by Irvin Muchnick
Pope Francis on Friday made a historic apology to Indigenous Peoples for the “deplorable” abuses they suffered in Canada’s Catholic-run residential schools and said he hoped to visit Canada in late July to deliver the apology in person to survivors of the church’s misguided missionary zeal.
– Associated Press
There is no longer any excuse for the Canadian government to continue concealing records about the abuse of students by John Furlong at the Immaculata Elementary School in rural British Columbia when he was teaching there on behalf of the Oblate Frontier Apostles, a Catholic order.
These allegations were given life by journalist Laura Robinson in 2012 in a powerful article for the alternative weekly The Georgia Straight, which became the subject of a defamation claim by Furlong that was ultimately withdrawn. The piece can be read at https://www.straight.com/news/john-furlong-biography-omits-secret-past-burns-lake.
After having arrivied in Canada as an immigrant from Ireland, Furlong would go on to direct Canada’s hosting of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and to write a bestselling patriotic memoir. But in between, in the 1970s, he returned to Ireland and was an athletic department colleague of George Gibney – later the two-time Irish Olympic swimming coach and today the most notorious at-large sex criminal in the history of global sports – at the Newpark Comprehensive School in Blackrock, County Dublin.
Last month Kathleen Martens of the Winnipeg-based Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network reported that a court had ordered the sealing of evidence in an upcoming Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearing, in order to protect the “dignity and reputation” of Furlong. He had sought the order, which prevents public disclosure of documents in a 2017 case by First Nations day school survivors claiming that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police inadequately investigated their allegations. See https://www.aptnnews.ca/national-news/federal-court-chrt-seal-documents-of-case-involving-john-furlong-rcmp-without-notice-to-media/.
APTN is being represented by Vancouver media lawyer David Sutherland and is seeking media partners in this quest for transparency. The effort is in complete alignment with, and gives flesh and blood to, the words of Pope Francis last week.
“Fabulist Canadian Olympics Chief John Furlong and Abuse of First Nations Children: Comprehensive Links,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=11744