The Catholic chapels on many of the bases in Canada had rectories attached for the padre to reside in.
Most of these rectories were systematically removed in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
It’s anyone’s guess really as to why the Canadian Armed Forces started to remove the rectories, but I have a guess or two that probably aren’t far from what the true answer actually is.
I think the Canadian Armed Forces were beginning to realize in the ’80s that they were having a problem with the chaplins. It’s no secret that it was during the ’80s that the public started to become aware of the problems facing the Catholic Church and their priests that had a fondness for children.
And all of the military chaplains were supplied by the Catholic church.
This was such a known problem that the Catholic Church even had a recycling facility where they would send the Catholic priests to help them with their issues after they had been found to be sexually involved with children.
In 2006 the Canadian Armed Forces changed the procedure for obtaining baptismal records. In their explanation, they specifically cite the number of lawsuits brought against the various civilian diocese across Canada as being the primary reason for the change in procedure.
If you ask me, I think the reason for this change is to make civil actions against the Canadian Forces for the actions of their kiddie diddling clergy that much harder. If you can’t prove that you were baptised, then how could you have been involved with the padre. I know I was baptised as my grandmother had me take my first communion on CFB Namao at Our Lady of Loretto Chapel. Captain McRae would have been the padre.
When Captain Father Angus McRae was being investigated by the CFSIU for having committed “acts of homosexuality” with teenage boys on CFB Namao, Major Roger Bazin had been sent out from Ottawa to assist Captain McRae with his affairs.
Major Roger Bazin was once a padre on Canadian Forces Base Borden in the 1970s. We know for sure that Captain Roger Bazin was on CFB Borden in 1972. Major Roger Bazin would go on to become Brigadier General Roger Bazin and he would become the head of the chaplaincy branch of the Canadian Forces.
Just before the time of the Colonel Russell Williams fiasco on Canadian Forces Base Trenton a man came forward and made a complaint against Roger Bazin. The complaint was that Roger Bazin had sexually abused this man when he was a child living on Canadian Forces Base Borden in 1972.
Bazin was investigated and charged, but the charges were dropped at the last minute. I think the three year time bar played a significant role in the dropping of charges. As Bazin was subject to the Code of Service Discipline at the time of the abuse, and as he had committed the service offences of Buggery, Gross Indecency, and Indecent Assault, these were crimes that could be prosecuted through a court martial (see the court martial of Captain McRae, July 18th, 1980 CM62).
However, as previously discussed, the three year time bar that existed in the pre-1998 National Defence Act meant that the court martial had to occur within 3 years of the date of the offence. As more than 3 years had elapsed, there is no possibility that charges could proceed.
And no, there exists no mechanism to kick these matters over to the civilian courts to get around the 3 year time bar.
Now, this isn’t the first time a complaint had been brought against Roger Bazin.
After Roger Bazin had retired from the Canadian Forces, he became a chaplain in a small parish in Ontario. A boy from that parish came forward with complaints against Bazin. The church convinced the parents of the boy to not bring the police in. Bazin made a cash settlement with the boy, and the matter simply went away.
So, what are the odds that Captain Father Angus McRae and Brigadier General Roger Bazin were the only two padres with a soft-spot for children?
Unlike the Catholic church, the Canadian Armed Forces have their own legal system. The Canadian Armed Forces can choose to deal with the wayward padres however they see fit.
I know that in the matter of Canadian Forces officer Captain Father Angus McRae, the Canadian Forces were just as guilty of moving the predator padres around as the Catholic church was guilty of moving the predator priests around.
In 1973, McRae was investigated for “acts of homosexuality” at RMC Kingston @ CFB Kingston.
He was punted off to CFB Portage La Prairie.
He was then punted off to Canadian Forces Station Holberg on Vancouver Island where he became involved with a teenage boy.
He was then punted over to CFB Namao where in less than two years he was investigated for molesting over 25 children.
If the CFNIS were requested by the office of the Minister of National Defence to investigate the military padres during the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, what would they find? Would they have the required skills? What would the point be if charges couldn’t be brought due to the 3-year time bar? How would the Minister of National Defence find all of the former military dependants? What about the ones who committed suicide over the years?
Would the Minister of National Defence ever request this to be done with the knowledge that any evidence of wrongdoing would expose the office of the Minister of National Defence to civil actions much like when Mr. P.S. sued the office of the Minister of National Defence?
Would the Minister of National Defence ever allow this type of investigation to occur knowing full well that it would forever damage the image of the Canadian Armed Forces and probably lead Parliament to overhauling the military justice system.
How many time during the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, did other military dependants come forward with complaints against other military pardes for incidents of sexual assault, only to have charges not proceed due to the 3-year time bar.
How many times in the past did commanding officers dismiss charges that had been brought against the padres?
Remember, as in my case, the CFNIS and the Provost Marshal have a multitude of ways to cover-up the reason why charges didn’t go forward. In my case, Sgt. Christian Cyr intentionally told me that Mr. P.S. was only 13 years old in the spring of 1980 when Mr. P.S. had been discovered buggering me in his bedroom in his family’s PMQ . Sgt Cyr did this for a reason. Under the juvenile delinquents act, a person who had not yet achieved their 14th birthday could not be charged with a criminal offence.
However, Mr. P.S. was born on June 20th, 1965. In May of 1980, Mr. P.S. would have been two months shy of his 15th birthday. Under the Juvenile Delinquents Act he would have been fully culpable for all of the criminal code offences that he committed since June 20th, 1979 while at the same time Captain McRae couldn’t be charged for any crime after May of 1983. (3-year time bar).
And in researching the CMAC records I’ve collected for this blog posting, I came across a CMAC finding that says that the Minister of National Defence functions as the Attorney General for the Canadian Armed Forces and maintains a supervisory role over military prosecutions.
This means that the Minister of National Defence has some involvement in the military justice system.
This serves to further my observations that a conflict of interest exists in allowing the CFNIS to investigate historical matters of child sexual abuse on the Defence Establishments when it is the office of the Minister of National Defence that would be subject to civil actions should convictions result.