Priest Was Observed 'Necking'
A Windsor Cleric Testifies He Spotted Barry Glendinning in an Embrace with Another Man during Their Seminary Days
By Peter Geigen-Miller
London Free Press [Canada]
Downloaded June 20, 2003
The man at the centre of a sexual abuse lawsuit was observed embracing a fellow seminarian while the two were students at St. Peter's Seminary in London in the late 1950s, a court heard yesterday. A Catholic priest from Windsor testifying in the civil lawsuit said he and a friend were walking on the seminary grounds when they spotted Barry Glendinning and another seminarian grappling and "necking."
The priest, whose name can't be released under terms of a court order, said he and his friend, also a seminarian, were bothered by seeing two males embracing and decided to report the incident.
"We didn't think it acceptable behaviour we should foster in our seminary," he said.
"When we saw him doing things with another male, we thought it wasn't right."
The priest said he and his friend went to see their spiritual directors, or advisers, who sent them to to the rector, the head of the seminary.
The two told their stories to the rector separately.
The priest said as far as he knows, nothing came of the incident.
The Windsor priest graduated from St. Peter's in 1959 and served in St. Mary's parish in London in the 1960s and 1970s.
Donna Swales and her children were members of the parish during that period.
John, Guy and Ed Swales and their family are suing Glendinning and the Roman Catholic Diocese of London for damage caused by sexual abuse they say they suffered at Glendinning's hands at St. Peter's seminary.
Glendinning was convicted in 1974 of gross indecency involving children.
The suit is being heard by Superior Court Justice John Kerr.
Yesterday was the ninth day of the trial.
The Windsor priest said he was two or three years ahead of Glendinning in seminary studies.
He said sexuality was an issue in a seminary with 130 males thrown together in close proximity.
"We were living together as men with blood in our veins," he said.
"It wasn't always easy."
The opposing parties in the suit will take a break from trial proceedings today to hold a settlement conference.
They will meet with Superior Court Justice William Jenkins to see if the suit can be resolved through negotiations.
The Swales are suing Glendinning and the diocese for $7 million.
The diocese has launched a counterclaim against John Swales, saying he sexually, physically and emotionally abused his younger siblings.
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