Many of you will have watched the CTV W5 investigative report regarding allegations of abuse at Grenville Christian College, a former private boarding school near Brockville. The pain of those who spoke out is heartbreaking. The alleged involvement of priests ordained in the Anglican Church makes this even more disturbing.
The campus had a history that dated back to 1918. In the early 1970s, it was renamed Grenville Christian College. It drew its staff from an ecumenical range and developed links with a US based group known as the Community of Jesus. Two Anglican priests were involved in the leadership of the school through until the early 2000’s. During this time, Bishops of our diocese made pastoral visits and attended various events at the school when invited. While the school chose to identify itself as Anglican and Anglican liturgy was celebrated, the diocese and its Bishops were never part of the ownership, governance or operation of the school.
The Diocese of Ontario takes all allegations, reports or concerns regarding any form of abuse very seriously. While the Diocese was never involved in the governance or operation of the College, when it was first informed of complaints, under the Canons of the diocese an investigation was begun. This investigation was ended when a police investigation began and class action suits were soon after initiated. After an extensive investigation, in 2008 the OPP and Crown Attorney determined not to lay any charges in the matter, as they decided it would not be in the public interest.
The diocese defended the class action. In March 2013 the Court of Appeal for Ontario dismissed the action against the diocese on the basis that the plaintiffs had no Cause of Action against the diocese. The court made this decision based on the evidence and arguments presented.
Given these facts and the ongoing Class Action suit against others, the diocese declined to comment on camera for the W5 report in order to protect the confidentiality and rights of all those involved. We did offer to clarify any facts or evidence that are on record. W5 accurately reported the details we provided in our written response.
There has been extensive media reporting around Grenville Christian College in the past. While the W5 report does not bring any new information, it does clearly show the pain of those affected. The suffering of some of these students at the hands of former staff in the name of Christian education and their beliefs is truly regrettable. I prayerfully ask God’s guidance and loving care to continue in the work of healing and reconciliation for all those affected and ask all of you to pray for them as well.
May God’s abundant grace and mercy shine upon them.
If you have any questions regarding our response, please feel free to contact the Diocesan Executive Officer (Pro Tem) Alex Pierson at (6130 544-4774 Ext. 131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in the Peace of Christ,
OFFICES OF THE INCORPORATED SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF ONTARIO