An international organization which speaks on the behalf of those abused by members of the clergy has blasted Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau, Gabriel Malzaire, for not doing enough about now-defrocked priest, Reginald LaFleur.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said the bishop must use his resources to have LaFleur reported to law enforcement and eventually jailed.
“We’re glad that Fr. Reginald LaFleur has been defrocked,” SNAP told DNO via email.
But defrocking isn’t enough for SNAP which is describing LaFleur as a “risk to kids.”
It said the Bishop must use resources such as pulpit announcements, parish bulletins and diocesan website, to urge others to urge others to come forward and call the police.
According to SNAP,”kids are safer when child molesters are jailed” and Malzaire can assist in getting law enforcement involved in the LaFleur matter.
“But only if he shows real courage and compassion and aggressively prods others with information or suspicions about LaFleur to call law enforcement,” it said.
According to SNAP, “Catholic bishops recruit, educate, ordain, supervise, shield and transfer child molesting clerics. Then, often bishops kick them out when they’re caught. But that’s not enough.”
The organization went on to say that “Bishops should go further and actively help law enforcement find evidence to convict these child molesters.”
“That is the civic and moral duty of every Catholic employee – current and former – in Dominica,” SNAP noted. “And Malzaire should lead by example. He should go to every place where LaFleur worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to contact police and prosecutors now about LaFleur.”
SNAP is also calling on Malzaire to apologize for what it described as his “insensitive remarks about LaFleur’s defrocking.”
“The bishop apparently spoke only of the hurt he and the church suffered …. ignoring the far greater pain of the priest’s victims and their families,” the organization said.
LaFleur was defrocked by a decree issued to him by Malzaire on November 6, 2014. He was on administrative leave following allegations made two years ago that he had touched a woman’s “bottom and breast” and made “sweet eyes” at her 19 years ago.
The matter was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome which reviewed it and authorized Malzaire to proceed with “an Administrative Penal Process.”
SNAP claims it has members who have been abused by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers.