Leader of Shaughnessy congregation allowed a U.S. priest under investigation into the church
The Vancouver Sun
BY DAPHNE BRAMHAM, VANCOUVER SUN DECEMBER 17, 2011
Troubling questions have been raised about a Vancouver priest and his five-year fundraising efforts for a clerical society whose charismatic leaders have been described as sexual predators.
Parishioners are also asking why Father John Horgan of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Shaughnessy allowed into their church and solicited tax-deductible donations for an American priest who could be defrocked pending the outcome of an investigation by a Vatican-sponsored tribunal into allegations that he sexually abused a boy.
Because of those concerns, Vancouver’s Archbishop Michael Miller has ordered Horgan to no longer solicit or accept donations for the Society of St. John (a.k.a. Comunidades Sacerdotales de San Juan) in Paraguay, individual society members or an orphanage in Paraguay.
The Vancouver archdiocese has also notified priests that Father Eric Ensey – the American priest under investigation – is prohibited from celebrating mass or performing any other sacred functions in the archdiocese. Ensey had been scheduled to visit Vancouver and Horgan over Christmas. That trip has now been cancelled.
“Obviously now in light of all this publicity, yes, I think I have had lapses of judgment,” Horgan said in an hour-long interview with The Sun.
Even though Horgan says he was fully aware of the Vatican sponsored proceeding against Ensey and the allegations that Ensey and others in the society sexually abused boys under their spiritual care, Horgan didn’t tell parishioners any of that.
“I told them [Ensey] was a student priest. I did not go into all the details because in this case, I thought the charity we were doing for him was sufficient. That may well have been a mistake of prudence on my part.”
Horgan now thinks he was wrong to have invited Ensey to visit him several times in Vancouver, including in May when Ensey took part in the mass of thanksgiving marking Horgan’s 25 years as a priest.
Horgan said his judgment was also off when he took the cassock-clad Ensey on a European pilgrimage in September and, during that trip, attended a mass led by Ensey.
“I saw a man who has always maintained his innocence. I consulted others who believed him to be innocent and would eventually be proven innocent,” Horgan said. “Everything said to me that this man is truthful, honest and innocent.”
But he didn’t consult anyone in the diocese of Scranton, Penn., where Ensey remains on the roll of priests.
Its bishop has restricted Ensey from presenting himself publicly as a priest, celebrating mass, administering the sacraments and wearing clerical attire, according to Bill Gennello, the diocese’s communications director.
The diocese paid $452,000 in 2005 to settle a civil lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct by both Ensey and Carlos Urrutigoity, the Society of St. John’s founder and now monsignor in Paraguay. It settled days after a judge ruled that psychiatric evaluations of the priests would be admissible in court.
The diocese is still on the hook for a $2.6-million debt that the society ran up under Ensey and Urrutigoity.
On Friday, a Pennsylvania judge set a trial date for a civil lawsuit against the diocese and the society that alleges the society knowingly and negligently misrepresented itself in fundraising and failed to provide a proper accounting of the money that was raised to build a liberal arts college and a “City of God” – a medievaltype village where priests and laypeople dedicated their lives and assets to the church, which never materialized
Instead of asking questions in Pennsylvania, Horgan relied on a 2008 statement by Bishop Rogelio Livieres in Paraguay, who accepted Urrutigoity and other society members into the diocese and allowed them to reconstitute the society there.
In that statement, Livieres said Urrutigoity and Ensey had never been criminally investigated and they and the society had been exonerated of all allegations against them.
Horgan insisted during the interview with The Sun that there had never been a criminal investigation.
However, the complainants’ lawyer (in both the civil cases) said a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of a minor began in early 2002.
James Bendell said it was abandoned because of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, which requires charges be laid within two years of the crime. Time had run out for the young man known as John Doe.
Horgan said he didn’t know anything about Pennsylvania having a statute of limitations and insisted that in settling out of court, Ensey and Urrutigoity were innocent.
But Bendell denied that. “Whenever there’s a settlement, defendants have the plaintiffs sign a release that says the defendants did not admit to any wrongdoing. It doesn’t mean that the events didn’t happen. My client did not and would not say that.”
Horgan maintains his lapses in judgment resulted from a desire to be a Good Samaritan to priests in difficult situations. But he said he’ll accept any discipline Vancouver’s archbishop feels appropriate.
Archbishop Miller was not available for an interview. But he did respond by email to the question of whether Horgan would be disciplined for supporting a priest and an organization that have attracted disturbing allegations of sexually abusing boys and young men.
“I would simply say that the matter, while it might have been handled better, isn’t in the same category as clerical misconduct,” Miller wrote.
He did not respond to a request to define clerical misconduct.
Despite the steps taken to staunch the flow of donations, it falls short of what the whistle-blowing parishioners, Charlene and Peter Andersen, want.
“[Horgan] should be ousted immediately from any sources of money that he can give to these priests,” Charlene said in an interview. “He consciously, knowingly, funded for five years a society and an individual deeply mired in scandal.”
She and her husband also believe Horgan put children in the parish at risk by having Ensey as his guest in Vancouver.
They want Archbishop Miller to ensure no further visits take place and that no members of the Society of St. John be allowed in the archdiocese. They also would like the Vatican to shut down the Society of St. John.
‘A SPECIAL PRIEST’
Charlene met Ensey with Horgan on the September pilgrimage.
“I thought he was such a special priest, a saintly man with such energy and he was such a good conversationalist,” she said.
The young priest in his cassock impressed her so much that when he told her he was going to be visiting Horgan over Christmas, Charlene invited him to dinner at her home. Ensey told her he was eager to meet the Andersens’ teenage son and daughter.
Charlene told her husband about the amazing priest and Peter googled Ensey’s name. They were shocked by what they found in sworn affidavits, depositions, news stories and blogs.
Most of all, Charlene was horrified that she’d invited a suspected pedophile – a man she’d met because of a trusted priest – into her home.
“For two weeks, I walked around in a daze,” says Charlene. “I cried myself to sleep. I didn’t want to believe any of it.”
Peter also was shattered. The Andersens believe Peter would have died in 2009 of flesh-eating disease had Horgan not brought a relic from an Irish monk to Peter’s bedside.
The Andersens compiled a file of the most important material, then debated what to do.
“I recognized what it would do to our lives if we spoke out,” said Charlene. “It was with great reluctance and profound sadness that we decided to come forward.”
The Andersens gave the file to Horgan, the archbishop and some friends.
On Nov. 9 – the same day the Vancouver archdiocese advised that Ensey was not welcome in any churches or chapels – Charlene had a fourhour meeting with Horgan, hoping he would provide a reasonable explanation for why he was risking his own reputation and possibly endangering families in his parish by associating with disgraced priests.
Horgan’s answers didn’t satisfy her. On Nov. 24, the Andersens had a 90-minute meeting with the archbishop. They asked him what he planned to do.
Miller said only that he would ensure that throughout December, Horgan would make announcements at church and in the bulletin that no further donations would be made to the priests or the society.
The first announcement gave no indication of why the decision was made. Horgan said he is doing that in private meetings with donors.
Horgan supports the archbishop’s decision to stop the funding. But he regrets it.
“Because of the attention that’s been brought to these old charges – charges that as I understand from the bishop in South America are over with and finished – we have had to withdraw our support for a community of seminarians in Paraguay and their works in Ciudad del Este and that is very sad.”
Peter Andersen doesn’t buy it.
“This all stems from priestly, clerical arrogance. They will protect priests above all else.”
ARRIVED IN 1980S
The seeds for Father John Horgan’s association with the Society of St. John were sowed when he arrived in Vancouver in the 1980s and was befriended by Dominic Carey’s parents. Carey is currently the rector of the society’s seminary in Paraguay.
In the 1990s, Carey went to St. Pius X seminary in Winona, Minn. where he met Eric Ensey, another seminarian, and came under the spell of a charismatic teacher named Carlos Urrutigoity.
Urrutigoity was expelled from the seminary in 1997 for attempting to found a new religious order. The seminary’s rector later wrote to Scranton’s bishop to say there had also been a credible allegation that Urrutigoity had sexually assaulted a seminarian. (That seminarian’s affidavit outlining the abuse was filed in the John Doe case in Scranton.)
Carey and Ensey moved to Pennsylvania with Urrutigoity. In 1998, Carey was ordained by Bishop James Timlin, who also sanctioned the Society of St. John as a clerical association with Urrutigoity as its superior general and Carey as chief fundraiser.
Six years later, Timlin’s successor – Bishop Joseph Martino – “suppressed” or disbanded the society.
Even though the society and its members were responsible to Martino, Carey and the others refused to meet with him or provide him with financial statements for the $6 million Carey had raised and the $8.6 million the society had spent.
Among the society’s invoices were bills for a $26,480 dining table, a $15,000 mirror, a $9,800 executive desk, three $6,000 rugs, a $6,828 bar, a $4,900 armoire and a $2,900 cocktail table.
With the society disbanded, Carey and two seminarians – Anthony Myers and Kevin Lieberman – went to Rome to study. (Lieberman is now deputy director of studies at the Society of St. John’s Paraguay seminary.)
“They were living in very dire straits,” said Horgan, who visited them in 2007 after Carey’s parents begged him to help their son. “They were living in a church belfry. So, I said, ‘There is a real need that nobody else is going to address.’ ”
Later – after meeting Urrutigoity and Ensey at the ordination of Lieberman and Myers, and soliciting funds for the society’s Paraguayan incarnation – Horgan never bothered to tell parishioners anything about the society’s short, troubled history.
In 2003, former society member Richard Munkelt wrote a letter to the bishop that Martino described as “highly credible.” In that letter, Munkelt wrote: “It would not be an exaggeration to speak of the SSJ as a homosexual cult centred on its leading light, Fr. Urrutigoity.”
Munkelt said that the society and Urrutigoity in particular “cultivate close relationships with young men, utilizing spiritual means, the power of the office of the priesthood and the liturgical treasures of the church to attract their company … Eventually, I came to realize that there was involved here – as incredible as this may seem – a pedagogy, indeed even a theology of pederasty.”
Dozens of affidavits, depositions, letters and documents filed in the Pennsylvania civil suits indicate it was common practice for the society’s priests to share beds with each other, with young seminarians and students from a Catholic boys’ preparatory school, and to ply them with alcohol, cigars and cigarettes.
But the most damning evidence is found in minutes from the March 21, 2002, meeting of an independent review board that met to consider the allegations against Ensey and Urrutigoity.
The minutes contain summaries of the psychiatric evaluations of the pair done at the diocese’s request by the Southdown Institute.
The institute’s evaluators “strongly recommended that Eric undergo residential treatment to address severe anxiety and depression” it said was the result of “repressed sexuality.” They said, “[Ensey’s] sexual attraction is toward adolescent boys, a stage he appears to be locked into.”
The committee recommended Ensey “be strictly prohibited from any public ministry of any kind; he should have no contact with any young person. ”
For Urrutigoity, the committee said: “In view of the credible allegation from the seminarian [John Doe], [Urrutigoity’s] admitted practice of sleeping with boys and young men and the troubling evaluation by the Southdown Institute, Father Carlos Urrutigoity should be removed from active ministry; his faculties should be revoked; he should be asked to live privately.”
In 2008, Scranton’s Bishop Martino said he believed Urrutigoity only escaped a Vatican-ordered investigation along with Ensey because the Pennsylvania complainant was an adult by the time Ensey passed John Doe on to Urrutigoity for “spiritual direction.”
“Much is made … about the fact that Father Urrutigoity did not commit what is referred to in canon law as a ‘delectus,’ a crime as we would say in civil law against a young person,” Martino said in his 2008 deposition. “That may be the difference between a misdemeanour and a felony … As far as I’m concerned, [Urrutigoity] always kind of … escaped under the wire.”
Even so, Martino released Urrutigoity from the diocese in 2006, clearing the way for his move to Paraguay. But he wrote a letter warning his Paraguayan counterpart.
Asked at the deposition what he thinks of the priest – and subsequently monsignor – Martino replied: “[Urrutigoity] certainly didn’t come across to me as someone who was willing to be chaste, or to be appropriately poor, and I wanted nothing to do with him in my diocese.”
None of that information was passed on to Vancouver parishioners because Horgan simply doesn’t believe it. And without their generous donations, Carey told them in May, the Society of St. John, its seminary in Paraguay and probably the orphanage would not exist.
This is disgusting. I am very familiar with the Society of St. John, the sex abuse allegations, the ‘habit’ of society priests ‘sleeping’ with young boys from St. Gregory’s boys school in Scranton, PA, and the love for the finer things in life exhibited by society priests while they were affiliated both directly and indirectly with St. Gregory’s. Many Canadian parents sent their boys to St. Gregory’s – at great personal cost. I have talked to both parents and students over the years about the goings on of these priests.
That this Father Horgan took it upon himself to decide that Father Ensey is innocent and, and that he has been funding raising for this bunch for years, and that, in this day and age, he has exposed his parishioners to Ensey, is beyond belief.
Horgan shod be defrocked. His lack of prudence and willingness to put his parishioners at risk is astounding.
Good for the Vancouver Sun for exposing this one!
*Needless to say that this Vancouver Sun Article posted eight months ago and this comment from Sylvia who has absolutely no affiliation with our parish has put paraishioners like me at Saints Peter and Paul at risk and in deep grieve.I pray to our lord Jesus that those who bad mouth our sheppard priest Father Horgan will be enlighted by the Holy Spirit.
Peace of Christ
I pray Larry that Father Horgan has been enlightened by the Holy Spirit and now realizes how inappropriate it was to both put parishioners at risk and to fund-raise for this group. I also pray that you and others parishioners who find no fault with Father Horgan’s actions in regard to Father Ensey and the SSJ shall likewise be enlightened.
If you can think of what the two seminarians from the Society of Saint John has been through since this Vancouver Article was published in December 2011 which eventually end the continuation of their studies in Canada in July this year, we hope you can see are we more concern about the sexual allegation or the many poorest of the poor from the Society of Saint John who needs the generousity from us.
I would suggest the two seminarins find another order or diocese. If they truly believe they have a vocation they should be able to find an order or bishop ready and willing to take them in. I can understand that perhaps they knew nothing of the SSJ scandal. If that is the case they would do well to at the very least get in touch with the Bishop of Scranton. PA and lawyer James Bindell.
*We wish them all the best.Thank you for your reply
Don’t know how you think you and others are “at risk and in deep grieve”, but reread the article and maybe you will be “enlightened by the holy spirit” to see what harm this priest can directly or indirectly cause.
How well can you trust what were written in the article.They may be bit and pieces pulling out from the internet.Furthermore, it looks like all the information is coming from the same one person
and Vancouver Sun just follow what was being said.
The harm this Vancouver Sun article has done is to tragically end the happy stay of two most friendly and ecouraging young seminarians from the Society of Saint John in Canada for continuing their studies because the accusation the founder of the Society of Saint John has in the past.My question to you is that is justice being serve there ? Just from one source The Vancouver Sun you can condem a person so badly. It looks like we are living in Stalinist Russia.
*For years the Vancouver Sun has done nothing but continuously bad mouthing and posting secular sensationalist bigotry on our mother church.
BAD for the Vancouver Sun for TOASTING this one !
Those so called legal documents are supposed to be sealed . Where are they ? Nothing but one whole page A17 full of sensationalist fictions.
Check online A Roman Catholic. There are lots of facts for those willing to do the research.
Here is one of many files I have on these men Larry. What I read in the Vancouver Sun doesn’t come close to covering the scandal surrounding the Society of St. John. I knew of and have personally followed the scandal long before it saw the light of day in the Vancouver Sun.
Here is one article from another source which gives a hint of Father Ensey’s problems:
Accuser to get reports on priests
24 March 2004
The psychological records are part of a Diocese of Scranton molesation suit.
By TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER
SCRANTON – A federal judge has ordered psychological reports of two priests within the Diocese of Scranton to be turned over to an attorney representing a man who claims he was sexually abused by the men.
An attorney for the Rev. Eric Ensey and the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity had argued the reports were protected by doctor/patient and attorney/client privilege. But U.S. District Judge John E. Jones on Tuesday ruled the priests waived that protection by releasing information in the reports to an outside party, then-Bishop James Timlin.
Jones’ order allows James Bendell, who represents the alleged victim in a federal lawsuit, to review the reports as part of his pretrial information gathering. Jones held off on ruling whether that information could be used at a trial.
Ensey and Urrutigoity were priests within the Society of St. John, a religious community founded in 1997 by Urrutigoity in Shohola, Pike County. They were removed from duty in the Scranton Diocese in January 2002, after the molestation allegations emerged.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2002 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania by a man identified only as John Doe. It claims Ensey sexually abused the man in 1997 while he was a junior at St. Gregory’s Academy, a boys school in Elmhurst. The man claims he was molested by Urrutigoity in 2000, when the man attended the Society of St. John to study to become a priest.
Under state and federal law, psychological reports generally are considered confidential. But there are exceptions if the subject of a report agrees to release the information to others.
In the Doe case, the priests’ attorney, Sal Cognetti, argued he had sought the reports in anticipation that criminal charges might be filed by Scranton police, who were investigating the molestation allegations. Cognetti also argued the priests never consented to releasing the records to the diocese, and that the diocese never received the written reports.
In his ruling, Jones said his review showed the reports, which were done in 2001 and 2002, were requested by Timlin as part of the diocese’s investigation into the molestation allegations. Jones found that Timlin might not have seen the reports, but he was verbally apprised of at least part of the content. Jones also found that Ensey and Urrutigoity knew the information would be shared with Timlin.
Jones noted a letter Timlin wrote to a Vatican cardinal in July 2002 in which Timlin said he had not decided whether the two priests were guilty or innocent, but noted concerns about Ensey.
“A psychological report about Fr. Ensey, however, indicated problems with pornography and other characteristics which concerned me given the allegations against him,” the letter said.
Jones’ order directs that the reports remain under seal, and that anyone who reveals the reports to people not associated with the litigation will face “severe contempt sanctions.”
*Afterall it is better to put this matter completely to rest.We are no longer involve with the Society of Saint John and nothing more is heard from the other side.
Now we parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul have nothing to do with the Society of Saint John,can I sak for your most kind consideration in removing this Vancouver Sun article from your webpage ? We are just very simply want to move on.
The article from the Vancouver Sun will stay on Sylvia’s Site Larry. By the grace of God the article may be a means to protect those who, like you and your fellow parishioners, knowing nothing of the Society of St. John and/or Father Ensey scandal, and are encouraged to offer them your support.
The longer the article remain on your webpage the longer the bad memories from the past on our parish remains. I hope you can understand.If it is your intention to have this Vancouver Sun article remain on your webpage, I respect your decision.
Larry: Just like Auschwitz and the Vimy Ridge Memorial, they are there to remind us of the terrible injustices and tragedies that have occurred in hopes that we will learn from them. The same with Sylvia’s Site…the posts are there to remind us to be vigilant for evil is still around us.
*Thanks for your reply but I don’t think it is logical to link Auschwitz and Vimy Ridge Memorial to the accuse of this article.In Auschwitz and Vimy Ridge , most victims can be clearly identified and the killers were clearly documented and numerous literatures have written about them. This is still a pending case.No conclusive judgement was handed out to the defendent.Newspaper can only do so much what they can report. Facts sometime can be twisted to suit the tastes of the reader. I am not trying to offend anyone here but sadly it is very often turn out to be the case after a hard and long and exhausted way.
*To Charlene and Peter Andersen;
Hats off to you for being so alert and for daring to question in spite of your devotion. You may have prevented a greater catastrophe….where instead of an inconvenience to have the lifespan of a newspaper article we may have read of other lives shattered forever!…
I hope your fellow parishioners recognize your courage and great service to your community …and proudly stand by your side. They are richer and ”healthier” because you did what was right.
Larry..you and other parishioners may feel as if this is ”bad’ for your Parish…but from all the way across the country, this makes me feel a lot better than anything else I have heard in a long time…The Andersen’s level heads, despite but in addition to their good hearts is showing the way to our ”grassroots’ responsibility when it comes to protecting children.
Larry, I personally feel you will move on more gracefully because of this. This is not a ”blotch” on your community or your Parish!
Others should have done so well. We wouldn’t be here if they had for the last 50, 60…years.
You should all thank the Andersen’s and watch your community get better very fast!
..recognize your Blessings!
Amen to that jg. Charlene and Peter Andersen are to be commended for speaking up. I pray that their fellow parishioners recognize this.
Thankyou kindly for your concerns. One thing I would like to mention and no one seems to comment on the Vancouver Sun paper is about the picture posted together with the article in the paper. You may or may not see the picture but the way that picture is posted seemsvery odd to me.It is a picture of two smiling priest Father Horgan and Father Ensey taken maybe somewhere in Europe but they are quiet far apart.Under normal circumstances for two happy personal to have picture taken, they mostly likely stay close to each other ? It looks to me that the picture has been edited to suit what is needed to be posted.
Quite the opposite. Most parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul are quite concerns of what the Anderson will do next to the parish to further ruin the reputation of their most trusted sheppard priest.For people like myself I want to see this to die down as quickly as possible and move on with our lives but for most others, they are still fearing in silence and pray the Anderson Family can be enlighten someday.Something is very obviously wrong here.Why the Anderson who according to you be praised to what they have done can be dislike by so many ? Why they choose to leave the parish rather than staying shortly after they voice out in the Vancouver Sun? If the Anderson according to you who did a great service to our community and proudly stand by my side why they choose to leave us and go somewhere else ? Should it be Father Horgan the one who leave rather than them who stay behind and support us ? Sorry about the emotion here but I am trying to make some sense out of it.
*It also seems very odd to me as to why the sexually abused victim can only be identified as John Doe in the Vancouver Sun where the whole page was dedicated for this scandal.How do we expect to get the full picture if not everyone is present in the article ? Most newspaper written in this nature have names of victim but this Vancouver Sun article just sensationlise on the culprits but leaving the identity of the victim behind.For goodness sake if they can have the guts to speak out against the culprits in a full page full blast why the victims’ identities are still left behind ? A matter of psychology, the culprits will be far more withdrawn and afraid from the hefty media attack then the victims who choose not to stand out !
For JG: For most parishioners, the community is much better without the Anderson so we can concentrate our efforts in aiding the parish in making our new parish centre a reality.
Actually the Vancouver Sun has not done hardly enough digging. The Vancouver Archdiocese has gotten an easy free card, as far as I’m concerned. Much more accountability is needed in Vancouver – it is a notoriously secretive diocese. All those Christian Brothers from Mt Cashel sent to high schools in Vancouver – where was the accountability man? They got a free ride, and I mean the archdiocese and Bishop Carney and others. Vancouver College (CB high school where French/English/Burke etc all taught) is right next door to Sts. Peter and Paul Church – so yes there’s a tradition in that parish to hide your heads in the sand. And no, it won’t ‘just go away.’
Protect children, at all costs – yes that is even more important than preserving cozy parish traditions. Open it up, I say! Please just read what’s out there and wake up. For your own health – and for the health of the church. Please! It’s either the truth or lies – and change hurts. But child sexual abuse hurts much, much more.
Vancouver College is next door to Sts. Peter and Paul? Interesting.
Do you Catherine, or does anyone else perchance recall the response of parishioners at Sts Peter and Paul when they learned that a number of known predatory Christian Brothers had been recycled from Mount Cashel into the school, and that after it was known that these brothers had been molesting boys at Mount Cashel? Was there righteous anger? Were they enraged that the boys at the school had been willfully placed at risk?
If you don’t mind me asking. Are you from Vancouver yourself and more so are you one of the
parishioner of Saints Peter and Paul ? I feel so sad for you for being one of the victim of the secular media of this highly corrupted world.Medias wants to catch their readers and are there anything more sensational than having the Roman Catholic Church again and again on the forefront of the secular press ? Truely I can tell you. The most sexual abuse and more serious violent domestics and work place abuses are very sadly from the secular world who have no fear of God.
I went to VC in the early 50’s up till 1959, it was the most brutal place for a child I’ve ever experienced!
If it wasn’t ‘against the law’ I’d burn the hell pit to the ground, and hunt down the black clad monsters that beat us, and worked out their frustrations on us children!
*Larry, I’m glad your comments have brought this issue to the forefront of the discussion once more. It is clear in this article, and Horgan himself admits, that he deliberately mislead parishioners. He continued to be a supporter and advocate for Ensey when clearly aware of the allegations against him, subjecting the parishioners of St. Peter’s and Paul to at minimum the chance of being betrayed by this predator. The actions of the Anderson family likely saved the parish from more substantial harm. I am sorry that they felt that they needed to leave the parish, but what a wise decision on their part to leave what must have become a place of darkness when they were persecuted for their actions when they only tried to shed light on the reality of the situation. Horgan’s actions are repeated again overe and over throughout the Catholic world giving safe haven to predators
*oops… Sorry, I posted that last comment before I was finished.
Horgan’s actions are similar to Bishop Prendergaast, Bishop DeRoo, Monsignor Lynn in Philadelphia and so many others who continue to listen to the voices of their fellow priests and shut out the victims. To believe he knows better than the criminal system that charged Ensey, and those who initiated the Vatican proceedings, attests to someone operating from their ego and is definitely a large ‘lapse in judgement’.
I trust that your visiting this site shows your interest in educating yourself on this issue. Take the time to read the many cases that Sylvia has documented here and you will begin to see the truth that has been hidden for so long.
I do not know where you are from but you do not seems like one of our parishioner at Saints Peter and Paul.
We attended mass regularly and Father Horgan NEVER say that he deliberately mislead the parishioners. He will be a fool to say things like that and our church will be in absolute chaos.Somehow I really do not understand where on earth did you get this from .All he did was to apologise to the Parishioners for what has been transform and the parish will discontinue the support to the Society of Saint John and nothing more.
Correction: The action of the Anderson family make most parishioners worry as to what will happen to Father Horgan and the Parish should they strike a second round.Glad they choose to leave.The parish is much better without them.
A place of darkness ?????? Come on Leona, what on earth did you get this idea from ? We started everything anew with more and more religious talks and educational presentation from Father Horgan and looking forward to our future Parish Centre.
I come to this site wishing to see a clean page on this forum not to dwell myself into much confusion into legal battles.
I am sorry to say I still cannot make anything out of the report on March 24,2004. Full of accusations after accusations with no concrete backups.To me it looks a complete legal mess full of contradiction and no verdict is ever delivered.Furthermore this Judge Jones order the report to remain under seal.Why does he have to do this ? So many unanswered questions into the many legal loopholes.This is at least how I see it.
Heed Leona’s words and find the beam in your eye!
You have clearly explained why the ”Andersen” or ”Anderson”(?) left your parish. I feel sorry for you and for them. … ”we are better off without them”!!! …I won’t comment here!…Not enough time right now…but also hoping you can correct yourself!
I hope the Andersen get to read this and find some comfort.
You need to read a lot more on the subject, Larry…and fellow ”worried” parishioners… I wish you well and more insight…
Larry, you almost leave me at a loss for words. I now get the impression that Peter and Charlene Andersen were run out of the parish for doing what every good Roman Catholic should do when they discover that a known or suspect clerical sexual predator is in their midst and has unfettered access to children and youth. If they weren’t literally run out the Andersens probably could no longer endure a hostile environment created by those who refuse to believe that Father Ensey is a risk to children, prefer keep their heads blissfully buried in the sand, and murmur and gossip about those who dare to expose the truth about a priest who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Sadly, you prefer to shoot the messenger than face the truth.
I have added another article to Sylvia’s Site, this re Father Horgan’s “apology”:
Because of his involvement at St. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Shaughnessy activities in Canada I have decided that I must now add Father Ensey’s name to the Accused list. I will also add a page of further information – included will be information about Father Ensey and the Society of St. John.
Check back in a week or so Larry. You may find information which will hopefully and finally convince you that the Andersens did you and your fellow parishioners a favour.
*After reading some of the preceding….I think ‘Larry” may just be ”posing” as a parishioner when in fact he has an ”official” position with the church…
*Is this the same “Larry” poster that mentions at times here at this thread that he knows many priests/clergy and keeps implying that the poster “Glen” who posts here sometimes is a priest?
Larry seems to know a lot about the going on in the Catholic Church. Assuming it is the same poster called “Larry”.
Good to hear from you Lina. In answer to your question, I believe the only other Larry who posts is Larry Green. This Larry is not Larry Green.
*Thanks for that clarification Sylvia about “Larry”. It does explain a lot.
*Larry, you are right. I am not a parishioner of St. Peter and Paul’s, but I know the history of the Vancouver Archdiocese well. I know the rhetoric about confronting the issue of sexual abuse that is spoken while the actions of those in a position of authority continue to sweep the issue under the carpet, embracing the wrongdoers, and shaming the victims and whistleblowers. How can your parish begin anew, if so many people hold contempt for the Andersen family?
If the Catholic church truly wants to separate itself from the predators in their midst, they need to take a more active role in educating parishioners about sexual offenders. They need to create and post on their websites lists of priests who have been charged and those with credible accusations against them. They need to stop providing a safe haven for such priests.
Over twenty years ago Larry, I went to the archbishop, and to several Lower Mainland parishes offering to speak to their parishioners as a survivor of clergy abuse. Not one of them took me up on the offer. I’m still available, and would be pleased to come and give a talk at St. Peter and Paul’s if your congregation really wants to begin anew.
I am one of the official from the church ? Please do not dwell yourself too much into fantasies.How can my very poor English be ever qualified for a official who may at their own discretion pose a official response with absolute clarity.I can sense about the dislike about Our Roman Catholic Church with the many so called scandals flying around which sensationalise the secular world, the world where sexual abuse and even violent sexual offense can be witnessed every day and every second. I most humbly pray that you can stay out of your comment about the officials whom you may have who are working to keep our mother church going without concrete details.
Honestly I can tell you.The reports from the various posting on this page which I have read are so inconclusive.Most of them are pending allegations which are dated way back. What are the status now in 2012 ? According to some sources which I have Father Ensey was cleared for the charges.Maybe there are some more pending for hearing which I don’t know.Have you update your research to 2012 ? The truth of the matter is the guilty verdict from members of jury are still not handed out ? What’s happening to the American Legal System ? Are they keep spending the money from the public by hiding so many they called “confidential” legal papers for the sake of the victim whose identity cannot be release to the public ? What are they still waiting for ? I just cannot comprehend why Judge Jones wanted the file sealed.What are the details in that report ? I have supported the Society of Saint John in the past but I am not part of the litigation and I think I deserve the right to know.It is a very serious matter as you know.
Where is the guilty verdict ? Do you have the details ? If there is who is the judge and where about it is the verdict was handed out and what was the vote from the member of jury ? Has the defendent filed an appeal ? If so ? When is the hearing ? I need to see all that from you.
Newspaper reports the hell with them. They say some, sensationalise on some, leave some,and juggle around to suit the tastes of their readers. WE WANT CONCRETE FACTS. NOT PURE SPECULATION. If the documents are sealed , I need to see the original seal.
The Anderson may started some new venture which exited them most by now.Please leave them alone. They may not want to go back to old kind of unfinshed business.
Sorry about the mess and inconvience which I may have caused here and thank you for being so patient with me.I am not one of the church officials as what has been speculated here by JG and I am absolutely in in authority what so ever in speaking of this scandal.My family and I go to mass regularly and say our prayers in the evening at there goes our day and nothing more.
Correction: I have no authority what so ever to speak on behalf of my church. Please excuse my poor English.
If you happen to have the picture in addition to the article on December 19,2011 ? If you see that picture you will find some oddity in it.It is a picture of two smiling priest Father Horgan and Father Ensey who are far apart.When people have their picture taken and more so if they are in happy mood, they normally stay closer together to have their picture taken and I think this photo has been edited to suit what is included in the article.I do not wish to comment further but I think it is just fair for all us to get a more complete picture.
The article from the Vancouver Sun on December 19,2011 is a follow up article written by a reporter who happened to sit close to me and my family in the church during Mass.He did his homework of following up after the Mass and nothing more.Father Horgan did apologise to the parishioners and the support to the Society of Saint John was stopped immediately.But Father Horgan did not apologise to the parishioners (plural) for deliberately and knowingly mislead them in supporting the Society. HE NEVER SAY SUCH THING AND MAKE SUCH STATEMENTS.Somehow I just don’t know how it can possibly come about in the article.
Some parishioners read the article line by line and word by word. I am one of them. But sadly it turns out from the knowledge some other parishioners at least 30% from the article are pure speculations.The truth can only be reduced to some two paragraph but still only on pending accusations after accusations.How can we judge someone just base on this one source of reporting ? Thank you for posting the other source you have but still, no smoking gun.There are still a lot in the report which we don’t know.The newspaper can only say so much and the court can only release only so much to us to know about the case. In the democratic world where we all live in. Everybody no matter how bad and how cruel they may seems to us is innocent unless proven guilty.Scandals are just scandals.The ins and outs in those can be very complicated for anybody to comprehend.Somehow in this world it is maybe just human nature to dwell thems into gosipping scandals.
I guess I keep you working over time. I don’t know if I can pay you for this ? ! Joking ! But there are most updated legal documents on the guilty or nor guilty verdict I am please to see them here if you happen to have them. They may contain materials which offense to some of which I understand very well.Still, to put the matter to complete rest we need a more complete history of the case from the beginning to its conclusive end.
*Loust taime eye sa sumune swimmun dat fas he wus chased by halley gators…
yur a fruad larry..four give me two my spalling!
That was easy!
And you are one of the poor victim moulded in the liking of the secular press. Only if you could allow me to pray for you !
It sounds like the most wonderful American South accent with their most warm welcoming people.Are you from the the southern states JG ? We can leave the KKK behind for now !
Larry, I am sure you know very well that Father Ensey eluded justice in criminal courts because of the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania. Ditto your friend RDG.
I told you that I will post the information and documents which I have. I have a distinct sense that nothing will satisfy you, but for the sake of those who are genuinely interested and to ensure that others are not deceived I will post it.
No more comments from you please until the information is posted. We all fully understand where you are coming from.
*Sorry Sylvia for keeping you so busy.Yes I am aware of the elude of justice in criminal court. I think it is fair for all of us to see this case can come to a conclusive end. So many legal complications. I will sign off for now. Thanks !
No hard feelings for JG. Take five !
Well ! Does anyone have the picture on page A17 from the Vancouver Sun on December 17,2011 ? Can all of us have a good like of how STRANGE this picture may seems to us.
Two smiling person can be so far apart to have the picture taken. What’s going on here ? Can they come up with something better ?
May I quote you – “This is a very serious matter”.
Yes, I agree with you that this is a very serious matter, not one which should be swept under the rug. Why do you fear the truth being talked about? Why are you slam-dunking the Anderson’s? Just sweeping it all under the rug will not help your parish. It isn’t going to go away.
Personally, I also believe that the Anderson’s did your parish a big favor, and now are paying the price for it, from you among others. I don’t see anything “Christian” in your ranting about the Anderson’s.
Perhaps you should dwell on the problem, and the real solutions to the problem instead of shooting the messenger, like Sylvia said. She ISN’T the problem Larry! People like you are! Mike.
I am not fearing the truth AND I WANT THE TRUTH TO COME OUT.So sadly the secular press have tones of speculations on what they call “truth”.I am not afraid of speaking out. Do you ?
Thank you for your conerns and addressing myself of being a problem.
There real problem Mike is that the parishioners do not see face to face and do not have chance to meet with this messenger, the Andersons.They are the ones who are mentioned in the Vancouver Sun article and WHY can’t they show up in front of the parishioners and talk to us face to face ? The Anderson if they wish can choose to avoid the parish priest but at least if according to you they did such a big favour to us why they choose to leave instead of facing the parishioners and feed in all the details.The Andersons themselves did not contribute to the Society of Saint John. NOT a single dime.Most parishioners like myself did.This makes most of the parishioners angry. If they have the courage to put themselves in the paper and they even say that they may risk retaliation of some kind by doing so why they choose to leave the parishioners behind.This clearly is an act of cowardly.You may have some knowledge about how Catholics think about the secular press which I do not wish to comment further.
Now I hope you have a better understanding of where I am coming from.
I just spoke to Jim Bendell, a lawyer in the States who is very familiar with Father Eric Ensey and the Society of St. John. I was advised that Father Ensey has been defrocked. Jim Bendell got the news from a canon lawyer involved in the case.
Larry, you may already know this? Perhaps this is what has triggered this belated objection to an article which has been posted on Sylvia’s Site without comment for nine months?
I will put your future comments on moderate. There is no point in going round and round in circles about the evils of the media. The information on Father Ensey and the Society of St. John will be posted sometime next week.
One question Larry. You mention two Society of St. John seminarians studying in Canada. What seminary were they at?
Sorry I have no idea where they study. They left the country since the support to the Society of saint John was discontinued.Wish them a good future.
Thanks for putting this case to rest. Now I can have a good sleep.
Somehow I still wonder why the Anderson did not approach the concerning parishioners like us but instead going to the Vancouver Sun.Sorry about the messy affairs from our parish.I honestly believe matter like this should be resolved within our parish and it is not fair for greater public to share our anxiety.
I have now been told that the defrocking is pending approval of the Vatican.
Apologies, but this is a little confusing.
A priest is not laicized (defrocked) until the Vatican gives the nod, so at best laicization is perhaps pending, but, sad to say there is no documentation anywhere that I can find to prove that Father Ensey has been defrocked.
Think about it more deeply.If the Andersons are so concern about the sexual abuse allegation of Father Ensey and the contributions from the parishioners to the Society of Saint John. Why can’t they keep the matter within parish and started talking to fellow parishioners but instead leaving them completely in the dark and heads off to the Vancouver Sun.Should it be the matter within our own parish ? Why keep the rest of the world under anxiety ? Does anybody in the parish listening to them ? Father Horgan over 4 hours meeting with them cannot get an answer satisfying them. Then they went to the Archbishop for 90 minutes and still no satisfactory answers.The next day Saturday December 17,2012, a big full page A17 which makes lots of parishioners wondering and confuse and worse of all with conflicting opinions. Why ? Why ? Why ? If the Andersons can communicate with most fellow parishioners within the parish well beforehand this article may not need to come into place and Sylvia the webhost can have a good rest.And you will not address me as being a problem. Am I making sense here ?
I can see why the messenger was shot. Can’t they see that they make themselves seems more important by taking the matter singlehandedly themselves. This purely a parish matter and the Anderson should keep the matter within the matter by talking to fellow parishioners face to face.
Enough of this nonsense “Larry.” I have ways of knowing that you )”Larry”) , “clean up” and “RDG” are at the very least using the same computer if not the same person. The last time I ran into a situation like this I discovered I was dealing with a priest. That particular priest has since been blocked from posting on Sylvia’s Site.
*Larry :No!… You are speaking with a mouthful of sand….but I am amazed at your improved spelling! This was not a total waste, apparently.
Hats off again to the Andersen!…for their stature!
Meditate on a few prayers for yourself before you go to sleep!…but you will wake up in the middle of the night for some time yet…remembering your attempted deceit…you spoke out of anger in a very unchristian way! The Andersen are the ones who would have to forgive you…
I still wish you well but you have to be more honest if yo want to find some Peace. If you WANT THE TRUTH TO COME OUT, as you said above, stop playing games! ….and yes, I will take 4, not 5…on the beach.
Your ”profile” is in your words, Larry. It is not a fantasy! And I thank you for giving me the best laugh in a long time…You can’t fool eveyone hall da taime u no! …funny you thought that was a South American accent…What is your knowledge of South America, you uneducated, bad speller, father of ”some” children…who ”has’ a wife!!!
Priest or parishioner, let ME keep you in my prayers! I think you have a bad connection!
August 31, 2012 at 12:35 am
Please kindly accept my sincere apologies to you , RG , and many
others whom I have offended from my posting on the Father Horgan lapse
of judgement page.And with your permision may I kindly ask for your
assistance to please remove all of my comments and postings on that
…just thought to help ”Larry” keep his eggs in the same basket…will be easier to follow in 6 months or a year! This entry was probably made under the ”secular” heading by mistake…Just trying to help.
Thanks for re-directing Larry’s last post JG.
For the information of all, Larry contacted me by email on 31 August 2012. I told him I would be more than willing to talk to him. He agreed. He gave me a phone number and we agreed that I would call him Friday past (07 September).
I tried at least 10 times to contact Larry on Friday: ans. machine I tried calling again on Monday. Again on Tuesday. I sent an email. No response. I am finished with trying.
Aren’t all the personal email and telephone correspondence suppose to be confidential as stated in your website ?
There was no conversation to keep confidential `jg` I tried to make contact. I spent a lot of time trying. As I said, I gave up.
I wanted to thank you so much for the carefully documented information on this site, and also for not caving in to pressure from dubious sources to remove the information, which is proving invaluable to others currently in thrall to former priests of the SSPX who co-founded the SSJ and are currently associating themselves with a breakaway movement from the SSPX.
This type of predator never changes, never gives up his vices – they just infiltrate new communities and do irreparable harm, under the cover of priestly virtue. They are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing,
Anyone brave enough to stand up to their abuses will – as you no doubt know – find themselves painted as liars and criminals and, oftentimes, run out of town on a rail.
Priests protect their own and, while they must be protected from false accusations, they are often less assiduous in protecting their flocks from the wolves.
Your blog is a precious resource – God bless you for your courage and your honesty.
Amen to that!! Keep up the awesome job Sylvia, you’re the light for a lot of us who figured we were alone for many years!
Just came across this site and the information and comments have been very useful. The Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has decided to move father Horgan from his current parish to one in North Vancouver where the church is on the same grounds as a catholic elementary school. While he has never been accused or charged with anything the risk of any his associates being invited to stay introduces significant risks to the school and the church. Unfortunately the church and the school does not belive this. Many of the parents are of the opinion this is a significant and unnecessary risk.
Father Horgan has, to put it very mildly, shown poor judgement in the past.
As you see in this article, the the Father Michael Fugee scandal in Newark, NJ prompted the resignation of one priest and a married couple. As far as I can see, there is little difference in the two situations, is there? In both instances adult friends of a predatory priest were willing to ‘accommodate’ a predatory priest and in so doing place children/young people at risk.
Despite of whoever say about Father Horgan’s judgement in the past, his departure is greatly missed by most parishioners of Saints Peter and Paul after serving 15 years there as parish priest.The writer is not trying to defend his misjudgement or innocent but just simply stating plain facts.
Without the signifant time and effort put up by Father Horgan, the initiation for the propose new parish centre immediately next to the church will never become reality and donations has been pouring in for this project for htepast two years since it was first announced by father John.Again this is no lies but hard facts.
We sincerely hope the next sheppard leader of Saints Peter and Paul Parish will continue the same.
A reply to WP on the transfer of Father Horgan to the one in North Vancouver.
Not only the church and the school in North Vancouver do not believe in what the kind of risks you mention,quite the opposite, his transfer to North Vancouver parish is given a warm welcome by the parish there.
Interesting update, WP, and what a wise decision to check out this site. The Catholic church here in B.C. has an abysmal record of protecting children and helping victims heal. Their mandate is not about children, but is focused on protecting the reputation of the organization. Besides their response to Fr. Horgan, look at their response to Fr. Damian Cooper, Fr. Joseph Lang, Fr. Jack McCann, Fr. Edwin Budima, Fr. Leonard Buckley, Fr. John Eason, Fr. Harold McIntee, Fr. Philip Jacobs, and Bishop Hubert O’Connor. The only reason that the public is aware of these men’s crimes is because of the courage of the victims, who despite great personal cost came forward to tell their stories, thus preventing harm to new victims. The church has done nothing to minimize the damage done to victims when they ‘come out’ with their stories, rather they have continued to stonewall withholding information until forced to reveal it in court.
We see by the release of documents in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions that the church leaders have deliberately put children in harms way, and there is no reason to believe that things are any different in B.C.
Until they are willing to be transparent in their actions, revealing the personel records that we know that under Canon Law all dioceses keep, they cannot be trusted to make decisions that will keep your children safe.
I would advise that you stop trying to dialogue or negotiate with the Church. Inform the media. Let them know of your concerns. Let’s continue to hold the church accountable.
Not very helpful comment or advice from Leona.The truth of the matter is 90% of the people nowadays do not believe in what the media says.Breach of trust with the authority and takes matter into ones own hand can be very risky indeed.Media love to creat and exaggerate most of the time to draw wide readership.
I found Leona’s comment to be insightful and well expressed. While it is true that certain segments of the media are shallow and sensationalist, others are dedicated and reliable, and it is generally possible to discern the difference.
Speaking with regards to the local Fr. Phil Jacobs case, any media reports were quite accurate, when compared to what those in court reported back, and critical for public knowledge of the proceedings, since precious little information is coming from the Bishop or the Church.
I applaud the media for its (growing) willingness to investigate, expose, and educate the public about the prevalence and damaging effects of sexual abuse and child pornography, whether in the Church, sports organizations, scouts, etc.
For the benefit of all, the `jg`who posted earlier today is NOT the JG who posts regularly.
Further to that, I have done a bit of checking and see that the comments posted by “jg, ” “A parishioner from Saints Peter and Paul,” “Who will believe the media,” “WPFOLLOWUP” and, yes, “Larry” all come from the same computer.
No more Larry. You can defend of the indefensible actions of Father Horgan – but please don`t try to fool us anymore by posting all these comments under different names. The jig is up.
It is hard for someone like him to change his stripes.
Thankfully, I went back and realized that this “Larry” who hides behind fake names is not the Larry Green gentleman who posts here also!
Yes, you`re right Suzanne. Thanks for drawing it to attention.
This jg/larry idiot should be shot between the eyes with a ball of his own shit. What a dirtbag.
This tread is really in the twilight Zone! Who is Larry?…Is this the same jg?…WP…Who will believe the media…?
One thing for sure someone is having some serious issues with his personality…We don’t really know who he is but then again, we should not be distressed by this: he doesn’t really know who he is either….
So, sincerely, I feel terrible for this man who is obviouly troubled. I hope he gets better and really comes out as himself!
I can only hope that he is not in a trusted position in the church or in the community! How many “personalities” would he draw from in those circumstances….
He waited almost a year to try to get revenge!!!???….
Increase the medication, take some more time off, pick up a hobby and confess to whatever is bothering you…Larry, Curley , Moe…????
No, really!… Father “Who”?… you are too close to the pain to be only a “supporter”….
Leap of faith…be truthful!
jg (for real!)
Jesus Christ forgives even the nastiest sins. That’s why He came. It seems that Father Horgan is doing the same. If he didn’t, how else could things improve ?
You can’t always just cut out the problem…sometimes it has to heal
I find it confusing when people talk about forgiving sins that were committed against people other than themselves. If I decide to forgive Hitler, or Stalin, or any other criminal for all his crimes, when I was in no way affected by them, isn’t that an easy and meaningless gesture?
Or, if I forgive the person who wronged Sue (or Sue’s parents or children)–how does that take any effort on my part? Rather, it places an (undeserved) burden on Sue (or her family) that they are somehow less forgiving than I if they (understandably) find it less easy to forgive than I did. I can understand an unaffected person praying for the criminal to be forgiven by God, but not pretending to be God by “forgiving” someone who has sinned against OTHERS.
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but this story still has legs. If you look at the February 25, 2019 issue of the BC Catholic newspaper, official organ of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, there is a headline on page 3 that reads “Archbishop offers update on abuse investigation”. The story that follows describes a letter released by Archbishop Michael Miller on the subject of clerical sex abuse. So far, so good. BUT… the photo accompanying the article, taken at a completely unrelated event, shows Archbishop Miller with none other than Fr. John Horgan.
So, the question we have to ask is this: are the editors of the BC Catholic so out of touch with the reporting done one this subject they were simply unaware of Fr. Horgan’s connection to known pedophiles? Or is someone at the BC Catholic sabotaging the Archbishop as an act of protest? Either way, the photo is there.
Father Horgan is a very kind priest. He has patience even for people he doesn’t know over the phone with serious problems. Everyone likes him. As a priest, he has to forgive everyone .