Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Bishop wanted to ‘punch’ priest convicted of sex abuse

[Source]:

Present day Bishop Paul-André Durocher took the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry Friday to explain his transition into a diocese wrought with scandal.

Durocher, who was coming from Sault Ste. Marie at the time in 2002, shared his thoughts on learning of the local child sex abuse allegations and how as the new Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall he dealt with established diocesan policies on the subject.

“So what was your sense of the whole thing . . . ?” asked Inquiry Commissioner Normand Glaude about Durocher’s perusal of a file by Father Gilles Deslauriers, who was convicted on 11 counts of gross indecency and other sexual misconduct in 1986.

“My first reaction was that I wanted to go punch this guy in the face,” Durocher responded.

“I was disgusted. I was disgusted that this priest had abused his power that way to abuse young people. It felt terrible. And he’s a priest and I’m a priest — it made me ashamed.”

Durocher then wiped his eyes with a tissue.

The 54-year-old bishop is now in his second stint in the witness box at the inquiry, which is probing how institutions like the church handled allegations of historical sexual abuse.

Durocher said he’d heard “echoes” of the events surrounding Deslauriers before he got the job with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, but didn’t learn about other allegations, such as those involving Father Charles MacDonald, until after he’d arrived in Cornwall, at which time MacDonald’s sex abuse charges were soon to be stayed.

Durocher had some connection with his predecessor, Bishop Eugene LaRocque, through federal and provincial bishop conferences. Durocher was an auxiliary bishop at the time.

Interestingly, LaRocque had previously worked at a parish in a suburb of Windsor where Durocher had lived in 1963.

“It was a surprise for me to discover that later on,” said Durocher during questioning by inquiry commission counsel Pierre Dumais.

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August 30, 2008 - Posted by | Indecency, Sex Abuse

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