One man claims that a Roman Catholic priest cared for him and then sexually abused him when he was 13 years old.
Warning: This story contains disturbing details that may be of concern to some readers.
Vancouver’s Roman Catholic archbishop, a missionary Catholic seminary and a dead priest have been named as defendants in a 1977 sexual and physical abuse trial.
The complainant, known only by his initials, claims that Harold Vincent Sander, also known as Father Placidus, encouraged the 13-year-old seminary student to draw his profile.
It was at Sander’s private office that the boy’s pants and underwear were lowered to his ankles, according to a civil claim statement filed in the BC Supreme Court on March 14.
The allegation said Sander caressed the boy’s genitals and then anal penetrated him.
The name of the suit is Christ the King’s Seminary; Westminster Abbey Ltd .; The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver, a Corporation Sole; and the estate of Harold Vincent Sander aka Dom Placidus Sander. He died in October 2021.
The case, filed by attorney Sandra Kovacs, claims Sander was in a position of power and trust in the boy. It said he was a teacher and college supervisor.
“At all times essential to the case, the institutional defendants, collectively and individually, were complicit in a culture of entrenched clergy and perverted beliefs that implicitly promoted the psychosexual immaturity of pastors and seminarians, and perpetuated sexually deviant behavior,” he said. the claim. (Legal documents use the word “buggery”, the term used at the time for such alleged offenses.)
The case alleges various forms of negligence, intentional blindness, ruthlessness and breach of fiduciary duty.
The claim said the plaintiff suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic anger, episodes of dissociation, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, low self-esteem, distorted thinking, and impaired ability to trust authority, others, and family relationships.
Archdiocese spokesman Makati Marquis said the archdiocese could not comment as the case is before the courts.
Abbey spokesman Benedict Lefebvre said the civil claim has been received.
“We are aware that the plaintiff was one of several complainants in criminal cases against Fr. Placidus Sander, now deceased, which happened in 1997 and which led to Fr. Sander will be acquitted of all charges, “said Lefebvre. “This current civil case is being considered by our Legal Adviser, and since it is a matter in a lawsuit, we can not comment further.
Former seminar participants named
The allegation said three seminar candidates have been criminally convicted of child abuse: George Gordon, Paul Blancard and Christopher Paul Neil.
A 2019 report looking at priest sexual abuse, published by the Archdiocese of Vancouver, named Gordon and Blancard.
The RCMP investigated Blancard in connection with an incident in Burnaby in 1967 or 1968 that involved a sexual assault on a six- or seven-year-old girl in St. Petersburg. Helen’s Parish. No charges were filed.
A complaint regarding his time in the diocese of Victoria was filed with the RCMP in 1990. Prosecution was filed in 1992. Blancard was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison. In 2016, police received two more charges dating back to his time in St. Louis. Helen’s Parish.
Gordon, who died in 2000, was charged with assaulting three boys in the 1950s at Holy Rosary Cathedral. The behavior was reported in the cathedral at the time, and again in 1967. He remained in the ministry until two of the victims reported the crimes to the archdiocese and the police in 1989. At that time, he acknowledged the existence of other victims. Gordon was convicted in 1992 and sentenced to six months in prison.
Neil, known by some as “Swirl Face”, pleaded guilty to five charges in December 2015, including invitation to sexual assault and sexual assault of two Cambodian boys aged nine and 13 and possession of child pornography. He also pleaded guilty to having access to child pornography in violation of his parole conditions.
In 2016, the BC Supreme Court sentenced Neil to 5.5 years in prison for the offenses against the Cambodians as well as for access to and possession of child pornography.
The Seminary of Christ the King did not respond to a request for comment.