Deacon (Paul Walker) Charged with Sexual Assault: Diocese Puts Ordination on Hold

Article excerpt

Rev. Paul Walker, a deacon at All Saints church in Whitby, Ont., diocese of Toronto, asked in March that his ordination as a priest be delayed after a sexual assault charge was filed against him in February in Kamloops, B.C. The diocese has agreed to put the ordination on hold until the matter is resolved.

The charge was filed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, alleging that the assault took place in August 1997, when Mr. Walker, then a lay person, and the complainant, who is not identified in the charge, were camping near Kamloops. Subsequently, the complainant spoke to the media and identified himself as Trevor Henderson, a former member of a youth group Mr. Walker led while a parishioner at St. James church in Kingston, Ont.

In an interview with the Kingston Whig-Standard, Mr. Henderson, who was 19 at the time, said he and Mr. Walker were sharing a tent when Mr. Walker made a sexual pass at him, which Mr. Henderson rebuffed. The incident was not repeated and the two men parted company, Mr. Henderson said.

Mr. Walker was ordained a deacon in May 2001 and was scheduled to become a priest in March 2002, said Archdeacon Colin Johnson, executive assistant to Archbishop Terence Finlay of the diocese of Toronto. …

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