A B.C. woman alleging she was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest over several months 43 years ago while she was a parish school teacher wants diocese of Kamloops offices searched for files it may have on her case and other similar ones, court documents say.
Now, in a notice of application filed with BC Supreme Court Feb. 27, Rosemary Anderson is prepared to go to court to see if a judge will authorize a search of the Kamloops premises to find documents relevant to her case. She has suggested secret archives exist – a suggestion the church denies.
Anderson alleges in a Dec. 22, 2016, notice of civil claim the sexual abuse at the hands of Father Erlindo “Lindo” Molon, now 86, starting at age 26 when she sought solace after her father’s death. She names Molon and the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Kamloops, A Corporation Sole in the claim.
A Feb. 27, 2019, affidavit claims the Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish priest, about 20 years Anderson’s senior, “repeatedly performed sexual acts upon the plaintiff innumerable times, including intercourse” for about eight months starting in September 1976.
Anderson said she told then-Kamloops bishop Adam Exner about the alleged abuse in the spring of 1977. The affidavit said the assaults “continued and escalated in aggression.” Molon was transferred to Ontario that October, documents said.
Anderson alleges in the affidavit Exner was aware of assaults against other parishioners by Molon and that the bishop knowingly allowed such assaults to continue.
She said Exner ordered her to leave the diocese. He later went on to become archbishop of Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Anderson is due in court April 2 for the application seeking a search of Kamloops diocese premises for documents pertaining to consultations between Exner and Molon; documents referring to Molon; documents pertaining to any investigations by Exner of Molon; records of complaints by other parishioners about Molon: records of Exner’s attempts to get Molon help or treatment, and details of Anderson’s communications with Exner about Molon.
Diocese Search Application by on Scribd
The application seeks the swearing of an affidavit from current Kamloops Bishop Joseph P. Nguyen that he has no records in any secret archives.
Part of the application said Molon had admitted to sleeping with many parish married women. Exner said Molon had admitted this.
“People came to me with their concerns and what they had heard and what they had experienced,” Exner said in an August 2018 interview with Anderson’s and diocese lawyers, a transcript of which is filed in court as part of the affidavit. “That was – led me to the conclusion I had to do something about this man.”
Exner said in that interview he did not write down such reports.
In that interview, Exner said his understanding of Anderson’s comments to him was that the relationship between Molon and Anderson had become romantic and then sexual.
“But I think the one thing that stands out the most – is that a given point – at first when she talked about this, it looked liked Father Molon was taking advantage of her and molesting her.”
Exner then added Anderson had asked if it was a good idea for her to marry Molon.
“That threw a total different light on the situation,” Exner said.
Exner characterized the priest as a “playboy,” a “freewheeler” who was “taking advantage of quite a few people.”
Exner said as far as he was concerned with both Anderson and Molon out of the diocese, the scandal was over.
Archbishop Exner Interview by on Scribd
Priest, archbishop deny allegations
Molon, originally from the Philippines, worked in parishes in Lakeview, Oregon, and Quesnel before moving to Kamloops, court documents said. In a May 2018 response to Anderson’s allegations, he denied the Anderson’s allegations but says if such sexual activity did happen, they were consensual and non-coercive.
He now lives in a Kingston, Ont., care facility and has been found incapable of managing his own affairs, an amended response to civil claim filed with the court May 16, 2018, said.
A response by Exner in June 2017 to Anderson’s civil claim said Molon was suspended as of February 1977 and any acts after that are not the responsibility of the bishop. Further the response said, ‘if any of the alleged conduct occurred during (Molon’s) position with the Bishop, it was unauthorized, outside the scope of his employment unrelated to any conduct authorized and without any knowledge by the Bishop.”
Exner left Kamloops to become Archbishop of Winnipeg in 1982 and of Vancouver in 1991. He retired in 2004.
It was during Exner’s Vancouver tenure that the news broke out of that 90 boys had been abused at the Christian Brothers Mount Cashel Newfoundland orphanage over decades.
It was later discovered that six of the accused or convicted Brothers had been transferred to St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby and Vancouver College. Exner had to scramble to keep the schools open and their assets protected.
Exner, with the Canadian Conference of Bishops, created a complaints process for abuse victims, which supported their going to police.
None of the allegations has been tested in court. A trial date has been set for Oct. 7.