BELLEVILLE -- The Rev. Real "Ray" Bourque, who admits that he sexually abused boys in the late 1970s and early '80s while serving as a priest on the East Coast, was transferred four years ago to a retirement home in Belleville.
During a brief telephone interview Monday, Bourque said that while he did sexually abuse children, he was himself a victim of molestation as a child by an attacker who was not a priest.
Asked whether he had sexually molested boys, Bourque responded: "Eventually I did." He declined further comment, saying, "I was a victim myself ... I'm retired. I'm 78 years old. I don't want to be part of a witch hunt."
An editorial in the Belleville News Democrat shows a lack of comprehension about how the Church is structured...The editorial blames Bishop Braxton for not doing something about this case:
Bourque admits he is a child molester. But because he is a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, not a parish priest, he is not covered by the sex abuse policy. He is the responsibility of the [O}blates. Their response to his pedophilia is to have Bourque sign himself out of the retirement home.First, I have not yet read whether this is a case "pedophilia" or one of homosexuality...Noting that the editorial writer is wrong about Bishop Braxton's powers to do something in this case leads me to be suspicious about the writer's other claims.
So how does current Bishop Edward Braxton respond? After the vicar general was sent to meet with the oblates' leader, Braxton concluded his obligations under the zero-tolerance policy were fulfilled and there was no more he was allowed to do under canon law.
In all fairness, the editorial should be directed toward the Oblates and not Bishop Braxton.