The Roman Catholic Bishop of Cornwall is among four people who have been investigated by police as part of their probe into allegations of sexual abuse in the eastern Ontario city of Cornwall.
- BACKGROUND FROM CBC RADIO NEWS: Breach of Trust
Court documents show police have collected volumes of information regarding Bishop Eugene LaRocque and three other priests.
The police submitted those files to Crown attorneys more than 18 months ago, but so far there has been no decision on whether charges are warranted.
Now, Tory backbencher Gary Guzzo of Ottawa has said in the Ontario legislature that he will name names, and he has told CBC Radio he will name the bishop.
Guzzo, who is also a former provincial court judge, has been demanding an inquiry into the Cornwall scandal for two years. He wants to know why the investigation appears stalled.
"It's fine that 20 people have been charged with 115 counts. I'm suggesting that the top people have not been charged and I want the inquiry to inquire into why this has taken place and that's why I will be asking the question," Guzzo said.
The latest investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in Cornwall, known as Project Truth, began almost four years ago.
The head of that investigation, Inspector Pat Hall, has testified in court that his team of officers identified 68 suspects. More than a dozen were charged and 26 have died.
Documents submitted during a recent court proceeding show Bishop LaRocque was one of the people who were investigated.
Hall said Project Truth compiled three volumes of documents on the bishop consisting of more than 1,000 pages of information.
The volumes were given to the Crown attorney's office in September, 1999, and it was supposed to decide whether charges were warranted against the church leader. So far, no decision has been made public.
Decisions are also pending in investigations involving three other priests.
Bishop LaRocque was part of a deal in 1993 that saw the Catholic church pay $32,000 to a former altar boy who had accused a Catholic priest in Cornwall of molesting him. As part of the deal, the man was to stay quiet and withdraw the complaint.
However, the deal became public and several police investigations began looking into allegations that priests and other prominent members of the Cornwall community were part of a sex abuse ring.
Reached at his home in Cornwall Sunday night, LaRocque said he was surprised by the latest developments and that it was the first he has heard he would be among those named by Guzzo in the legislature.
LaRocque said he is innocent, and that the original allegations against him date back to 1961, a time he says he wasn't near Cornwall.
LaRocque added he wants to speak with his lawyer before saying anything more.