Category Archives: Father Camille Léger
Published Date Thursday, April 24,2014
From the Link: http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49465:frank-laferriere-support-the-victims-not-the-victimizers&catid=73:letter&Itemid=428
To the editor:
If you were to find out that the leadership of a group or organization you belonged to had appeared before commissions and grand juries and openly admitted to covering up the abuses of children, from rape to severe beatings, to even the death of a child, and that this involved tens of thousands of members own children, and that the cover ups are wide spread throughout the organization or group, you would think that the membership of the group would rise up in arms and make sure that the leadership is arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows. That they would stand up and defend and protect their children over the leadership of their group or organization. Yet there is one such organization…though there are others….that its leadership is totally immune from liability for crimes such as these by it’s membership. This organization is known as the Roman Catholic Church.
While they have come far with this problem of child abuse, the Vatican announced that for 2011-2012 almost 400 priests had to be let go because of credible accusations of child abuse, including rape, there is still much to be done. While it is commendable that they caught and fired these priests, what about those whom participated in the cover ups of these crimes? Why are they not called to account for their crimes of the members own children? Why are the leadership of the church put above the law and those whom they have harmed? Why are they defended and even praised or made a saint?
There have been at least a half a dozen commission reports, like the Ryan Report, that detail the systematic sexual, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse of children and teens, children of the Roman Catholic Church; and the cover ups of these abuses by the leaders and even their highest leaders, ones whom are supposed to be the Vicars of Jesus while on this earth and in their position. Yet even to this day, not one credibly accused leader has ever been arrested or prosecuted for their crimes save one, Bishop Robert Finn and that case is being retried. Matter of fact, one of these, John Paul II was given sainthood. There is overwhelming evidence he participated in the cover up of and through acts of omission, turned a blind eye to, the pederast Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Yet he is given sainthood? This is an insult to all those whom are survivors of these evil crimes against us.
There are some incredible priests and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. I have met some of them. From Fr Tom Doyle, ret., whom has fought tirelessly for the victims of priest abuse, at the cost of his being a priest, to even our own local priest Fr Kyle Stanton whom has helped me immensely, to groups like Catholic Whistleblowers, and others, they have sort of restored my faith that this problem of priests and nuns abusing children and teens will stop. Yet to truly set things right the following must be done.
1. All credibly accused leaders, from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to Cardinals like Timothy Dolan, Donald Wuerl, Roger Mahony, Bernard Law, George Pell, and many others, against whom there is overwhelming evidence, through commission reports, grand jury testimonies and the churches own documents, must be fired. They must be arrested and prosecuted. We do this to other criminals, we demand this of any rapist or those whom cover up the rapes and abuses of children. They may be leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, but these men are criminals and deserve to be arrested and prosecuted and the victims deserve their day in court and justice for the crimes committed against them because of these leaders actions.
2. Abide by the Pledge to Protect, Promise to Heal charter all of the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States signed. All attacks against the victims must stop. We are not responsible for our rapes, we did not enjoy being raped. We are not homosexuals because we were raped by a male priest. We are not liars, gold diggers who are out looking for a payday from the Roman Catholic Church.
We are your sons, we are your daughters, who want justice, whom want those who perpetrated these crimes against us punished, whom went through one of the most horrifying and terrifying experiences a human being can go through. We trusted these priests and nuns and they destroyed that trust with their evil crimes against us. We were raped, we were beaten, we had our souls, our hearts stolen from us, we had our bodies destroyed and abused. We did not deserve this, we were not willing participants and we refuse to remain silent while those whom are responsible for these crimes against us go free while we still remain trapped inside the prisons they created for us.
3. No matter what….put your children before your leaders. Protect and stand up and defend your children….not the leaders whom committed these evils against us. Your children should come first. Stand up for the victims of these crimes, whom are your own children. You may know one. Again, we are your sons, your daughters, your nieces and nephews, your God children, whom you vowed and promised to protect and defend.
I started going back to church. I even started photographing St Annes, an incredibly beautiful place of worship. I had no choice though, I had to stop because I felt like such a hypocrite. Far too many of us whom were victims still see those responsible for these evils against us in their positions as if nothing in the world is wrong. We victims are still being attacked, by people like Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League. We are still being attacked by parishioners whom have called me a liar to my face and how dare I spread lies and rumors and false accusations and gossip against the leaders. Well, sadly, I am not spreading lies, rumors and false accusations, these statements I have made can all be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law if it were allowed.
Yet while these leaders whom perpetrated these crimes against us are still in power, I cannot in good conscious go into the church. I cannot be part of a church where the leadership covered up the crimes of child abuse, child rape and put the church before the children and are still in power, for that makes me a hypocrite in my eyes.
I would love to go on a regular basis to St Anne, to be among the other worshipers, some of whom I made acquaintance and even friends with, especially Fr Kyle, but I cannot, for while the wolves are still in control….someone must stand outside the door for the defense and protection of the children and the victims.
Sin is one thing…sin can be forgiven when there is true repentance from the sin. There has been no true repentance among the leadership whom covered up these crimes. There have been staged acts of contrition, but no true repentance. For if they are to truly repent they must also submit to prosecution for the crimes they committed. They must not hide behind their robes of religion. If they seek to make laws for man like they do, they also must submit to the laws of man and be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes. No one, not even religious leaders, should be allowed to get away with crimes against children. They should not be above the law!
When it comes time to the crimes of the rapes and abuses of children and teens and the cover up of these crimes by the leadership…only justice in a court of law, where the victims may have their day in court to see those responsible for the crimes against them be tried and if found guilty sentenced to prison…that is true justice. The Roman Catholic Church promised this to victims and to prosecuting attorneys…but have failed to deliver on this promise. Instead they still fight the victims and hide behind the statue of limitations to deny justice to the victims. Ask yourself is this true justice? If you were raped would you say this is true justice?
In closing whom do you think Jesus Christ will stand up for in the end?
Those whom perpetrated these crimes against children and teens…or the children and teen victims?
Here is a clue: “For it would be better for you to tie a huge boulder around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than to harm a single hair on the head of a child.”
Well the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church did a lot more than harm a hair on the head of a child. Whom are you going to stand besides? The ones Jesus Christ would stand up for? Or the ones He would toss into the pit of hell for their evils against children?
Frank LaFerriere, Berlin
The Catholic church should be outlawed forthwith
JohnB on outlawing the Catholic church today
From the link: http://www.molestedcatholics.com/
Talking whilst driving with my son today and I began to relate to him some details about a foot injury I had as a child. He had come home and shown me a blister on his foot; I told him he had not spent enough time in bare feet – that was the prompt, my topic could be my right foot or how long/harmful/life distorting the repression of the day to day Catholic cover up are – its part of the healing journey and a son who smiled today when he listened to me about this – its the story of how I had to cover up the injury even though I had to have ongoing medical attention and purpose made boots it was always done in the name of something else – my injured foot which had left me with a distinct limp because I walked with my foot turned in as it had been injured seriously when the car door was repeatedly slammed on my foot on the day the priest raped me at a little church in the beautiful hills of Central Victoria – its about how every Catholic knew what the cause was and every Catholic knew I was not permitted to speak about it – they were able to assist me with my pigeon toed-ness but they were not able to help me with my injured foot due to being slammed in the lock of the car door as that was a lie that would send me to hell – that’s why other kids parents were permitted to beat you if they heard you speak about it being what it in fact was. This was a conscious campaign by every catholic in that town, nuns and priests, knights of the Southern Cross, bishops, the local Catholic Policeman, the Editor of the local newspaper included – they all knew and participated – that to me is what the cover up was and the to me is what the cover up is today – that is what Catholic parishes across the world participate in still today – that is the Catholic cover up in action. It is bigger and stronger than just the Catholic hierarchy because so many have built their careers and their fortunes on.
The part skepticism plays in helping to clarify those truths and facts of your life – you realize that your own brothers and sisters were blackmailed in the same way over this and over dozens of other crimes that had occurred and were covered up – there was a regular murmurous uproar as another instances of sexual abuse was gossiped and whispered about and some kid bullied into fear of their life until the rules of secrecy were instilled (rather this repression was the enforcement of denial into the entire catholic population.
If society does not turn away from the path of the Catholic church and if it does not freeze its assets, its businesses then the vast majority of the real crime in our society will never be addressed and the world will never have had a real chance to raise our children in a peaceful, loving and truthful environment. Lets make 2011 the year we all come together to unite in the single cause of demanding our government ceases to trade with and Catholic or religious entity until democracy is restored in our country.
There is no precedent that permits a sector of society to enact genocide on its followers on the basis of religion. That is what we have today and what we have today is insidious and at the core of the ability of society to progress in the areas of human rights, dignity, respect, individuality, freedom of expression of thought and the freedom of speech.
While ever the Catholic church continues to exist and to be able to function as an organized religion it will be in the process of enacting the genocidal practices of the religion against some portion of society and it will continue to enable wars just as any organized religion can and repeatedly to the detriment of society does. The Catholic church is our most obvious example. We can either help the Catholic church to prevail or we can help our children to prevail. For every person on the planet the real choice they have to make is whether they will support the Catholic church or will they support the children.
2011 must be the year when those of us across the world who have an understanding of this and for us to collectively demand our governments brings it to a halt and never permits it to occur again. That is a part of their moral obligation to society. Any politician who today stands in support of the Catholic church should be collectively condemned through our united and collective voices.
Make 2011 the year when you connect up with a proactive survivor who speaks clearly and directly about the needs and the means of providing the safety and the protection our children and our society need.
The Catholic church and those who follow it today need to stand back and permit reason and justice to prevail, to permit each and every person within the boundaries of their country to live with the legitimate right to live in a free and democratic country free of repression and child abuse.
The Catholic church stands condemned as a psychopathic pariah and must be rejected in all forms wherever it is not regulated and policed.
Priest sex abuse claimant sues Moncton diocese
Alleged victim of Cap-Pelé priest Camille Léger also suing three archbishops
Posted: Jun 29, 2012 6:52 PM AT
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2012 10:25 PM AT
A man who alleges he was sexually abused by the late Father Camille Léger in the 1970s is suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Moncton as well as three archbishops.
The man, who has asked the court not to release his identity, claims he was molested by the Cap-Pelé priest “on a regular and repeated basis” for five years, between the ages of 11 and 16.
He was an altar boy and member of the Ste-Thérèse-d’Avila parish during the period in question, according to his statement of claim, filed with the Court of Queens Bench in Moncton on Friday.
The man, now middle-aged and living in Saint John, claims he still suffers physical, emotional and mental pain and suicidal thoughts from the abuse he suffered.
He is seeking financial compensation and a court order that the archdiocese turn over to police any information regarding other allegations of sexual misconduct by priests.
The lawsuit names three archbishops as defendants:
- Ernest Léger, who was the archbishop in 1997 when the church received a report of Léger’s inappropriate actions with another child.
- Valéry Vienneau, the current archbishop, who was involved in negotiating a settlement in that case
- André Richard, who, until recently was in charge of the diocese for 10 years and allegedly did little to address Leger’s conduct
Archdiocese officials could not be reached Friday for comment.
But in a written statement, archdiocese spokesman Donald Langis confirmed receipt of the lawsuit.
“The independent mediation process designed by the Honorable Michel Bastarache was designed specifically to deal with claims such as this in an atmosphere of conciliation with fair offers of compensation and without the need to pay lawyers,” Langis said.
“While it is the right of people to use the court system if they wish to do so, the archdiocese does hope that victims will avail themselves of the conciliation process, which is still open to them.”
Earlier this month, the archdiocese announced it had hired Bastarache, a retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, to set up and manage a conciliation process for people who were victims of sexual abuse by Léger.
Compensation between $15,000 to $300,000 will be given out, Bastarache said.
Victims have until the end of the month to contact Bastarache.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Robert Talach, has argued the process only keeps the abuse shrouded in secrecy.
Léger died in 1990 and was never convicted of any crimes. He was a priest in Cap-Pelé from 1957 to 1980.
Several people in the small, southeastern New Brunswick village have come forward recently to talk about being abused by Léger.
The debate started when the village council announced it would hold a referendum on whether to remove the former priest’s name from the local hockey arena.
There was an immediate groundswell of support around the idea of removing Léger’s name from the arena. The Cap-Pelé council had the sign removed and cancelled the plebiscite.
In March, Archbishop André Richard apologized to anyone who was abused by Léger. But he did not mention how the church had already compensated at least one individual for abuse.
Normand Brun, who now lives in Vancouver, said he was abused by Léger.
He said the abuse started when he was nine years old and it went on for four years.
Brun took his complaint to the Catholic Church in 1997 and received financial compensation. He is unable to discuss how much money he received due to legal reasons.
Bathurst diocese defends sex abuse conciliation in ad
Posted: Aug 24, 2012 5:20 PM AT
Last Updated: Aug 24, 2012 6:35 PM AT
The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst has taken out a half-page newspaper ad, defending itself against criticism over a conciliation process offered to 80 sexual abuse victims.
An Ontario lawyer and some of the victims, abused by clerics between the 1950s and 1980s, have argued there wasn’t enough transparency in the process, but in the newspaper statement, the diocese maintains it did everything right.
It hired retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Michel Bastarache a couple of years ago to oversee the process, which included compensation and apologies.
“Eighty out of 86 victims of sexual abuse by Levi Noel, and other clerics of the Bathurst Diocese, participated in the process and accepted awards made, representing a 93 per cent success rate, one of the highest ever achieved in such a process,” the statement, signed by Most Rev. Valery Vienneau, the bishop-administrator of Bathurst states.
“The Ontario lawyer who now publicly criticizes the process and the diocesan effort represented a number of people who successfully participated in that process and who, with his counsel, accepted awards,” Vienneau states.
Some of the victims are in the process of launching a lawsuit.
Nothing to hide
“They suggest that their lawsuit is about seeing that further details come to light, intimating that they believe the diocese is hiding something or has denied its failures in acknowledging mishandling of Noel and others. This is simply incorrect,” states Vienneau.
“When I initiated the reconciliation process, I had learned the extent of Noel’s abusive actions. I publicly acknowledged the failures of my deceased predecessor bishops to recognize and curb his abuse. It led me to extend the process to others known and unknown in an effort to be fair to all victims.”
Levi Noel, who worked on the Acadian Peninsula for 30 years, was sentenced in 2010 to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to 22 sex-related offences.
The victims were boys between the ages of eight and 16 at the time of the abuse, the court heard.
“We’ve done what we could, we do believe, as far as, you know, having a helping hand for the victims, offering them the counselling and compensation with the process that we do have,” the diocese’s vicar general, Father Wesley Wade told CBC News on Friday.
“Our concern was for the victims. We did what we could. And also to respect our diocese financially. So I think that process has helped us tremendously,” he said.
“It’s a very painful experience of course. And most of these cases were many years ago. But we have to take our responsibility — both for the victims to respect them, compensation, financially-speaking, and counselling,” Wade said.
“But also we’ve got a process, a protocol, to avoid these situations in the future as much as we can,” he said.
Similar process in Moncton
The Archdiocese of Moncton also hired Bastarache earlier this summer to oversee a conciliation process for people who were sexually abused by former priest Camille Léger in Cap-Pelé.
Ontario lawyer Robert Talach urged victims to choose litigation over church-sponsored conciliation, arguing confidential payments only allow the diocese to keep the abuse shrouded in secrecy.
Several people in the small, southeastern New Brunswick village came forward earlier this year to talk about being abused by Léger.
The priest died in 1990 and was never convicted of any crimes.
Archbishop André Richard apologized in March to anyone who was abused by Léger.
2 Moncton priests removed amidst sex abuse allegations
Ontario lawyer criticizes archdiocese over timing of announcement
Posted: Jan 3, 2013 5:56 AM AT
Last Updated: Jan 3, 2013 9:31 AM AT
The Archdiocese of Moncton is facing criticism by an Ontario lawyer for its recent announcement of two priests being removed from ministry based on allegations of sexual abuse of children.
The archdiocese informed parishioners during mass last weekend that Father Yvon Arsenault, who was removed in July, and Father Irois Després, who retired in 1992, have been removed “from any ministry whatsoever following allegations of serious sexual abuse on minors.”
Retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Michel Bastarache — who was hired by the archdiocese in June to handle a conciliation process for the victims of another priest in Cap-Pelé — brought the latest allegations to the archdiocese’s attention, according to a Dec. 30 statement posted on its website.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Robert Talach, a personal injury lawyer, says he is “concerned” about the timing of the announcement because he understands the archdiocese was aware of allegations against at least one of the priests for decades.
Talach says one of Arsenault’s alleged victims told him he “had discussions with the archdiocese as early as 1998” about the allegations.
It’s not surprising, said Talach, who is representing about 14 alleged victims of abuse in Moncton and another 19 alleged victims in Bathurst.
In May, Normand Brun told CBC News he took his complaint about being abused by the late Léger to the Catholic church in 1997 and received financial compensation.
Brun, who now lives in Vancouver, was unable to discuss how much money he received due to legal reasons, but said the abuse started when he was nine years old and continued for four years.
Talach questions timing
Talach also noted that the archdiocese removed Arsenault from church duties on July 4.
“Someone has to ask them, you know — if you had enough evidence to remove him in July, why didn’t you go public in July?”
Archdiocese officials have declined to comment, but in a statement read aloud at all diocesan churches said Archbishop Valéry Vienneau asks for “forgiveness from the victims and their families.”
Arsenault, 70, of Moncton, and Després, 82, who lives in a seniors home in Shediac, could not be reached on Wednesday for comment.
“Let’s remember, we’re talking about an institution that treats itself as the highest moral authority in the land,” said Talach.
“One would hope that such an institution would immediately involve the secular authorities — the police — when they find out one of their employees has multiple allegations of sexual abuse, not simply remove him with pay and pension.”
Talach said he believes the archdiocese chose to announce the removal of Arsenault and Després now because “it was likely going to come out elsewhere.”
At least one of the complainants has already gone to the police, he said.
Talach is urging any other possible victims to do the same.
“I am concerned … that there’s a message going out now to victims of these two living priests to come on down to the archdiocese and we’ll start up a compensation package. That’s absolutely wrong at this stage,” he said.
“Nobody should be doing deals right now, there shouldn’t be any talk of money. It should be simply going to the police and the archdiocese should be offering its fullest co-operation to the police on this,” Talach said.
Arsenault served in churches in southeastern New Brunswick for 44 years, including three in the Moncton area.
Després, originally from Cocagne, served in southeastern New Brunswick churches for 38 years.
Conciliation process continues
The archdiocese’s compensation process is expected to wrap up at the end of the month.
“We fully support the [conciliation] process instigated by Mr. Michel Bastarache for the victims and we pledge to be vigilant to ensure that anyone working in the church fully complies with the policies in place to prevent abuse of any kind,” Archbishop Valéry Vienneau said in a statement.
Talach previously urged victims of the former Cap-Pelé priest Camille Léger to avoid the financial compensation being offered by the archdiocese.
He argued confidential payouts would only allow the diocese to keep the abuse shrouded in secrecy and said victims should choose litigation instead of the church-sponsored conciliation process.
Léger died in 1990 and was never convicted of any crimes, but several people in the small, southeastern New Brunswick village came forward last March, alleging they were abused by him as children between 1957 and 1980.
Within a week of the stories of abuse becoming public, then-archbishop André Richard apologized to anyone who was abused by Léger.
Village council also voted to remove Léger’s name from the local arena.
Bastarache told CBC News the conciliation process would allow victims to remain anonymous because it was outside of the usual legal system.
It would also see more money go directly to the victims, he said, estimating compensation of between $15,000 and $300,000 for each victim.
Bastarache also handled a church-related sex abuse file in the Acadian peninsula. The Diocese of Bathurst hired him in 2010 after two former priests were charged with sex-related offences.
More than 90 victims came forward and close to 80 came to settlement, Bastarache had said.
Church abuse report delayed by more allegations
Retired Supreme Court Justice Michel Bastarache says process should end in April
Posted: Mar 7, 2013 7:50 AM AT
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2013 9:36 AM AT
An investigation by retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache into sexual abuse has been delayed for the third time as more people have come forward with new allegations.
The process began last spring when several people in the southeastern village of Cap-Pelé came forward alleging abuse against Father Camille Léger, who has been dead for 23 years.
Those claims forced the church to address other allegations of sexual abuse by hiring Bastarache to lead the independent investigation.
The reconciliation and compensation process was expanded after accusations were made against other two priests, Father Yvon Arsenault and Father Irois Despres.
The process was supposed to wrap up last week when Bastarache gave out compensation cheques.
But he said within the last two weeks many more people have come forward with accusations of abuse.
Bastarache informed the diocese of “serious allegations of sexual abuse” by the two priests.
Arsenault and Despres were both removed from ministry. While they remain priests they are not allowed to perform any church-related duties.
Despres retired in 1992 and is 82 years old and lives in a seniors’ home in Shediac. He served in churches in southeastern New Brunswick for 38 years.
Arsenault, 70, was the priest of two churches in Moncton and one in Irishtown, until he was removed last July.
CBC News has contacted the parish but no was able to say where Arsenault is now.
The priests are not facing any criminal charges.
Bastarache said the compensation process should be completed by the end of April.
Aside from giving victims money, there remain questions around how much responsibility the Archdiocese of Moncton still needs to take when it comes to past allegations of sexual abuse.
Bastarache also handled a church-related sex abuse file on the Acadian peninsula in 2010. The Diocese of Bathurst hired him after two former priests were charged with sex-related offences.
Bastarache has told CBC News the conciliation process allows victims to remain anonymous because it is outside of the usual legal system.
The retired justice has said this process allows more money to go directly to the victims, estimating compensation of between $15,000 and $300,000 for each victim.