Thursday, May 19, 2016

Abuse victim speaks for first time, demands to know why priest not defrocked

A victim of Rev. Barry McGrory’s sexual abuse is demanding to know why the Catholic priest has never been defrocked.

Colleen Passard sent a written statement to the Citizen after the newspaper published a story this week about McGrory, a Catholic priest who admitted in an interview that he sexually abused three adolescents at Ottawa’s Holy Cross Parish in the 1970s and 80s.

McGrory was convicted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old native youth in 1993 — six years after he was moved to Toronto from Ottawa.

Passard, who asked that her name be published alongside her statement, said diocesan officials assured her in 1997 that he had been removed from the priesthood.

“However, despite assurances from church officials that Barry McGrory had been defrocked since his sexual abuse conviction in 1993, he has continued to be a priest, to hold a sacred trust in the community, under the auspices of the archdiocese,” she wrote.

“This is reprehensible. The archdiocese’s failure to defrock McGrory has demonstrated an intentional and reckless disregard for sex-abuse victims and is a breach of the archdiocese’s own public policy to protect citizens from sexual predators.”

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Ottawa, Deacon Gilles Ouellette, said records show that McGrory’s rights to present himself as a Catholic priest and to perform its “ministries” were removed in 1995. Priestly ministries include celebrating mass, hearing confessions and administering the sacraments.

“He (McGrory) has not, however, been dismissed from the clerical state, popularly known as laicized, something that ultimately only the Vatican can do,” said Ouellette.  (more...)



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