CORNWALL PUBLIC INQUIRY
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
28 August 2008
Posted By TREVOR PRITCHARD
The city’s former bishop withheld documents from police that showed one of his priests was on probation for abusing boys in the U. S., the Cornwall Public Inquiry heard yesterday.
Eugene LaRocque said he still complied fully with all the requests he received from officers with the OPP’s Project Truth team, even if he didn’t volunteer additional information.
“I was asked for a photograph -I gave them a photograph. I was asked for a curriculum vitae -I gave them a curriculum vitae,” said LaRocque, who ran the Alexandria- Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese from 1974 until 2002.
In 1998, investigators with Project Truth -a four-year probe into allegations a pedophile ring was operating in the Cornwall area -came looking for information on a number of people who had been with the diocese, including a former priest named Carl Stone.
Stone, a U. S. resident, was convicted in 1981 on two counts of sodomy involving teenage boys. LaRocque testified last month he hired Stone even though he knew Stone had been kicked out of his New York State diocese.
Stone was assigned to the St. Joseph’s Villa care home in Cornwall and a rehabilitation centre in St. Raphael’s on the condition he was never alone around children. Over the next few years, LaRocque would lobby the federal immigration minister to let Stone stay in Canada.
But in 1985 he fired Stone after learning he’d been inviting young men to his room at St. Joseph’s Villa.
LaRocque told Rob Talach, a lawyer for The Victims Group, that when the Project Truth team came calling in 1998, he gave them what they wanted: pictures of Stone, along with the former priest’s resumé.
But Talach suggested to LaRocque that there would have been numerous documents outlining Stone’s trouble with the law “right there at your fingertips,” and that he willfully kept them from the OPP.
“You didn’t provide them any additional information that may have given a fuller picture, is that correct?” Talach asked.
“I gave them what they requested,” said LaRocque.
At the same time as the Project Truth investigation, accusations against members of the diocese – including LaRocque -had surfaced online on multiple websites.
Inquiry commissioner Normand Glaude asked LaRocque if he was hesitant to divulge the full story about Stone because that would give “more fodder, more ammunition” for people to attack the diocese.
“I don’t believe that consideration came into my mind, no,” the former bishop said.
While LaRocque had assigned Stone to the two facilities in Cornwall and St. Raphael’s, Talach said there was nothing in writing preventing him from celebrating mass or hearing confession at other parishes.
Talach also pointed out the rehabilitation centre in St. Raphael’s was right next to Iona Academy, a grade school.
“None of the students, and none of the staff at Iona Academy knew that Stone was going to be right next door,” Talach said emphatically.
“At the time, did you consider warning the young people at Iona Academy?”
“I wouldn’t have warned the young people -I would have warned the administration,” said LaRocque. “That should have been done, but it was not done, to my knowledge.”
Stone was only at the St. Raphael’s centre for a few hours every week, LaRocque added, and never overnight.
Stone died in 2006. LaRocque’s cross-examination is set to continue this morning.Article ID# 1175633
Comments on this Article.
Now before we get into a he said she said rant about the bishop’s wrong doing, I have to ask a broader question. Please read through the whole post before assuming I am trying to justify the bishop’s actions. If as stated in paragraph 5 of this article
“Stone, a U. S. resident, was convicted in 1981 on two counts of sodomy involving teenage boys. LaRocque testified last month he hired Stone even though he knew Stone had been kicked out of his New York State diocese” How did a pedophile that was convicted sodomy in the US get passed the Immigration and Refugee board in Canada to be hired? I think both the Government of Canada and the bishop should be scrutinized at this point. Or am I off topic on this discussion as well?
for once i agree completely with you Itinerant someone higher up knew he was being let into Canada so lift a rock and find out which snake in the government knew about it. Seems like an awful lot of people have been trying to stop this info from coming out into the open.
so the head snake bishop provided the authorities with just what they asked for to the letter but he knew there was much more that should have been given to them to complete their investigations properly. Eugene Larocque does not deserve the title Bishop he totally pulled the wool over everyones eyes.