Basilian Fathers Busted

News: World News Print Friendly and PDF
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  October 15, 2020   

Predominantly homosexual abuse covered up

You are not signed in as a Premium user; we rely on Premium users to support our news reporting. Sign in or Sign up today!

TORONTO (ChurchMilitant.com) - A pattern of homosexual abuse and cover-up pervades a newly compiled list of sexual predators in the Toronto-based Congregation of St. Basil — known as the Basilian Fathers.

Toronto media CityNews has assembled "the first public list of Basilians" accused or convicted of sexually preying on minors. The Fathers is a community of priests, students for the priesthood and lay associates. Of the 14 priests exposed in Tuesday's report, only two had female accusers and many had been under church supervision for decades while allegedly offending with multiple victims.

Image
Fr. Leo Campbell

The year-long investigation by the secular news outfit further revealed the problem was rooted in homosexual clerics and further compounded by systemic cover-ups of the homosexual predation.

Fr. Leo Campbell

One case highlighted by CityNews was that of Basilian Fr. Leo Campbell, whom it reports "was accused of child abuse multiple times."

The news outfit reported Campbell's alleged abuse began shortly after his ordination in 1974. At boys' summer camps from 1976–1978, Campbell allegedly "sexually molested" multiple boys 6 to 8 years old. The troubled priest was then sent in 1980 to Southdown, a Catholic mental health center. There he received an assessment noting he had "strong pedophilic tendencies."

Campbell went on to abuse a young man named Peter Luci at the Basilian-run St. Mary's College, according to the report. Luci alleges that he was abused by Campbell more than a dozen times with one encounter ending in rape.

Regardless of his past, Basilian Fathers allowed Campbell to became principal at the Basilian-run St. Michael's College in Toronto. He remained in that position for four years. 

The year-long investigation by the secular news outfit further revealed the problem was rooted in homosexual clerics.

By 1992, further allegations of "improper conduct" surfaced against Campbell dating back to the year he was ordained in 1974. It involved reports that Campbell sexually touched a boy who was 14 years old at the time. CityNews reports that these allegations resulted in Campbell being sent back to Southdown. There the priest was reportedly diagnosed with "ephebophilia — a sexual attraction to teenagers." The institute further advised that Campbell be barred from any "unsupervised contact with early teenage boys."

According to the CityNews report, the Basilian Fathers apparently disregarded the diagnosis that Campbell posed a risk to male teenagers and instead allowed him to be chaplain at St. Thomas More College from 1993–1995. He then was made an assistant pastor at Holy Rosary Church in Toronto for the next three years.

Campbell was reportedly blocked from transferring to the diocese of Hamilton, Ontario by Bp. Anthony Tonnos. Responding to Tonnos' request for a background check on Campbell, the Basilian Fathers informed him that Campbell did have "substantive allegations of sexual misconduct" against him and did have a diagnosis of ephebophilia from Southdown. This was enough for Tonnos to reject Campbell's request.


 
 

But then Campbell was allowed not only to return to the Basilian's St. Michael's College, but also to be the head of the chaplaincy there as well as the superior of the Basilian Fathers at the college.

Settlement, No Repentance

Only in 2008, did the Basilians take action, CityNews reported. Luci's psychotherapist, Lynne MacDonell contacted the Basilians that year and informed them of the abuse by Campbell as alleged by Luci. It was only then that the Basilians finally suspended Campbell from active ministry.

In 2009, Luci sued the Basilians and Fr. Campbell's estate. He won a $250,000 settlement in 2015. But the monetary settlement does not include an admission of liability on the part of the Basilians. Luci is not happy with the money and would rather have the Basilian Fathers take responsibility for their actions.

"I didn't care about the money. I wanted them to say [we're] sorry. I wanted them to take responsibility. I wanted them to make changes," Luci told CityNews.

Teens, Not Youngsters Victimized

Church Militant has reported that homosexual "ephebophilia" — not pedophilia, in which victims are prepubescent children — is really the issue with Campbell and other Basilians listed in the report. Referring to the problem as pedophilia is actually incorrect, as Newsweek noted in 2002: "The great majority of cases now before the Church involve not pedophilia but 'ephebophilia,' an attraction to post-pubescent youths."

In 2002, the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) elicited the help of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to study the crisis of priestly sex abuse. Its initial report released in 2004 showed that 80% of alleged victims were male and 90% were post-pubescent.

The great majority of cases now before the Church involve not pedophilia but 'ephebophilia,' an attraction to post-pubescent youths.

Following its 2004 report, the USCCB openly admitted the problem was a result of homosexual priests. The USCCB confirmed in 2004 that "80% of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature." The bishops went so far as to say that "an understanding of the crisis is not possible" without speaking of "the presence of homosexually oriented priests."

The USCCB's 2011 report posted similar findings. Together, the reports from 2004 and 2011 closely correspond with yet another 2015 study released by the USCCB that shows 81% of sexual abuse victims were male and 84% were past the age of 10.

CityNews chose to highlight the story of Campbell as an initial installment in its investigative reporting but will be following up with in-depth reporting on the other Basilians listed in Tuesday's report.

--- Campaign 31877 ---

 

Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.


We rely on you to support our news reporting. Please donate today.
By commenting on ChurchMilitant.com you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines