My French-Canadian grandfather was always a great resource for the best figures of speech. One of my favorites is “Un homme trouve toujours une raison pour tuer son chien.” (A man always finds a reason to kill his dog.)
In other words, if you want someone hanged, you’ll find something to accuse them of, no matter what.
It just so happens those sought after accusations were a matter of public record in the case of Father Lucien Larré. Though he was awarded the Order of Canada for succeeding “beyond measure in restoring the lost to their rightful place in society,” many seem to be focused on the fact that he has some questionable moments in his past.
Larre said any controversy in his past bears little relation to Morgentaler’s fight for abortion rights.
First, Father Larré is fully aware of his own past. Yet he dared to have a light shone on him by being (what I hope will be) the first of many to send back his Order of Canada medal. An assault charge dating back over 30 years ago could have been enough to paralyze him from protesting as he did. We hear one motivational speaker after another tell us not to let our less than perfect pasts get in our way, yet as soon as we see someone put that into practice, as Father Larré has done, we hang him.
Second, I’m not in any way defending Father Larré’s past mishaps. I don’t think anyone needs to, nor do I think we need to hold them up on a scale next to the actions of anyone else. Someone awarded the Order of Canada should be held to a higher standard, but purely on the basis of whether they have left Canada in a better state than they found it. This is precisely why Morgentaler’s award is so controversial. It is absolutely debatable that he’s done any good for Canada. The award makes it out that abortion on demand is a good thing; it assumes the debate is closed. Pish-posh! There is hardly any sort of national consensus to that effect.
As more members of the Order have the courage to send back their medals in protest of the Morgentaler fiasco, they also should expect to have their less that spotless pasts put on display. A word to all you honourable members, inducted by unanimous decision of the committee: Please don’t let any of that stop you.
Brigitte is rolling her eyes all the way to her shoulder blades:
Larre was awarded the Order of Canada in 1983 for founding the Bosco Homes for emotionally disturbed and addicted adolescents. He was later convicted of assault and administering a noxious substance, but pardoned for those crimes in 1997. [emphasis added]
He said the assault charge stemmed from an incident in 1974, when he slapped a 19-year-old woman trying to have an affair with a 14-year-old boy under his care. The other change came from an incident when he and a nurse told three teenagers to consume various unidentified vitamins, sugar pills and placebos in an effort to teach them about drugs.
Personally, if an adult was trying to mess with a minor in my care, you bet I’d do something about it. Not sure what to think of the second affair, about the pills, but hey. I have very little experience dealing with “emotionally disturbed and addicted adolescents” so I hesitate to second-guess. In any case, calling Father Larré a “child abuser”, as I am told some pro-choicers are doing, is way over the top.