OTTAWA — The Archbishop of Ottawa has suspended a Catholic priest who was to appear in court Thursday morning on charges of sexually abusing a seven-year-old boy in the 1970s.
The priest, 76-year-old Jacques Faucher of Gatineau, was charged with gross indecency and indecent assault on a male for a "series of inappropriate contacts" with the boy that are alleged to have occurred between 1971 and 1973.
In a statement released Thursday morning, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast said: "On learning that Fr. Jacques Faucher has been charged with criminal misconduct in relation to a minor, I want to advise our Catholic faithful, and the wider community, that I have suspended him from all ministry and prohibited him from representing himself as a Catholic priest."
Ottawa police have charged a 76-year-old retired priest with the alleged sex abuse of a 7-year-old boy in the early 1970s.
Jacques Faucher, of Gatineau, was arrested Wednesday and will appear in court Thursday for a bail hearing. He is charged with gross indecency and indecent assault on a male. The "series of inappropriate contacts" between the Roman Catholic priest and the boy is alleged to have occurred between 1971 and 1973.
In his statement, Pendergast said the church was committed to dealing with cases of clergy abuse and invited "the faithful to pray with me, and to offer our penitential acts, for a process of justice and reconciliation for victims, and for the purification of the Church."
Police say the investigation, which began in November 2012, is ongoing and they ask anyone with information about the alleged incident or other incidents to contact the Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit at at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS) or toll free at 1-800-222-8477.