Friday, February 17, 2006

Vatican official in court for sex abuse charges the pal who emailed this to me. I love follow-up. News Staff

A retired Canadian priest who once held a senior post at the Vatican
appeared in a Pembroke court Thursday on sexual abuse charges.

Monsignor Bernard Prince appeared briefly and was released from custody with

Prince was charged last October with buggery and indecent assault on a male.
He is accused of assaulting a 12-year-old altar boy in the town of Wilno in
the late 1960's.

The 71-year-old was arrested Tuesday by customs officials in Montreal after
arriving from Italy, where he had been living for several years.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say they've also laid 14 more charges for
alleged incidents involving six people from the late 1960's to early 1970's.

The OPP issued an arrest warrant for Prince. According to police in early
February, the retired priest, who lives near Rome, Italy, did not initially
respond to the warrant. Investigators were weighing their options at the
time for trying to extradite Prince.

However, it appears Prince voluntarily came to Canada to face the charges.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 28 in Pembroke.

Ordained in 1963 at St. Mary's Church in Wilno, Ont., Father Prince left for
the Vatican in 1991. He was secretary general for the Pontifical Society for
the Propagation of the Faith, a position he held until 2004, when he

The case is the latest of many sex-abuse allegations to shake the Catholic
Church and one of the first involving top levels of the Vatican hierarchy.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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