The Guardian has reported that the criminal investigation into sexual abuse allegations against PEI priest Rev. George Smith is moving slowly.
According to RCMP Sgt. Boyd Merrill: “It’s a slow, tedious process,”. The officer indicated the investigation could take several months to complete.
RCMP in Deer Lake, N.L., received a criminal complaint that Rev. George Smith sexually abused him when Smith was a priest in Deer Lake NL between 1986 and 1991.
PEI Bishop Grecco was vague about Smith’s status with the Diocese, saying only that Smith was not in PEI and was “not exercising any priestly ministry”.
Is the Church Investigating?
There is no indication if the Diocese is conducting it’s own investigation of Smith as required under the Roman Catholic’s Code of Canon Law and as recommended in From Pain to Hope, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops report on child sexual abuse.
Has Smith Been Sent for Treatment?
There is no indication why Smith is no longer in the province. Has he been sent to Southdown Institute? Southdown is a residential care facility run by the catholic church to provide psychological treatment and counselling to clergy who have experienced problems including: “Ministerial boundary violations”. A euphemism for sexually abusing parishioners.
I would think that catholic parishioners in PEI, and the public in general, would have more confidence in the Church’s actions if they were assured that the church was doing what it can to investigate and respond to the allegations against Smith.
What do you think?