More than a dozen Priests from a Canadian teaching order have been accused of sexually abusing children going back to the 1960s, a CityNewsinvestigation has found. Some of the cases were previously known, but CityNews believes theirs to be the first published list of Basilians credibly accused of abuse.
The Toronto publication asked the Basilians via email whether the order would would release a list of their own, and heard in a statement from the Basilians’ attorney: “Publishing the name of a perpetrator can lead to speculation about who is or may be a victim, and lead right back to a victim who wishes to protect their identity,” and cited criteria for naming accused persons when there is no criminal conviction, as well as the privacy of victims, as concerns.
The Basilian Fathers of Toronto, a branch of the Congregation of St. Basil, is an evangelising community of priests, student clergy and lay associates who profess to seek the glory of God through education.
In February this year, the Canadian Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the order to not give abuse victim Rod MacLeod payment of $2.5 million, $500,000 of which were in punitive damages.
Now, along with MacLeod’s abuser, Father Hodgson Marshall, the names of another thirteen priests, some living, others not, to add to the list of the accused. Of the fourteen, all but two have been taken to court or have settled out of court, several of them within the last 12 months, but most previously. And the two, Father Jack Hanna and Father Raphael O’Loughlin, appear on a list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse or misconduct published last year by the Archdiocese of Galvestone-Houston.
Marshall, who assaulted Macleod more than 50 times while he was a pupil at a Basilian-run school, was convicted of abusing 17 young people, some as young as seven years old, over his 38-year career. He was nicknamed “Happy Hands Marshall”. Accounts of other clergy discovering him in the act, leaving and keeping mum are numerous.
Marshall’s case was analyzed in a documentary, Prey, aired last November on Ontario TV, in which he gave a video confession, showing a crushing lack of contrition. It also showed a church happier hiding behind a legal wall than to compensate its victims.
Father David Katulski, the self-proclaimed “face of the Basilian fathers”, prominent in Prey, defended Marshall, stating he couldn’t “abandon his brother”. While he acknowledges what Marshall did, he described as “suffering from a terrible disease”.
Brenda Brunelle a Canadian leader of the Survivors Network of People Abused by Priests has called on church leaders to “clear out the records” so people can “be assured their children are safe”.
In February this year, Brunelle branded Pope Francis’s vow, at a summit in 2019, to confront sexual abusers in the church with “the wrath of God” a failure. Brunelle is pressuring the Basilians to release their own records.
When contacted, the Basilian Fathers declined to comment.