The Ottawa Citizen
Dave Rogers 

 

Priest charged with sexual assault
Judge orders psychiatric evaluation of former high-ranking church official


Saturday, April 09, 2005

A former high-ranking official in Ottawa's Roman Catholic archdiocese
charged with sexually assaulting boys has been sent for a psychiatric
examination after he grinned and giggled in Gatineau court yesterday.

Police arrested Rev. Norman Page, 73, at his Chelsea home on Thursday. He
faces two charges of gross indecency, two counts of sexual assault and two
counts of attempted sexual assault on juveniles between 1976 and 2002.

Sgt. Manuel Bandeira, of the Municipalite Regionale de Conte des Collines
police, said yesterday the alleged sexual assaults involved boys between the
ages of 14 and 18, and took place in Chelsea, where the priest lives, and in
the Laurentians.

Before his retirement, Father Page was director of the Office of Liturgy for
the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa.

He also taught religious studies at the University of Ottawa, lecturing on
the history of religious architecture and sacred art, from 1965 until his
retirement in 1997.

At one time, he served as director of the department and as vice-dean of the
university's faculty of arts.

The Ottawa newspaper Le Droit awarded Father Page its Prix Litteraire for
his book, La Cathedrale Notre-Dame d'Ottawa, published by the University of
Ottawa Press, in 1988.

For years, Father Page conducted public tours of Notre Dame Basilica in
Ottawa.

In court Thursday, the slightly built, grey-bearded priest wore a light
brown suede jacket. He stood quietly in the prisoner's dock while the
charges were read.

But he suddenly began giggling when he was told he must not attempt to
communicate with the alleged victims.

Judge Serge Laurin remanded Father Page to the Centre Hospitalier
Pierre-Genest in Gatineau until April 18 for a psychiatric examination.

Father Page's lawyer, Roger Landry, said afterwards that he had been unable
to communicate with his client before the court appearance.

The Ottawa Citizen 2005