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Prince George Catholic schoolteacher faces sex abuse allegations

Teacher had worked at Newfoundland’s notorious Mount Cashel orphanage
The complainant in a BC Supreme Court notice of claim alleges O’Grady Catholic High School teacher Alfred Patrick Quigley sexually and psychologically abused him from 1991 until 1994

Note: The contents of this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some readers. 

A Prince George Roman Catholic school teacher and member of the Christian Brothers from Newfoundland’s sexual-abuse ridden Mount Cashel orphanage is facing allegations he sexually abused a teen in his care.

The complainant, known as John Doe in a B.C. Supreme Court notice of civil claim, alleges O’Grady Catholic High School teacher Alfred Patrick Quigley sexually and psychologically abused him from 1991 until 1994.

Quigley is one of eight defendants named in the claim (see bottom). Other defendants include a former Prince George bishop and the archbishop of Vancouver.

Doe, a Victoria medical technologist who was raised in a devoutly Catholic family, alleged Quigley groomed him in such ways as being unusually attentive, going for naked steam baths after sports, isolating him from family and friends, and ‘play touching’ and tickling.

It was on a 1993 trip to tour Burnaby’s Simon Fraser University (where Doe had won a scholarship) that Quigley allegedly arranged for the two to share a room at Burnaby’s St. Thomas Moore Collegiate where Quigley was a former teacher, the claim said.

The room had one small bed, which Quigley allegedly invited Doe to share.

“The plaintiff felt Quigley start to touch him, his leg, then his penis, first through his clothing and then under his clothing” the claim said. “The plaintiff felt Quigley’s beard against his cheek. The plaintiff froze at first, then pushed Quigley’s arm away and moved to the floor, tense and panicked. The plaintiff remembers crying staring at the crucifix above the door and praying.”

Soon, Doe’s schoolwork began to decline and his university entrance was deferred.
Then, in summer 1994, Doe went to Newfoundland where he met Quigley’s family. The pair then drove to Ontario. While in Montreal, the claim said, Quigley allegedly plied Doe with liquor and put pornographic films on TV, inviting the plaintiff to masturbate. Doe refused but Quigley allegedly masturbated in front of Doe’s face.

“At all times . . . the plaintiff was a minor and had no capacity to consent to any sexual contact whatsoever,” the claim said.

Mount Cashel orphanage

The claim, filed Aug. 16 by lawyer Sandra Kovacs, said Quigley had been a teacher at the notorious Mount Cashel orphanage. As a member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, he was a non-ordained member of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church and took a vow of celibacy, the claim said.

In 2020, Newfoundland and Labrador's highest court ruled the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John's was financially liable for sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1950s. That meant a $2 million payout to the four lead plaintiffs with liability imposed on the archdiocese for the conduct of five Mount Cashel Christian Brothers.

The orphanage closed in 1990 and was demolished two years later, but the scandal rocked the province and horrified Canadians.

The Doe claim said Quigley had allegedly abused or was at risk of abusing boys at Mount Cashel.

Further, it said, a deal with police and Newfoundland’s Ministry of Justice not to charge possibly offending clergy allowed the church to move clergy out of province “undetected, unsanctioned and without any adequate warning to the recipient jurisdiction.”

The claim said Quigley told Doe he had been at Mount Cashel at the time of the alleged abuses and that he was worried about being called to testify in court.

And, it said Quigley was part of movement of people associated with abuse between different areas of Canada.

He had been sent to St. Thomas Moore Collegiate in Vancouver prior to going to Prince George.

The claim said Vancouver’s archbishop had responsibility for St. Thomas Moore and had power over transfer and removal of Christian Brothers. It said the archdiocese ought to have known of allegations against Christian Brothers, including Quigley. 

The suit said all the defendants “were complicit in a culture of entrenched clericalism and distorted beliefs that implicitly promoted the psychosexual immaturity of priests and religious institute brothers and the perpetuation of sexually deviant behaviour and/or a victim-to-perpetrator cycle.”

No record, says archdiocese

In a statement to Glacier Media, the Vancouver archdiocese said there is no record of Quigley having worked for it.

“We can clarify that the accused was employed in Prince George at the time reported,” the statement said. “We have deep regret for the harms any victims have experienced as a result of sexual abuse or assault.”

While the archdiocese could not comment further as the case is in the courts, the statement did encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse by a Catholic cleric to call professional counsellors at an independent complaint line at 604-363-7338 or go directly to the RCMP.

Quigley could not be located and the Prince George diocese could not be reached for comment.

Named as defendants in the case are:

  • Quigley;
  • The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Prince Rupert also known as the Diocese of Prince George, British Columbia;
  • Bishop Emeritus Gerald Wiesner;
  • The Catholic Independent Schools Diocese of Prince George, formerly the Catholic Public Schools of the Vicariate of Prince Rupert;
  • Prince George College, also known as O’Grady Catholic High School;
  • St. Thomas More Collegiate Ltd., the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver;
  • The Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archbishop; and
  • The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s.

Several of those defendants were also named in a July suit filed by Darren Liptrot alleging movement of Christian Brothers to the Lower Mainland. The class action suit alleged the defendants failed to protect children at Vancouver College and St. Thomas More from the abusers.

The allegations have yet to be tested in court.

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