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Breach of Faith, Breach of Trust: The Story of Lou Ann Soontiens, Father Charles Sylvestre, and Sexual Abuse Within the Catholic Church

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  • ISBN-13: 9781440190087
  • Publisher: iUniverse
  • Release Date: Mar 03, 2010
  • Pages: 132 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.44 x 9.02 x 5.98 inches

Overview

As a young child of twelve, Lou Ann Soontiens saw school as a place of refuge. When the school's resident priest, Father Charles Sylvestre, took an interest in her, she felt honoured and privileged. She put her complete faith and trust in this charismatic man of God and it resulted in years of sexual abuse, humiliation, and an unwanted pregnancy.

This misplaced devotion would lead her to forty years of confusion, guilt, and pain and, ultimately, to her being awarded, by the Diocese of London, Ontario, the largest settlement ( 1.75 million Canadian dollars) ever given to an individual by the Catholic Church in Canadian history.

It was not until Lou Ann reached middle-age that she found out that she was not alone in her pain and guilt; at least forty-six other women had experienced the same degradation at the hands of Father Charles Sylvestre. Much to her shock, she discovered that the Catholic Church had known about Father Sylvestre's abusive nature, and, as with hundreds of other priests with the same problem, chose to ignore the dangerous situation and quietly move the offending priest to a new parish where the abuse of young children would once again commence.


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