O’Neill, Francais John

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Catholic priest charged with rape

Sudbury Star

13 November 2007

A Catholic priest from Oakville has been charged with raping a member of his parish in 1966.

The sexual assault allegedly happened when the man was a priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Toronto.

Since the alleged incident was in 1966, the charges are historical. They include rape, indecent assault on a female and buggery.

Francais John O’Neill, 78, was arrested on Friday. 


Catholic priest charged with raping woman

National Post 

Posted: November 12, 2007, 5:03 PM

by Natalie Alcoba 

A retired Roman Catholic priest is accused of raping a woman who belonged to his downtown parish forty one years ago.

Francais John O’Neill, now 78 years old and living in Oakville, turned himself in to 51 division on Friday at the request of police. He has been charged with assault, buggery and rape. The latter two are criminal code offences that existed at the time of the alleged incident, but that would now amount to a charge of sexual assault.

Police would not divulge more information about the circumstances of the assault, which is alleged to have happened in 1966 to a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes  Catholic Church, located on Sherbourne Street and one of the oldest parishes in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

“That would identify who she is and what exactly it was about and she doesn’t want to do that,” said Detective Sergeant Neil Corrigan, with 51 Division’s Criminal Investigation Bureau. The victim was in her twenties at the time, he said.

The Archdiocese of Toronto responded to the “very serious” allegations in a written statement.

“Any allegation of improper conduct by a priest is an extremely serious matter,” the statement said. The Archdiocese, led by Archbishop Thomas Collins, would not comment on the specifics of the case but said “any form of misconduct by personnel of the Catholic Church is unacceptable.” It urged anyone with information to contact police. Father O’Neill was ordained in 1958 and spent his career in the Archdiocese of Toronto. He retired in 1995 and had since been living outside the church community.

3 Responses to O’Neill, Francais John

  1. P.K says:

    I knew Fr. O’neill when I was a parishioner at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Port Credit, Mississauga. Looking back, I can totally see him as a man with a dark secret. Those that have a pushy conservative agenda tend to have huge skeletons in their closets

  2. William says:

    Would this be the Same Father O’Neill who was the Pastor at St. John Vianney In Barrie Ontario in the late 60’s early 70’s ?

  3. Jay says:

    Does anyone have a history with him from his time at St. anselms parish. In the 1990s.

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