Thursday, 20 January 2011

Pedophile priests in Nova Scotia

The diocese of Yarmouth has settled with some of its former parishioners who were sexually assaulted as children by pedophile catholic priests. When these crimes were reported to them, church officials denied that acts of sexual violence were committed by members of their clergy. Then later on they denied that they'd covered up their priests' pedophilia. And sadly the legal system was often complicit in this travesty of justice, even when priests were charged and found guilty of such crimes, by recommending sentences that invalidated the gravity of the offense and the harm the sexual abuse had caused. From here:
[...] Father Theriault was convicted in 1993 of indecent assault against one of the plaintiffs, for which he received no jail time, but rather a two-year suspended sentence and 500 hours of community service.

Filing the lawsuits are sisters Jeanne Doucette (nee Deveau), 48, and Margaret Deveau, 56, who went to the RCMP in the early 1990s to pursue criminal charges against Father Theriault. Both women live in Yarmouth County.

Both women are seeking a full investigation into the actions of Theriault and the diocese. "Their goal is to expose the truth,” states a press release issued by the Ontario law firm of Ledroit Beckett [...]

The sisters are also hoping their stories will encourage other survivors of abuse to come forward. [...]

In the 1960s the Deveau sisters were growing up in the community of St. Alphonse, Digby County. They were raised in a close and loving Roman Catholic family and were parishioners of Saint Alphonse Parish and attended Saint Alphonse Catholic School. [...]

In the statement of claim filed on behalf of Jeanne Doucette, it refers to how, because of Theriault’s position as a priest, parents trusted him with the training, safety and care of their children. As a result, her parents permitted her to be alone with the priest, which included being unsupervised in a bedroom during afternoon naps.

The abuse, it’s alleged, began when the girl was approximately three years old. The statement of claim says the sexual abuse was ongoing and continuous over a period of several years.

In the statement of claim filed on behalf of Margaret Deveau, it’s alleged the she was first sexually abused, assaulted and molested when she was approximately eight years old. The abuse was ongoing and continuous over a period of around seven years, ending when she was 15.

The statements of claim allege that the diocese and archdiocese knew that the priest had the propensity to engage in deviant behaviours, and that they knew he was doing so based on a number of factors that included knowledge or complaints of Father Theriault’s activities with young people at his previous postings, the frequency with which the plaintiffs and other children were involved with the priest, the unusual interest he took in children and the frequency and duration that the priest would have them in his company at the church or rectory. “Despite their knowledge set out above, the Archdiocese and Diocese took no steps to stop the behavior or to protect the plaintiff(s),” the statements of claim read.
And still the Vatican Taliban beat goes on and on with implicit and explicit gynophobic policies; women must breed more catholics or recruit them (as Mother Teresa did) for the greater glory of God the Father and/or Pope Maledict.

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