You are on page 1of 1

ARCHDIOCESE OF OTTAWA

1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa ON K1H 6K9


Tel 613-738-5025
Fax 613-738-0130
www.CatholicOttawa.ca

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, January 20, 2014

ARCHBISHOP PRENDERGAST ISSUES STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO


GUILTY PLEA BY FR. JOE LECLAIR
The Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Archbishop of Ottawa, on learning that Fr. Joe
LeClair, the former pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish in Ottawa, pleaded guilty to criminal charges
laid against him some months ago, issued the following statement:
Despite this difficult decision affecting Fr. LeClairs life, I know that he is relieved to have this painful
moment behind him. I share his desire, and that of the many people who supported him over the last
two years, to move on and to look to the future.
Many people, with the best of intentions, had encouraged me, and those who assist me in my
ministry, to deal with this matter outside of the criminal justice system. For a number of reasons,
including the need of our Catholic Church to be transparent about such matters and to resolve what
had become a highly publicized matter, the decision was made to refer this issue to the police with
the expectation that the case would be treated fairly and thoroughly.
With Fr. LeClair, we now look to the future, understanding that the courts decision on sentencing will
be part of any future plan. In a courageous and very public way, Fr. LeClair admitted to the
addictions which were harmful to him personally and to his pastoral ministry. As we have from the
first day when Fr. LeClairs problems became known to us, we continue to support Fr. LeClair in his
recovery. Aware of his many talents and of his 25 years of effective pastoral ministry, we will work
with Fr. LeClair in his desire to return to the exercise of his priestly ministry.
No other comment will be provided.
-30____________________________________________________________________________
Media contact:

Sarah Du Broy
Communications Officer
Office: 613-738-5025, ext. 238, Cell: 613-620-5641
sdubroy@archottawa.ca