Same Name Shows Prevalence

May 6, 2014

By: Ashton Patis, Blackburn News

Beckett Personal Injury Office's Scales of Justice's article image

Two priests with the same name, both serving in our region in the 1970s and 1980s, are accused of sexually abusing young boys.

Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Talach says he has had two victims come forward with allegations involving a Father Alphonse Robert who worked in Windsor at Sacred Heart from 1971-72, and in Toronto. Another Father Bernard Robert, who worked in Tilbury, is accused of sexually abusing over 20 alter boys around the same time period.

“This is a counterpoint to every Catholic who says ‘this is just a handful of bad apples.’ What are the chances that you have two Father Roberts in the same Diocese that are perpetrators? It’s a really strong point to ask how widespread is this problem if you’ve got two guys with the same name in the same Diocese,” says Talach. “I think the fact that we’ve come across two Father Roberts in the same Diocese, abusing in the same region of the Diocese, is not only confusing but very indicative of how widespread this problem is in the priesthood.”

Father Bernard Robert of Tilbury has since died. Four of his victims have settled lawsuits with the Diocese of London while another 16 victims await settlements. Another four victims could be launching lawsuits.

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