Former head chaplain charged with sex assault

OTTAWA -- The former head of the Canadian Forces chaplain branch, a Catholic, has been charged with sexual assault following alleged incidents 38 years ago at Canadian Forces Base Borden.

The current chaplain general, Brig. Gen. David Kettle, a Presbyterian minister, said his office is cooperating fully in an investigation by the Military Police and the Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada.

After his arrest in Barrie, Ontario, Msgr. Roger Bazin was charged with buggery, gross indecency and indecent assault on a male, according to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

A captain at the time of the alleged crimes in 1972, Msgr. Bazin, now retired from the chaplaincy, rose to the rank of brigadier general and was head of the military chaplaincy from 1992 to 1995.

"As the present chaplain general, I was shocked by these allegations," Rev. Kettle said. "I take very seriously the charges laid against a former chaplain general for alleged actions committed while serving as a unit chaplain in 1972."

The investigation stemmed from June 2009 allegations against Msgr. Bazin. He is scheduled to appear in Barrie provincial court April 28.

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

"The military police consider this to be a serious matter and will thoroughly investigate any such allegations," said the Canadian Forces provost marshal, Col. Tim Grubb, in a statement. "These types of alleged acts, if proven, are illegal and represent unacceptable conduct."

Rev. Kettle said he was "certain that I speak for all chaplains when I say that my heart goes out to the victims of such crimes, and their families."

In his statement, Rev. Kettle said chaplains undergo a thorough selection process before being accepted into the military.

"The Interfaith Committee on Canadian Military Chaplaincy ... is committed to ensuring that chaplains in the Canadian Forces uphold, for the welfare of all, the highest moral standard as dictated in the Code of Ethics for Chaplains," he said.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg

Show comments

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.