'I knew I was safe'

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Man blames part of troubled life on Father Des McGrath

Second in a two-part series

Paul Vivian says his nightmares stopped after Father Des McGrath died this summer.

"(I felt) an enormous sense of relief," the Corner Brook native says. "And I went for a walk by myself outside of my house around the block for the first time in 10 years. I knew I was safe."

Vivian, who has lived in Toronto since the mid-'80s, says he was sexually abused by the priest as a teenager in the late 1970s and early '80s on the west coast of Newfoundland.

Second in a two-part series

Paul Vivian says his nightmares stopped after Father Des McGrath died this summer.

"(I felt) an enormous sense of relief," the Corner Brook native says. "And I went for a walk by myself outside of my house around the block for the first time in 10 years. I knew I was safe."

Vivian, who has lived in Toronto since the mid-'80s, says he was sexually abused by the priest as a teenager in the late 1970s and early '80s on the west coast of Newfoundland.

McGrath was found dead in his Stephenville garage at the end of July. His body was discovered a day after he failed to appear in court to answer to sex-related charges.

The offences were alleged to have taken place in the early '80s and to have involved an 11-year-old boy.

The priest - renowned in the province for having helped create the fishermen's union, and for his humanitarianism - was never found guilty of abusing Vivian.

However, in late 2007, Vivian and the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. George's reached a $250,000 settlement on the matter.

Vivian maintains the money wasn't important to him, that he just wanted to stop his abuser from harming anyone else.

Listening to him, there's no doubt he's suffered.

A psychiatrist's note prepared for Vivian's resolution hearing with the church outlines his many problems.

The now 44-year-old has a number of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, agoraphobia (afraid to leave his house) and possibly multiple personality disorder.

He also has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and has been unable to work for a number of years.

While he doesn't hold McGrath responsible for all that has gone wrong - people have to take some responsibility for their lot in life, he notes - Vivian says the priest and abuse greatly intensified his issues and problems.

He says his life was somewhat troubled after the abuse ended, but it really started unravelling in Toronto, where he moved after a couple of years of university studies.

Vivian says he and an old friend from home went to meet McGrath at a hotel room when the priest was visiting the Ontario city.

He recalls panicking when he got there and then fleeing the hotel.

He says he kept on running.

Unfortunately, it was the start of regular run-ins with something else - illusions of his abuser.

McGrath, he says, began haunting him in nightmares and almost everywhere he went.

"That's when I would see him on street corners," Vivian says. "It's when I stopped going out. It's when I developed a fear of leaving my apartment. It's when my drug and alcohol abuse hit high gear."

Vivian says his main vices were booze and cocaine.

"I'm sure I would have tried anything," he says. "Those were the two I had access to."

He says he also became involved in harmful and physically abusive relationships.

Looking back now, Vivian has a simple explanation for his recklessness.

"I wanted to be hurt," he says.

At times, it appears he didn't only want to harm himself, he wanted to die.

He says he tried taking his life a couple of times and came very close at least once.

He says the ghosts of the abuse crept into every aspect of his life, especially relationships.

Vivian says he would be despondent to others and had an inability to feel affection.

For the first nine years he was with his husband, he says he "would wake up screaming and often punch him the face before I realized where I was."

Vivian says the blackouts, related to his multiple personality disorder, would last hours, sometimes days. He would find himself in his car at different places with no memory of going there.

"And I would come home with bloody knuckles like I had been in a fight, even though I had no recollection of how I had gotten them," Vivian says, adding he started to seizure if he talked about McGrath.

He says he saw grief counsellors and psychologists for years, but made little progress.

"My life was miserable," Vivian says. "It was. It was just miserable."

But that misery loved company.

In 2004, The Toronto Star ran a story during the federal election campaign that lauded McGrath, who was running in Burin-St. George's for the New Democrats.

He says the article resulted in two suicide attempts and spun him way out of control.

"I liked to believe up until that point that (McGrath) was dead," Vivian said last week.

"When I read the article and realized he was still out there going, things got much worse very quickly. ... Everything escalated. I would disappear for three days at a time and have no memory of where I was."

Concerned loved ones encouraged Vivian to get closure by pursuing legal action against McGrath.

He did, and says his testimony and the evidence he presented resulted in the 2007 deal.

He says the settlement achieved his goal of getting McGrath removed from active service, but it did little to slay his demons (although he says he started being able to feel affection and also began seeing results from counselling).

The priest's death, Vivian says, has done a lot more to ease his pain.

Optimistic sharing his story will help the healing - as well as others who've been abused - he says his physical and mental health have improved since July.

Vivian says he owes a lot to his husband and in-laws.

They've stood by him throughout his lengthy and dangerous ordeal, he says, showing him strength, support and love.

Besides there being no more nightmares, Vivian says he no longer sees the priest on street corners and his fear of going outside has dissipated.

McGrath can't hurt him now, he says.

sbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Episcopal, The Toronto Star

Geographic location: Toronto, St. George's, Corner Brook Newfoundland Stephenville Ontario Burin

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Recent comments

  • Gerald
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Can you imagine leaving your little boy alone with a priest? Or even attending mass and actually believing in what they are saying?

  • Martha
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    We all know there are two sides to every story. Our family knew Des McGrath very well. It's not a good thing to rehash this now when there can be no rebuttal from the accused. This has become a common theme throughout the Catholic Church, people even blaming leaving that religion because of all the rumors and innuendo. It should have nothing to do with your beliefs or faith in God. If in fact this truly happened, I totally agree with the comments made by Great Scott . We are only as strong as our weakest link.

    While I also agree that this, in fact, is not news, if it can help someone else out there, it is certainly worth publishing.

  • bernice
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    No longer are there altar boys in this province's churches as far as I know for the last 15 years or so. But internet child porn is a haven for pedophiles. This is a crime. I would like to see the computers of all these priests investigated, in fact all computers of people in positions of power and trust. Children somewhere are being tortured and abused for the perverted, insatiable appetites of these professionals.

    It seems that those who make the rules, whether it be religious or other, put themselves about them.
    I still attend church but I give money to better charities and to people who need it. I cannot support this institution any longer. We are bankrupt paying for their crimes.

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I too have trouble with this second part. It is too one sided. However, I truly hope that if Des McGrath hurt others, that they will come forward. It's important. I would also like to know exactly what the church knew about Fr Des. I mean the church knew about Raymond Lahey as was heard from a former priest in Florida. Surely it should be made public what they kneww about Des McGrath. I'm sure a lot more was done by abusive priests than we know of. As for the Church, she's in trouble...serious trouble with all this. Abuse, hidden issues, future.........serious trouble.

  • JoAnne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Bibbie, you may have read the story with interest, but may I say, some imprecision. Paul didn`t say anything about being 11 years old in the early 80`s. The accuser who never got to face McGrath in Stephenville, the unnamed complainant in that criminal case, was identified as an 11 year old. Different victim. Paul mentioned being in grade 7 in the late 70's. (The math works, I was a year ahead of Paul at school.) And the article clearly said, ``he doesn't hold McGrath responsible for all that has gone wrong - people have to take some responsibility for their lot in life, he notes``... which I think is a very charitable stance after what he suffered. Paul also indicated he began his quest for justice while McGrath WAS alive, and running for office. Unfortunately the Church has this habit of protecting priests and doing their best to conceal the court cases. You can bet they spent more defending McGrath than they ever paid in settlements, and typically they only go to settlement after they've harassed the accusers and found them indestructible and irrefutable. Which my brave friend was: indestructible and irrefutable. And it's my understanding that the court documents are sealed as part of the settlement. Which would make us suspicious if it were a pharmaceutical company protecting stockholders instead of patients, and not wanting evidence to be public. Which should infuriate us when it's our church, which is supposed to have the flock's interests at heart.

    As for the other comments about the priest not having a chance to defend himself--he did have the chance. He did, in the civil suit brought by Paul, the result of which was a settlement in Paul's favour. And, gee, McGrath had every chance to face his accuser in Stephenville this fall, but instead he chose a different path. You can't convince me he was distraught by false accusations and took his life instead--he was no shrinking violet afraid of speaking in public, of making a case for a just outcome. He knew he couldn't defend the indefensible and chose instead to cheat his accuser of justice. The story is only one-sided because the evil doer chose silence himself.

    For the Church, I am despairing. I still go to mass weekly and am raising my children Catholic because I believe. But no, I don't leave them alone with any priest, and I have taught them that priests are only men, who can also sin. And actually, I don't leave them alone with pretty much anyone, because the Church doesn't have a lock on pedophilia. But the Church HAS spent decades, probably centuries, systemically hiding and protecting criminals and monsters. And it still doesn't get it. I was buoyed when the Antigonish diocese here in Nova Scotia reached a settlement that didn't involve torturing and ridiculing the victims in court. Then they arrested the bishop who made that deal, for possessing child pornography, and we ALL felt betrayed, again. Sometimes I feel like a gullible fool for going to mass, but there is a truth there in our tradition and our worship that isn't destroyed by fallible men. There's no point in wishing it were otherwise, as many Catholics do when they deny the victims and defend the criminals. We just need to face this awful dichotomy, of the truth that resonates for us, wrapped in the imperfection of humanity. And while I totally understand the pain that has pushed so many former Catholics away, I think I have a better chance of seeing change in the Church if I'm still sitting there, demanding it.

    Bravo to Paul, for demanding change.

  • Bibbie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I read this story with keen interest. Something just doesnt add up. I certainly feel for this man and the ordeal he went through. If Father Des McGrath put this man through all he says he did, Im sure when Father McGrath faces God on judgment day, he will be dealt with. We only have one side of the story; the priest is not here to defend himself. Vivian maintains the money wasn't important to him that he just wanted to stop his abuser from harming anyone else. Well, why did he wait until the priest was dead, he could have brought shame on Father McGrath when he won the Order of Canada and stripped him from that award and maybe saved other victims or gave them the courage to come forward. Yet, we havent heard of any other victims. Plus, it states the victim was 11 at the time, well this victim would have been over 15 in the early eighties as he is 44 now. Now, he says he reached a deal with the church but has the church come out and said it was Father McGrath. How come it was never made public that this priest abused children? From reading this story, I think this victim has a lot of serious problems besides the issue of abuse. Plus, I have to add, it seems in my opinion the telegram in the last couple of weeks are going out of their way to persecute the Catholic Church. Abuse happens everywhere and there are good priests who are suffering right along with the parishioners because of the pain in the Catholic Church. There are parents who abuse their kids; I hope people without children dont put us all under the same umbrella or we, as parents will be all looked on as monsters.

  • Robert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    All due respect to mr. Vivian, but I find myself troubled by the extremely one-sided nature of this story. Rest assured, I would be equally concerned had I read a story written solely from the other perspective alone. Journalism is balance, or so I thought. But Mr. Bartlett has written this piece without even a semblance of objectivity, which worries me as an avid news follower. Is this a trend I can expect to see continue? Because if so, I'd like to know so I'm not reading opinion pieces disguised as news stories. My concern has nothing to do with the validity of this story - it has to do with a question of ethics. If Des McGrath is guilty, may he burn forever. But that's for a justice system, or even God, to decide - not me, or The Telegram or Steve Bartlett. It's no wonder The Telegram has lost so much ground in recent years, and it's no wonder that Mr. Bartlett's previous papers, the Express and Humber Log are no longer with us. I expect better from the news agencies in this province. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

  • Pauline
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I, too, read this story with keen interest, and I found enough holes in it to rename it 'The Colander Diaries'.

  • Jenny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Mr. Vivian, it took a lot of courage for you to come forward and let people know what Mr. McGrath did to you. As you have said, I, too, do not think you are alone as I am sure you know of boys who were pretty friendly with Mr. McGrath when you were at school. I wonder if others will have the courage to come forward as you have

    As for the Church, the church is not the priest, it is the people who make up the congregation and maybe if the congregation kept their money in their pockets and walked away from the church, maybe things will change. As was told to me many years ago, you do not have to go to church to speak to God or to ask his forgiveness you can do this anywhere.

    I went to school in Corner Brook and I remember even in my day that many young men who attended Regina High School for Boys often said that they would never allow their children to attend that school. Did some of these young men see things or know of things but never had the courage to come forward? How much longer are we going to sit iddly by and close our eyes to the wrongs of not only the Catholic church but anyone who has abused children.

    Bibbie, I believe the case that was being brought against Father Des prior to his death was of a young man living in the community of Lourdes who had been abused by his priest at the tender age of 11. From what I read in the papers, this young man was not Mr. Vivian so now we know of two cases, how many more are out there that we don't know about.
    Mr. Vivian was instrumental in getting Mr. McGrath removed from active duty, it took a lot of courage to even do that.

    How many more Mt. Cashels are we going to have to endure before we as parishioners wake up to the failings of the priests and brothers and send a clear message that we will not tolerate this behaviour from our Priests or anyone in a position of trust. How many more Priests and Brothers are we going to excuse before we finally do something about it.

    How many more children are we going to send to the slaughter before we finally wake up? Mt. Cashel should have awakened us but apparently it did not, Quebec went through this a number of years ago, still we close our eyes and now we are hearing of the same things happening in Ireland, how many more children are going to be hurt before we listen and hold the church and its priests accountable. What about Bishop Lahey??I guess these videos miraculously appeared on his laptop!!!

    Wake up people, this young man is only one of many that have endured the sexual abuse of priests and yet, we hide our head in the sand and pretend that nothing has happened. How many more are living this nightmare but refuse to come forward for fear of reprisal. Jesus said, suffer the little children to come onto me, he didn't say suffer the little children come onto me so I can abuse you.



    Wake up.

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Bibbie: Like you, I read this story with keen interest. I agree w/you--something just doesnt add up.
    We dis agree on a few things. You ask: How come it was never made public that this priest abused children? I ask why Bishop Doug Crosby did not alert the RCMP if this was true? And we have every reason to believe this story--why else would they pay out $200+ thousand??
    Finally I must take exception with your opinion that the telegram are going out of their way to persecute the Catholic Church. The Telegram seems to be fair & balanced , so to speak. On the other hand, The Western Star has chosen to censor this story on the internet version. It's like it's not happening....
    Why--good question..
    Thus no comments like we have here....

  • GREAT
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Think of our world as an organization. As an organization of humankind spread across all the continents and divided by country boarders and customs, languages and cultures, races and beliefs.

    Now focus on Canada our provinces our people, our way of life. As you continue this telescopic journey think of your communities your homes your families.

    At any level each is only as strong, as just and as right as we make them. Our values are only as strong as our beliefs.

    When our intent does not match our purpose we fail.
    Any society or organization is only as good and moral as its members. How easy the actions of a few can tarnish and destroy the will and purpose of most.
    Isn't it sad the bristles on the brush of righteousness never seem to cover mans failings as quick or as wide as the more prevalent stroke of evil.
    I was a member of a police department for many years. One of our officers made the paper for attempting to lure a child for the purpose of sex on the internet. After this incident everyones job got harder. The community would jeer and scoff at almost any uniform they saw for weeks after. Those of us who were true public servants continued to perform our duties as we always had
    Giving up on God when man fails you will never restore you. Giving up on one another will fail us all.

    It never hurts to see the bigger picture sometimes. I and my family will be in our church this holiday season. I hope you find your faith stronger than others failings. I hope to see you there.

    We are all but stewards of Gods love. There is no US without U.
    Mr. Vivian you will be in my prayers.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Heaven protect us from those appointed or annointed to postions of trust when they breach that trust. Paul, you were not alone!

  • Victoria
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I know just how Paul Vivian feels. I wrote about my own, Sexual Abuse By Catholic Priest 35 Years after it happened. And the epilogue of my verse goes:

    I've Only Just Received The News,
    I'm So Relieved To Say,
    I Need Not Fear Him Anymore
    The Monster Died Today.

    Even after I learned he was gone, I was compelled to send away for The Monster's death certificate in order to assure myself that he was INDEED dead.

    The Monster was insatiable in his lust for little girls (He profiles for over 200 Victims). And if those other little girls bear the same physical, emotional and spiritual scars that will be with me until the day I die, then I am certain they join me in Celebration of The Monster's Death.

  • joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I feel much sorry at the way the author,Mr.Bartlett and THE Telegram have been allowed to publish this story of abuse in its newspaper with Father McGrath having no opportunity to defend himself.

    Over the past several years The Telegram has become very rentless in it's efforts to tear down the RC church and its priests.

    I do not have a clue as to why they wish to destroy the Church.

    Well to Mr.Bartlett and The Editors of tHE Telegram ,I am a Roman Catholic and your blatant abuse of the power of the press does not influence my belief in the RC church the least.

    I would suggest you should review your publishing policy but then who really cares what it is.

    I predict that in a few years your paper will no longer be in business and Mr Bartlett will once again be job hunting.

    BTW YOU have one other writer,Bob Wakem who is far worse and a lot more nasty and vendictive than any other contributor I have ever read.

    Thank God I was able to cancel my subscription to the Telegram today.

  • Martha
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    We all know there are two sides to every story. Our family knew Des McGrath very well. It's not a good thing to rehash this now when there can be no rebuttal from the accused. This has become a common theme throughout the Catholic Church, people even blaming leaving that religion because of all the rumors and innuendo. It should have nothing to do with your beliefs or faith in God. If in fact this truly happened, I totally agree with the comments made by Great Scott . We are only as strong as our weakest link.

    While I also agree that this, in fact, is not news, if it can help someone else out there, it is certainly worth publishing.

  • Gerald
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Can you imagine leaving your little boy alone with a priest? Or even attending mass and actually believing in what they are saying?

  • bernice
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    No longer are there altar boys in this province's churches as far as I know for the last 15 years or so. But internet child porn is a haven for pedophiles. This is a crime. I would like to see the computers of all these priests investigated, in fact all computers of people in positions of power and trust. Children somewhere are being tortured and abused for the perverted, insatiable appetites of these professionals.

    It seems that those who make the rules, whether it be religious or other, put themselves about them.
    I still attend church but I give money to better charities and to people who need it. I cannot support this institution any longer. We are bankrupt paying for their crimes.

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    I too have trouble with this second part. It is too one sided. However, I truly hope that if Des McGrath hurt others, that they will come forward. It's important. I would also like to know exactly what the church knew about Fr Des. I mean the church knew about Raymond Lahey as was heard from a former priest in Florida. Surely it should be made public what they kneww about Des McGrath. I'm sure a lot more was done by abusive priests than we know of. As for the Church, she's in trouble...serious trouble with all this. Abuse, hidden issues, future.........serious trouble.

  • JoAnne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Bibbie, you may have read the story with interest, but may I say, some imprecision. Paul didn`t say anything about being 11 years old in the early 80`s. The accuser who never got to face McGrath in Stephenville, the unnamed complainant in that criminal case, was identified as an 11 year old. Different victim. Paul mentioned being in grade 7 in the late 70's. (The math works, I was a year ahead of Paul at school.) And the article clearly said, ``he doesn't hold McGrath responsible for all that has gone wrong - people have to take some responsibility for their lot in life, he notes``... which I think is a very charitable stance after what he suffered. Paul also indicated he began his quest for justice while McGrath WAS alive, and running for office. Unfortunately the Church has this habit of protecting priests and doing their best to conceal the court cases. You can bet they spent more defending McGrath than they ever paid in settlements, and typically they only go to settlement after they've harassed the accusers and found them indestructible and irrefutable. Which my brave friend was: indestructible and irrefutable. And it's my understanding that the court documents are sealed as part of the settlement. Which would make us suspicious if it were a pharmaceutical company protecting stockholders instead of patients, and not wanting evidence to be public. Which should infuriate us when it's our church, which is supposed to have the flock's interests at heart.

    As for the other comments about the priest not having a chance to defend himself--he did have the chance. He did, in the civil suit brought by Paul, the result of which was a settlement in Paul's favour. And, gee, McGrath had every chance to face his accuser in Stephenville this fall, but instead he chose a different path. You can't convince me he was distraught by false accusations and took his life instead--he was no shrinking violet afraid of speaking in public, of making a case for a just outcome. He knew he couldn't defend the indefensible and chose instead to cheat his accuser of justice. The story is only one-sided because the evil doer chose silence himself.

    For the Church, I am despairing. I still go to mass weekly and am raising my children Catholic because I believe. But no, I don't leave them alone with any priest, and I have taught them that priests are only men, who can also sin. And actually, I don't leave them alone with pretty much anyone, because the Church doesn't have a lock on pedophilia. But the Church HAS spent decades, probably centuries, systemically hiding and protecting criminals and monsters. And it still doesn't get it. I was buoyed when the Antigonish diocese here in Nova Scotia reached a settlement that didn't involve torturing and ridiculing the victims in court. Then they arrested the bishop who made that deal, for possessing child pornography, and we ALL felt betrayed, again. Sometimes I feel like a gullible fool for going to mass, but there is a truth there in our tradition and our worship that isn't destroyed by fallible men. There's no point in wishing it were otherwise, as many Catholics do when they deny the victims and defend the criminals. We just need to face this awful dichotomy, of the truth that resonates for us, wrapped in the imperfection of humanity. And while I totally understand the pain that has pushed so many former Catholics away, I think I have a better chance of seeing change in the Church if I'm still sitting there, demanding it.

    Bravo to Paul, for demanding change.

  • Bibbie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    I read this story with keen interest. Something just doesnt add up. I certainly feel for this man and the ordeal he went through. If Father Des McGrath put this man through all he says he did, Im sure when Father McGrath faces God on judgment day, he will be dealt with. We only have one side of the story; the priest is not here to defend himself. Vivian maintains the money wasn't important to him that he just wanted to stop his abuser from harming anyone else. Well, why did he wait until the priest was dead, he could have brought shame on Father McGrath when he won the Order of Canada and stripped him from that award and maybe saved other victims or gave them the courage to come forward. Yet, we havent heard of any other victims. Plus, it states the victim was 11 at the time, well this victim would have been over 15 in the early eighties as he is 44 now. Now, he says he reached a deal with the church but has the church come out and said it was Father McGrath. How come it was never made public that this priest abused children? From reading this story, I think this victim has a lot of serious problems besides the issue of abuse. Plus, I have to add, it seems in my opinion the telegram in the last couple of weeks are going out of their way to persecute the Catholic Church. Abuse happens everywhere and there are good priests who are suffering right along with the parishioners because of the pain in the Catholic Church. There are parents who abuse their kids; I hope people without children dont put us all under the same umbrella or we, as parents will be all looked on as monsters.

  • Robert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    All due respect to mr. Vivian, but I find myself troubled by the extremely one-sided nature of this story. Rest assured, I would be equally concerned had I read a story written solely from the other perspective alone. Journalism is balance, or so I thought. But Mr. Bartlett has written this piece without even a semblance of objectivity, which worries me as an avid news follower. Is this a trend I can expect to see continue? Because if so, I'd like to know so I'm not reading opinion pieces disguised as news stories. My concern has nothing to do with the validity of this story - it has to do with a question of ethics. If Des McGrath is guilty, may he burn forever. But that's for a justice system, or even God, to decide - not me, or The Telegram or Steve Bartlett. It's no wonder The Telegram has lost so much ground in recent years, and it's no wonder that Mr. Bartlett's previous papers, the Express and Humber Log are no longer with us. I expect better from the news agencies in this province. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

  • Pauline
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    I, too, read this story with keen interest, and I found enough holes in it to rename it 'The Colander Diaries'.

  • Jenny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Mr. Vivian, it took a lot of courage for you to come forward and let people know what Mr. McGrath did to you. As you have said, I, too, do not think you are alone as I am sure you know of boys who were pretty friendly with Mr. McGrath when you were at school. I wonder if others will have the courage to come forward as you have

    As for the Church, the church is not the priest, it is the people who make up the congregation and maybe if the congregation kept their money in their pockets and walked away from the church, maybe things will change. As was told to me many years ago, you do not have to go to church to speak to God or to ask his forgiveness you can do this anywhere.

    I went to school in Corner Brook and I remember even in my day that many young men who attended Regina High School for Boys often said that they would never allow their children to attend that school. Did some of these young men see things or know of things but never had the courage to come forward? How much longer are we going to sit iddly by and close our eyes to the wrongs of not only the Catholic church but anyone who has abused children.

    Bibbie, I believe the case that was being brought against Father Des prior to his death was of a young man living in the community of Lourdes who had been abused by his priest at the tender age of 11. From what I read in the papers, this young man was not Mr. Vivian so now we know of two cases, how many more are out there that we don't know about.
    Mr. Vivian was instrumental in getting Mr. McGrath removed from active duty, it took a lot of courage to even do that.

    How many more Mt. Cashels are we going to have to endure before we as parishioners wake up to the failings of the priests and brothers and send a clear message that we will not tolerate this behaviour from our Priests or anyone in a position of trust. How many more Priests and Brothers are we going to excuse before we finally do something about it.

    How many more children are we going to send to the slaughter before we finally wake up? Mt. Cashel should have awakened us but apparently it did not, Quebec went through this a number of years ago, still we close our eyes and now we are hearing of the same things happening in Ireland, how many more children are going to be hurt before we listen and hold the church and its priests accountable. What about Bishop Lahey??I guess these videos miraculously appeared on his laptop!!!

    Wake up people, this young man is only one of many that have endured the sexual abuse of priests and yet, we hide our head in the sand and pretend that nothing has happened. How many more are living this nightmare but refuse to come forward for fear of reprisal. Jesus said, suffer the little children to come onto me, he didn't say suffer the little children come onto me so I can abuse you.



    Wake up.

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Bibbie: Like you, I read this story with keen interest. I agree w/you--something just doesnt add up.
    We dis agree on a few things. You ask: How come it was never made public that this priest abused children? I ask why Bishop Doug Crosby did not alert the RCMP if this was true? And we have every reason to believe this story--why else would they pay out $200+ thousand??
    Finally I must take exception with your opinion that the telegram are going out of their way to persecute the Catholic Church. The Telegram seems to be fair & balanced , so to speak. On the other hand, The Western Star has chosen to censor this story on the internet version. It's like it's not happening....
    Why--good question..
    Thus no comments like we have here....

  • GREAT
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Think of our world as an organization. As an organization of humankind spread across all the continents and divided by country boarders and customs, languages and cultures, races and beliefs.

    Now focus on Canada our provinces our people, our way of life. As you continue this telescopic journey think of your communities your homes your families.

    At any level each is only as strong, as just and as right as we make them. Our values are only as strong as our beliefs.

    When our intent does not match our purpose we fail.
    Any society or organization is only as good and moral as its members. How easy the actions of a few can tarnish and destroy the will and purpose of most.
    Isn't it sad the bristles on the brush of righteousness never seem to cover mans failings as quick or as wide as the more prevalent stroke of evil.
    I was a member of a police department for many years. One of our officers made the paper for attempting to lure a child for the purpose of sex on the internet. After this incident everyones job got harder. The community would jeer and scoff at almost any uniform they saw for weeks after. Those of us who were true public servants continued to perform our duties as we always had
    Giving up on God when man fails you will never restore you. Giving up on one another will fail us all.

    It never hurts to see the bigger picture sometimes. I and my family will be in our church this holiday season. I hope you find your faith stronger than others failings. I hope to see you there.

    We are all but stewards of Gods love. There is no US without U.
    Mr. Vivian you will be in my prayers.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Heaven protect us from those appointed or annointed to postions of trust when they breach that trust. Paul, you were not alone!

  • Victoria
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    I know just how Paul Vivian feels. I wrote about my own, Sexual Abuse By Catholic Priest 35 Years after it happened. And the epilogue of my verse goes:

    I've Only Just Received The News,
    I'm So Relieved To Say,
    I Need Not Fear Him Anymore
    The Monster Died Today.

    Even after I learned he was gone, I was compelled to send away for The Monster's death certificate in order to assure myself that he was INDEED dead.

    The Monster was insatiable in his lust for little girls (He profiles for over 200 Victims). And if those other little girls bear the same physical, emotional and spiritual scars that will be with me until the day I die, then I am certain they join me in Celebration of The Monster's Death.

  • joe
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    I feel much sorry at the way the author,Mr.Bartlett and THE Telegram have been allowed to publish this story of abuse in its newspaper with Father McGrath having no opportunity to defend himself.

    Over the past several years The Telegram has become very rentless in it's efforts to tear down the RC church and its priests.

    I do not have a clue as to why they wish to destroy the Church.

    Well to Mr.Bartlett and The Editors of tHE Telegram ,I am a Roman Catholic and your blatant abuse of the power of the press does not influence my belief in the RC church the least.

    I would suggest you should review your publishing policy but then who really cares what it is.

    I predict that in a few years your paper will no longer be in business and Mr Bartlett will once again be job hunting.

    BTW YOU have one other writer,Bob Wakem who is far worse and a lot more nasty and vendictive than any other contributor I have ever read.

    Thank God I was able to cancel my subscription to the Telegram today.