On this idyllic Easter Monday, I would like to personally thank the Ottawa Citizen for its muckraking expose on Father Joe LeClair.
As a result of the thorough work of its investigative team, Father Joe announced yesterday he will be leaving Blessed Sacrament.
Perhaps even the priesthood. Maybe even the province.
It seems the public lashing he got on the front page of the paper has been too much for him to bear.
He simply doesn’t have the stomach to face accusations that he was stealing from his flock to pay for a serious gambling problem.
Well done, Ottawa Citizen, well done.
Hope you win a National Newspaper Award, although I wouldn’t count on it.
Most news organizations would not condone the use of stolen credit card receipts or your method of stalking the priest, even on Christmas Eve. Your tactics might be considered unethical, and your paper might, just might be sue-able.
It’s also interesting that Vern White, Ottawa’s police chief, raised his concern that police had not been called in to investigate the alleged fraud. According to White, that is the normal procedure in a case like this.
Father LeClairhas not been charged with any offences.
He has denied that he paid his debt with church money.
The church has not confirmed that Father LeClair did indeed steal money.
All the church is saying is that Father Joe is being investigated — thanks to a story in the Ottawa Citizen!
Why didn’t the reporters just drag him from the church and nail him to a cross?
That would have made a fine Easter display.
The Ottawa Citizen has done irreparable damage to this man and his reputation.
The charges may be valid, but the methods are reprehensible.
There should be a law.
Anyway, if the Citizen is right, good for the reporters.
If it is wrong, there surely will be hell to pay.