09 April, 2010

Cardinal prefect, Canadian hierarchy knew of Vatican official’s abuse

For the first time in my career as a priest, I am embarrassed to belong to the Pembroke Diocese. Bishop Windle has (posthumously) dealt a horrific blow to the Church by not following the policy set by the Canadian Bishops. Our current Bishop gathered the priests together a few weeks ago and told us this would not happen; that there was no foreknowledge of Prince's crimes. So, either he spoke without knowing what the truth was (hardly instills confidence) or he lied to his priests (even worse!!) Life is NOT good these days.

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Cardinal prefect, Canadian hierarchy knew of Vatican official’s abuse


  1. Do NOT beat yourself up over someone else's failings, whatever they may be!

    There is yet a third possibility -- that the current bishop, himself, was lied to. And that he may right now be feeling what you're feeling and trying to apologize to the world for someone else's behavior.

    No good will come from shouldering the burdens of the guilty. Shrug them off, deal with the wounded, and get on with your own stuff.

  2. You need to see the original documents. These things are being driven by contingency fee lawyers pursuing civil lawsuits. It is no accident that documents are leaked to the press to coincide with civil trials.

    I suggest you avoid jumping to conclusions and follow the paper trail. The real question here is why civil lawsuits? Since Prince's guilt has already been established in a criminal trial and the appropriate canonical penalties have been exacted, why civil lawsuits?

    It would seem to me that coming to terms with the victims and making some reparations would be the thing to do. If that is not happening, there must be some reason why the two sides cannot come to an agreement.

    My suspicion is that once the lawyers become involved the adversarial process will go on until the diocese is bankrupt. Moreover, only a percentage of the settlement will go to the victims... the rest will make the lawyers rich.

    This is a rather harsh winnowing process but it will separate the wheat from the chaff.

  3. Freyr: The letter in question was published in its entirety, with a link to download a PDF copy. I agree that the only people who will be happy at the end of this long lent will indeed be the lawyers. Maybe Shakespeare was right after all!

    Fr. Tim

  4. I agree with LJ. Don't blame yourself unless you were aware of the situation and did nothing and I don't believe that is the case.

    Do not blame the lawyers, they are like the carrion eaters that dispose of the dead bodies. Somebody has to do it.

    The Church needs to fenestrate its dark places and change the authoritarian and non inclusive manner in which it functions. The bad apples will eventually shake themselves out after that happens.

  5. Wow, Lady Janus, reddog, and I are all in agreement, and I think for just cause.

    Father Tim, you have displayed to me, and I believe to them a sincere deep heart, filled with love for your fellow man.

    I see a man who is following the Gospel message and being Jesus for his fellow man.

    This will be a difficult lent for the Catholic Church, and the opening of windows to let the fresh air in (which John XXIII had prayed for before Vatican II) is needed.

    But the witness to those who are not of the faith, will be observing our faithful priests, and faithful laity doing the right things because they are the right things, and living the truth, no matter how painful.

    All will be well. All will be well. All manner of things will be well.

  6. Father Tim,

    It is, indeed, a sad day to be Catholic. How embarrassing for Catholics worldwide to see proof that our church indeed placed, and continues to place, more importance on protecting itself than protecting the innocent children of its followers. That it considers its pedophile priests more worthy of protection than our children. I say 'continues to place' because this is happening over and over again. When my parents went to discuss Fr. Joseph Malaney who molested my brother in the 1960s and 1970s, with the Bishop who replaced Bishop Windle when he left Pembroke, they were not encouraged to call the police either. This, also, was after the church’s' 'new policy' of referring all allegations to the police. What the church says and what the church does are two very different things. I'm sad for all the victims, I'm sad for all the people who have been turned away from our Heavenly Father because of the Catholic Church and I'm sad for all of the faithful, NORMAL men in the priesthood who are living with this terrible stigma associated with being a Catholic Priest because of the Catholic Church’s' lies and because of pedophile priests. It boils down to the same thing it always boils down to with the Vatican. Money. It's all about money to them. They protect their money, not our children. When Jesus Christ was on Earth where did he live? Was he surrounded by opulent wealth in a golden castle surrounded by servants? Did he lie to protect sinners instead of innocent children? No, he lived a humble life, the life of a poor carpenter. He gave what little he had to others. He said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. My kingdom is not in this world." Looking at what 'we' have become gives Catholics new meaning to the words "Jesus wept." It is not the enemies of the church that are destroying it, it is the protectors of it.
    God bless you Fr. Tim for speaking out about your disgust of this situation. I'm sure it is not easy for a Catholic Priest to give an opinion without the words having been placed in his mouth by his superiors. I recognize that you are being lied to as well. You are to be commended for being able to think and speak for yourself when you know you are right! Thank you for that.

  7. Neveurmagne10 April, 2010

    How in the world did the victims` lawyers find a copy of this letter, while the Bishop and his officials could find no evidence for Fr. Prince`s crimes.

  8. Dear Father Tim,

    I can imagine that it’s not very fun to be a catholic priest these days, especially not in the Pembroke area. It is very courageous of you to post this blog and the very fact that you do post it helps a lot of people have faith. I thank you for doing so.

    I am so saddened and scared by all of this. I have known for years of the horrific things some members of the clergy have done to some of the weakest members of the congregation, our children. This sexual abuse has touched me very close to home. I am deeply saddened with each and every new allegation that I hear.

    What is really troubling me however, is that our faith believes in forgiveness of sins. When you know that you have sinned, whether from your actions or your non actions, why wouldn’t you own up to it? That’s what I can not understand. Starting with the pope, each and every person who had a hand in allowing the abuse to continue should admit to what they did. It doesn’t reverse the abuse, but it does give us a starting point to go forward.

  9. Kabb: You are absolutely correct. The first and essential step to be healed from these sins is for the Church officials involved to acknowledge their role in these scandals and take responsibility for their actions. For some, this may mean resigning; for other it may mean facing legal sanctions. However, how will people ever be able to regain confidence in the hierarchy if they do not do as you suggest.

    This is the reason that I have called for an American styled audit instrument that can provide the assurances needed by the faithful.

    Thank you.

    Fr. Tim

  10. Neveurmagne: Excellent question! Believe me that it is being put to the Diocese by more than a few priests, especially when we were told that no such information was held by the Diocese.

    Stay tuned to see if an answer is forth coming.

    Fr. Tim

  11. "What is really troubling me however, is that our faith believes in forgiveness of sins. When you know that you have sinned, whether from your actions or your non actions, why wouldn’t you own up to it?"

    Because in every country in the world, these "sins" are also crimes -- serious crimes, with prison sentences (at the very least) attached to them! The law does not forgive crimes.

    Those who are determined to keep their sins secret aren't concerned with being forgiven -- they've already concluded what the church actually teaches -- that only God can forgive, and they've decided that they're safe in that regard. They're more concerned with staying out of prison. And most of them know what happens to child molesters in prison.

  12. If by all this the Church becomes poorer and wiser, she will be all that much more spiritually strengthened. It cannot be that the "Bride of Christ" suffers less than her Beloved. If she is to be united to Christ all pure, she must become all pure. This purification is willed by God. Are we not perhaps coming closer to the end times? If so, the Church must be ready to meet her Groom, and each one of us must stand ready with hope,love and joy in our hearts.


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