provide a written statement.
In a letter in French he provided to the The Daily Gleaner, Gionet wrote the sermon was about the destruction of the church and the need to seek forgiveness for past sins:
“I said: … ‘Today, it is we Catholics who are destroying our Catholic Church. We need only look at the number of abortions among Catholics, look at the homosexuals, and ourselves.’ (That’s when I pointed at my chest – through that action I wanted to say, we the priests) and I continued saying: We are destroying our church ourselves. And that’s when I said that those were the words expressed by Pope John Paul II. At that point, in the St-Leolin church only, I added: We can add to that the practice of watching ‘gay’ parades, we are encouraging this evil … What would you think of someone who seeing what was happening on (Sept.) 11, 2001, the crumbling of the towers, had begun clapping? We must not encourage evil, whatever form it takes.”
Joseph Lanteigne, the gay mayor of Saint-Leolin, welcomed word Bishop Valery Vienneau has revoked Gionet’s rights to serve mass across the Diocese of Bathurst.
“The action taken by the diocese is good, and I know it isn’t easy for the diocese. I can say I think the diocese has a bigger heart than Father Gionet,” Lanteigne said, speaking in French.
Since the incident, Gionet has quit his position on the Saint-Leolin parish’s pastoral committee.
Lanteigne said the parish’s regular priest, Rev. Rejean Landry, has apologized to him and to parishioners and he doesn’t see the church as being as closed as it once was.
“We’re not in 1920 anymore; the church has to be more open. And I think that based on the actions of the diocese, that shows the church is more open,” he said.
Rev. Wesley Wade, vicar general of the Diocese of Bathurst, said while Gionet’s views don’t stray from church teachings, they don’t meet the diocese’s goal of following Christ’s example of loving unconditionally.
“We have to respect people on their own journey,” Wade said.
“The first message of Christ was to reveal to us a loving father and a merciful father and that we are all called to be his children and that we are all loved unconditionally by Him.”
While the church gets criticized as a judgmental institution, Wade said the reality is it’s full of compassion.
“There’s truth, as we see it – the gospel, but also love of people and compassion and understanding of situations and the mercy of God. There’s always the two elements, truthfulness and also the realities of life – that people don’t feel excluded from the body of Christ, unless they exclude themselves,” Wade said.
“They are there in the Church to hear the word and to be changed by the word, too. They are very precious in the eyes of God.
“We didn’t challenge what he said. That’s the morality of the church and the commandments.
“It’s his pastoral approach, how to present it to people today.”
In a letter to parishioners earlier this week, Vienneau said Gionet had been pulled from active ministry.
At a meeting last week, Gionet told Vienneau he had no plans to change or temper his comments.
Gionet also said as a priest, he has a duty to encourage those who aren’t living their lives according to Catholic teachings to mend their ways.
——- Postscript: There are now 2 Catholic priests in the Texas being disciplined for their teachings on homosexuality and abortion:
Fr. Michael Rodriguez, El Paso
Fr. Frank Pavone, Amarillo – Director, Priests for Life, New York
I am speechless. So much grace and willingness to recognize the very few people who treated him decently. Reminds me of the spirit and lessons of Viktor Frankl.
(Wikipedia: Viktor Emil Frankl M.D., Ph.D. (March 26, 1905, Leopoldstadt, Vienna – September 2, 1997, Vienna) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of Existential Analysis, the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy”. His best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate based on his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl was one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists.)
Scot: you are a true humanitarian and I wish there was societal recognition for you. This site is widely read. I hope the people who believed and stood by you will reconnect with you. You have much to celebrate.
Thank you Sylvia.
Scot-you were a boy victimized by a Sexual Predator. There is no shame in that. You were further victimized by a flawed judge, working in a corrupt court. This sexual predator was protected by a criminal conspiracy to discredit you, so that he could go on to rape others. The criminal conspiracy was successful. This sexual predator went on to rape others. It is no your fault. It is the fault of this Sexual Predator, Father Mullins, and the Roman Catholic Church that protected him.
Scot, I salute your courage. I hope some reparation will come to you because you deserve it . The “personal ” call sounds like it was genuine but was probably to protect the Judge as well…He should have been scrutinized very closely and questioned more than you ever were! At the very least his decisions lacked common sense…if they were not tainted by his “personality flaws”…
In your case “15 minutes” was a long time..??? It was probably a long time for you when you lived through those minutes….but a long time to report your abuser!!???? We have heard criticism that 10, 20, 30 years or more was “too long” and that victims had ulterior motives…and you waited “all”of “15 MINUTES”…
Maybe our Justice system, our Judges should refer to a crystal ball. We may get more fairness out of that.
As a teenager in the 70’s I have had to go through two of those “15 minutes” of just plain fear for my life(I was lucky to get out before anything happened…)and I don’t think I was/would have talked to anyone…just “surviving” that close call took every ounce of courage I had at 17 or 18…and then for YOU went to court on your own!
I don’t know you but I look up to you…and the 17 year old in you.
Thanks to all of you for your kind words and encouragement I wish I had more to add but as I’ve just read this for the first time I’m at a loss for words
Scot you are alone no more, take your rightful place among the many innocent survivors of the criminal acts of these malicious and thoughtless men. Do not let this event define your life. You are worthy of every respect and dignity that our society affords all it’s members. The truth of this tragedy is that the Church has abused it’s prestige, standing and it’s considerable wealth and power to demean and quash it’s mo st vulnerable. Stand proud Scotland Wharran you are a man among men and be proud of your spirit and strength.
Scotland, I hope you be releived of the anxiety, anger and confusion you sufferd from your experience, especially at the hands of the Judge.
I have prayed for you many times.
My step-son was picked up hitch-hiking by Mullins, while Mullins was At Annunciation in Beacon Hill, and Mullins teied to make a move on him as they were driving. At traffic lights my step-son got out. He told us about it.
He was lucky.
Mullins also hung out around Calabogie for a time. The Pator there had no time for him.May God Bless you and heal you !
Scotland: Your words of thanks just made my day. A bouquet from heaven! I venture a guess others are as overwhelmed as I am. Awesome.
I second Lona’s motion and hope that the words will help with the healing. What happened to you shouldn’t be allowed in an honest society, from priest to judge!
We shouldn’t have to hope ,pray and “wish”…Should never have occurred.
Hope you are walking tall, as you should.
You have helped many others by surviving.
You’re about the same age as my daughter…
There are a lot of people by your side this time , “son”…
Scot is of course telling the truth, no question. That anyone – let alone a publicly appointed judge – would make him feel this way for telling the truth, is, well, words do not describe the injustice this person has lived through.
I cannot help think that Scot is the stronger, wiser, soul for having gone through this.
As a result of all this – he is smart, humble and wise – much more than others scrambling around with their egos and pettiness and “right to be right!”
Scot, a hard price was paid for the wisdom and insight you have gained – few others get close. May you continue to find truth and peace – and to bring these gifts to others who may need to hear: yes, in the end, it is possible to get the respect (and apology) you need.
“…much more than others scrambling around with their egos and pettiness and “right to be right!…”
Don’t take this away from Scot.
I beg. No one take this any further.
I mean just what I say: most of us humans tend to falter and be petty and weak. That is why we have wars, both large and small. As a teacher, I have seen time and time again that those who have suffered great traumas, and survived, tend, in the end, to be stronger and wiser than the rest. Pain can make you very strong, and very wise. The truth shall set you free – that is how I read Scot’s story. A story of pain and redemption. It is wonderful that he had the courage to share it as well. I respect it very much, nothing more, nothing less.
Not suffering abuse makes you happy.
May we all gain in deeper insight, despite suffering. Scot’s story reminds me of many of the inner city high school students whom I teach. The dyed hair, the skateboard, and, sadly, the way an ignorant, homogenous society ignored his story. Not sure what was going on in the courts of Ontario in the 1980s – but that a judge could actually say those words, about not listening to ‘skateboarders’ – is abject discrimination, and it is youth discrimination. I am not surprised however. My students are some of the most clear eyed, honest, strong, level headed people I know – and yes – some have survived sexual abuse by priests and the ensuing court cases. Some are in court now. And some have been abused by priests. As I see it, they all need strong listeners and encouragers with deep hearts on their journeys. Frankly I see these kids as heroes – who strengthen the rest of society with their honesty. But, that’s just how I see it. I work and live close to the front lines. I explain my viewpoint for no other reason that to honour Scot. God bless.
I went to St. Bernard’s Church. I was baptised and had First Communion there. I had stopped going to church and never met Father Mullins but I remember this story from when it was in the news. I totally believed the victim (Scot’s) story and was outraged by verdict. Reading this account sure brings back those feeling of anger – and sadness. I didn’t know about Scot having to go to court by himself, having no one to support him and being abused by the so-called “priest’s” supporters. If I’d know I would have been at that courthouse everyday to offer my support. I’m so sorry you had to endure all of that Scot. I hope you can find peace.
Just became aware of your site via CBC. the lawyer for Mullins mentioned in an Ottawa Citizen story, August 26, 1989, p. B2, was John Curran.
Thank you Bob. I just made note of that on the Father Michael Mullins page
The Inquiry is about my dad Scott Wharram.
I’am 13 years old and when I was 3 my father was depressed about what had happened so he did drugs. When I was 4 my grandfather was worried about me so he called, child services and I was taken away from my mom and dad.
I was put up for adoption later, my aunt and uncle adopted me and to this day I don’t know why this man would do this to my father.
This man took 9 years away from my life and my hole family was affected by what happened to my dad and he is a very strong man and he is very brave.
My father is a great man and I love him very much I don’t care if my dad did drug or still does drugs.
What happened to my dad is in the past. In a couple of years I will get to see my dad and live with him.
Yes, Leah, your Dad is very strong and very brave. I thought exactly the same thing!
You just keep loving him as much as you do.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, your Dad, and your whole family.
Way to go, Leah!!! A lot of people should take and follow your example. Mike.
Your dad loves you to the ends of the earth and can’t tell you enough how sorry he is for everything that you at a tender age had thrust upon you. Suffice to say I love you ….
I just wanted Sylvia and you kind people to know that mi wife of our three children passed away after a two month battle of heart issues and my presence in her life of 31 years .please meet her at Hilary Cane -Wharram on Facebook and understand I’ve lost my other half of me and loved you all for how kind you were to me and loved me more after discovering all of their Which shocked me but shouldn’t have I hope to see her soon and love all especially Sylvia
Sincere condolences with the loss of Hilary Cane-Wharram, Mr Wharram. It warms my heart to read that the support received here meant a lot to you in the past. I also felt that the northern residential school and related trials were understood and reported here with so much respect. Sylvia is a national treasure and an unrecognized one. Keep well and keep coming back. All the best.