Category: Priest Abuse

Is Archbishop Penney Guilty of Perjury?

by John McKiggan






Former Saint John’s Archbishop Alphonse Penney was aware of sexual abuse allegations against former Roman Catholic Priest James Hickey as early as 1980. This according to evidence filed by the diocese’s insurers who are seeking to deny responsibility for paying civil suits filed against the diocese by Hickey’s sexual abuse victims.

Testified Under Oath

In 1992 Archbishop Penney testified during the Winter Commission investigation that he was not aware of any abuse allegations against Hickey until 1986.

Former Catholic Priest Picot Appeals to Supreme Court of Canada

by John McKiggan






Charles Picot, a former Catholic priest employed by the Diocese of Bathurst in New Brunswick was acquitted of indecent assault against a former altar boy in March 2010. Picot had previously been convicted of other sexual assault charges involving other young boys.

The alleged victim appealed, and in a two to one decision Justice Bell ruled for the New Brunswick Court of Appeal that the trial judge didn’t properly consider all of the evidence. The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial.

It has come to our attention that Picot has now requested leave (permission) to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Does Celibacy Cause Sexual Abuse: Debunking Myths about sexual abuse by Catholic priests

by John McKiggan






Myths About Priest Pedophilia

A reader sent me a link to an article published by the Catholic Education Resource Center titled 10 Myths about Priestly Pedophilia. The article purports to correct some of the “myths” about Catholic priest sexual abuse.

Admittedly the article is rather dated. But some of the arguments it makes to defend the Catholic Church are still being made today. So I thought some of the wildly inaccurate claims in the article were worth addressing, and correcting.

Disclosure of Names of Pedophile Priests – A Good First Step

by John McKiggan






The Archdiocese of Boston recently decided to post the names of 159 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse. The Archdiocese also noted they have received allegations against 91 other priests. However, the names of the priests involved have not been made public. There is no indication if this is because the allegations have not been validated by the Church.

Change in Policy

The disclosure represents a rather radical shift in the traditional approach taken by the Catholic Church towards allegations of sexual abuse.

Date Set for Albert LeBlanc Sex Abuse Trial

by John McKiggan






Former Yarmouth priest Albert LeBlanc is facing 50 criminal sexual abuse charges involving allegations of indecent assault and gross indecency.

LeBlanc was scheduled to appear in court yesterday to schedule a date for his trial. LeBlanc did not atend court. Instead Yarmouth criminal defence lawyer Phil Star appeared for LeBlanc to set dates.

The trial has been scheduled to starty May 14, 2012 in provincial court.

Vatican Denies Responsibility for Sexually Abusive Priests

by John McKiggan






Readers may be interested in my recent post to my Atlantic Canada Personal Injury Lawyer blog.

Vatican Denies Responsibility for Sexually Abusive Priests examines some recent American litigation against the Vatican and compares it to the situation here in Canada.

The post has been getting some interesting comments. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

The Catholic Church and Sexual Abuse

by John McKiggan






Is the church’s response real action - or window dressing?

Sexual abuse compensation claims have been filed against the Catholic Church in almost every province in Canada - and similar lawsuits are being filed in other countries around the world. But has the Catholic Church, as an institution, taken reasonable steps to address the problem of sexual abuse by priests?

Background

Nowhere to Hide: Internet Helps Bring Sexual Abuser to Justice

by John McKiggan






Great article by Bob Weber of the Canadian Press about the hunt to bring Eric Dejaeger to justice.

Dejaeger a catholic priest, pleading guilty to sexually abusing nine children while he was in Nunavet. He was released after serving less than a year in jail. RCMP then charged him with three counts of indecent assault and three counts of buggery stemming from his time in Igloolik.

Dejaeger fled to Belgium after being charged. He lived freely and openly with the Oblates in Brussels despite the efforts of the Canadian authorities to extradite him to face charges.

Vatican’s Abuse Guidelines: Action or Window Dressing?

by John McKiggan






The Vatican’s Guidelines to Bishops for dealing with claims of priest sexual abuse has now been released.

Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, also released a brief letter accompanying the Guidelines.

Levada says that the Guidelines were drafted to “…facilitate the correct application” of the Pope’s previous instructions.

Amnesty International Names Vatican for Failing to Protect Children

by John McKiggan






Today Amnesty International published it’s annual report Amnesty International Report 2011: The State of the World’s Human Rights, which examines human rights offences in various countries throughout the world.

The report concludes:

“…the Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children”.

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