“Diocese Lawyer Questions Witness’ Expertise” and “Inquiry to hear from controversial priest”

Diocese Lawyer Questions Witness’ Expertise

Cornwall News AM 1220

August 30, 2007 — The diocese has questioned the objectivity of an expert witness at the Cornwall Public inquiry. In an attempt to discredit Father Tom Doyle’s credentials, Diocese Lawyer David Sheriff-Scott argued that the witness’ expertise were only anecdotal. Commissioner Normand Glaude disagreed with Sheriff Scott. The witness will begin testifying later this morning.

Inquiry to hear from controversial priest

Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Thursday, August 30, 2007 – 08:00
Terri Saunders

Local News – Despite the efforts of one lawyer to ban him from giving expert testimony at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, the commission will hear from Rev. Tom Doyle Thursday.

Doyle, a priest who was born in the United States but spent a considerable portion of his life living and working in Cornwall, will provide evidence as to how sexual abuse by priests affects victims, their families and the community at large.

On Wednesday, David Sherriff-Scott, an attorney for the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese, suggested Doyle is not objective about such matters. In emails Doyle wrote to the operator of a website in 2001, he doesn’t mince words when giving his opinion on the issue.

“The hierarchy (of the Catholic Church) is about the most corrupt political entity on the globe,” Doyle wrote. “At least with the Nazis you knew what you were dealing with.”

Doyle wrote that while he remained a priest, he was likely “on the hit list” of every bishop in the United States.

“I have been directly involved in several hundred cases,” he wrote. “Most lawyers in the U.S. say that if a bishop’s lips are moving they presume he is lying.”

Doyle admitted some of the language he used in the emails was strong, and said he regretted the fact the letters had become public.

“I see my role at this inquiry as providing as objective evidence as possible based on what I’ve learned,” said Doyle.

Sherriff-Scott suggested Doyle’s opinions were used by the website operator in an effort to lend credence to allegations made against other priests.

“It was used to bolster the credibility of allegations made by people against individuals who hadn’t been charged,” said Sherriff-Scott.

“That was not my intention,” said Doyle.

The inquiry will continue at 9:30 a.m. today when it’s expected Doyle will begin to give evidence.