What could possibly go wrong?
Denis Robert Hall, a convicted pedophile, is running for a seat on the Saskatoon Catholic school board in Canada.
Hall pleaded guilty in 1981 to two charges of having intercourse with girls aged 14-16, as well as two counts of indecent assault. Hall was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Yet despite the convictions, Hall has qualified as a candidate in the Catholic school board election. CKOM reports the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools confirmed Monday morning that they were aware of Hall’s conviction, but that Hall met all the rules to become a candidate.
Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Communications Consultant Derrick Kunz told CKOM that Hall is still confirmed to attend an all-candidates forum at E.D. Freehan High School scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday.
To qualify for a seat on the Saskatoon Catholic school board one must be a Catholic who is also a Canadian of legal age who has lived in the school division for at least 3 months and in Saskatchewan for 6 months.
Apparently, being a convicted pedophile does not disqualify one from being a member of the Catholic school board.
CBC News reports church officials say they will ask Hall to withdraw from the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools race, but will not force him off the ballot.
Commenting on Hall’s candidacy, Father Kevin McGee, acting administrator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, said:
Mr. Hall has met the legal qualifications to run as a candidate. We trust in the electoral process and the wisdom of the electorate.
Father McGee also said:
I have reason for serious concern that Denis is not suited for this position.
Serious concern? Is that the best the church can do? Really?
Blake Sittler, who oversees the church’s “safe environment” policy, also expressed his concern:
We’ve been working hard over the last 15 years to rebuild trust in the general community. So we are obliged to discern very carefully situations like this.
Rebuild trust? There is no reason any community should trust the Catholic Church. In fact, the abysmal failure of the Catholic Church to protect children from pedophiles is well documented.
Indeed, the church has demonstrated over and over again that they will not protect children from pedophiles. Instead, the church has the sad but well-deserved reputation of protecting pedophiles from criminal prosecution.
And, as always, when it comes to the Catholic Church, it is the children who suffer.