Catholic priest faces kid porn charges

AEDAN HELMER, Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

OTTAWA - A local Roman Catholic congregation is stunned to learn one of their own is facing child pornography charges.

Father James Anthony Jordan, 63, a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, was arrested Monday and charged with one count of possessing child pornography.

Jordan, who has been serving as a missionary in Kenya since 2006, was arrested by police at the provincial offices of OMI Lacombe Canada on Main St.

Court documents list his address as the Springhurst Residence in Ottawa, which is operated by the Oblates.

OMI Lacombe Canada was founded in 2003 with a focus on helping the poor, particularly through missionary work in developing nations.

Jordan, originally a member of the British Columbia/Yukon chapter of the Oblates, was named director of the New Blessed Joseph Cebula House of Philosophy in the Oblates’ Kenyan mission in Karen, a subdivision of Nairobi.

According to staff at the local Oblates office, Jordan was on leave from the Kenyan mission and was vacationing in Ottawa for the past two weeks.

Staff Sgt. Monique Perras said police made the arrest after a “short investigation.”

Jordan appeared in court Tuesday morning, and was released on a $5,000 bond.

Bail conditions require Jordan to remain at his listed address and to surrender his passport.

He is also barred from accessing pornographic material, a computer, or the Internet, and must not congregate in places where the Internet may be accessed.

According to Rob Meilleur, a layman responsible for the congregation’s business affairs, OMI Lacombe Canada is launching its own internal investigation.

“We’re working with the police on these allegations to see if they’re actually founded or not,” said Meilleur.

“As a priest, he has a personal life, and when something like this arises, we have our own misconduct policy that kicks in that does its own internal investigation.”

Meilleur said the charges stem from a complaint made by an individual who is not a member of the congregation.

The order contacted police on Friday. Jordan was arrested Monday.

According to Meilleur, Father Jordan is a respected member of the order, and is very active in the formation of new priests and brothers.

“I know these days, once you put ‘child pornography’ and ‘church’ in the same sentence, people just go nuts. And we don’t know what it is, so we will be doing our own internal investigation and working with the police,” said Meilleur. “We want to make sure that everything is done right.”

aedan.helmer@sunmedia.ca

— files from Terri Saunders


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