Browse Our Articles & Podcasts

The SSPX Sex Abuse Case: the Full Story

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Editor’s note: this investigative report was written by our contributing editor, Kennedy Hall, who published it first on his Substack here.

Recently it has been revealed that Father Rostand, a priest ordained by the Society of Saint Pius X, has been convicted of numerous counts of child abuse — pedophilia — by a French court. It was also alleged by Rostand during his trial that he had warned his superiors on numerous occasions that he had a problem, but that nothing was done. The insinuation here is that the SSPX brass “covered up” the problem. This claim was false — more on that later — and the truth of the matter was explained by the SSPX in a statement released by the Canadian and American Districts. Among other things, the Society stated: “At no time and in no way were the actions of this priest covered-up by his Superiors.”

The Poor Children

Before we get into the heart of the article and separate truth from falsehood surrounding the affair, I want to beg the readers to pray unceasingly for the victims, to have Masses said for them, and do penance for reparation for these unspeakable crimes. In fact, if you have a moment, please stop reading this article and take a few minutes to kneel and say a Rosary for the children.

To help the reader pray for the victims, here is a prayer to Saint Maria Goretti who is the patroness for those who have suffered sexual abuse:

Dear God,

We ask you to help all those who suffer from abuse. Help them find healing and peace in their life. May Maria Goretti who was strengthened by Your Grace join with us in prayer for healing of all victims of abuse, particularly those abused as children or young adults. Grant us Your Love that we might reach out to them in Your Name with hope in times of trial.

As Maria prayed for her attacker, grant us the grace to pray for the true conversion of all involved with the abuse: that they might seek Your Mercy through prayer and penance. Loving God, pour into our hearts and lives Your healing Spirit, that the sacredness of every human person might be respected and protected as the precious image of God. Help us to live in the peace which Maria Goretti had found in Christ and in the love of his mother Mary. We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

When these matters are unearthed it seems that what is often lost in the discussion is the most important fact, namely, that children have been permanently harmed. There is perhaps no crime on earth more egregious than child abuse of this sort, and it is enough to make you weep just thinking about it. I have six beautiful children, and the thought of something like this ever happening to them — especially by someone so trusted as a priest — is something I would not even dare to wish for my greatest enemy. Pedophilia is so evil that it is almost not human, almost like something you would expect from a serpentine creature with cold blood and no soul. I imagine that if something like this ever happened to one of my children… well, it would be hard for me not to do something that would land me in jail. I am sure the reader feels the same way.

Also, if the reader could find it in his heart to pray for the priests of the SSPX who are afflicted with grave sorrow. I know many of these priests, and I can tell you — after conversations with them — that their hearts ache at the thought of what has happened. These men have given their lives to restore the rights of Christ the King and the Mass of time immemorial for the good of all Christian souls, and that one of their brother priests could do such a thing is an act of treason against Almighty God and the priesthood.

I believe it is fitting to relay here what infernal punishments await unrepentant sinners who commit these crimes. The following is a description of what happens to those who commit such crimes according to the approved visions of Hell by the great Saint Frances of Rome:

Here were crowds of demons, each bearing in their claw-like hands heated rods resembling iron javelins, which glowed with red-hot intensity. Upon one of these instruments of torment, the soul of each depraved malefactor and pervert was impaled, the spear entering through the posterior orifice. This fiery spear was then drawn out through the mouth of the condemned wretch, passing through their entire body—either quickly and violently, or with excruciating and protracted slowness. And from this hideous and ever-repeated process, there was neither rest nor respite.

The Truth of What Happened

When Father Rostand was on trial he alleged, as was mentioned, that he had tried to warn his superiors. Of course, no evidence was given for this claim. This was reported as an established fact by the Marxist French news outlets, and even some Tradition-leaning news sources seemed to take those claims seriously. Now, I understand that when something like this happens it is perfectly normal to feel a sense of righteous anger. No one is to be blamed for hearing of child abuse and a potential cover-up and becoming angry. In fact, it would be strange if one were to not become enraged at the thought. However, as was stated by the SSPX, there was no cover-up to be found. This does not explain away the evil of what happened, and the SSPX has expressed sorrow that it is as an organization at least partially responsible given the fact that Rostand was trusted and ordained by the SSPX.

So, according to the official statement of the SSPX, what did happen? Father Rostand was for a period the district superior of the Canadian and US District — no small positions — and in 2014

after ambiguous and inappropriate attitudes were brought to their attention, the Society’s Superiors withdrew the incriminated priest from the apostolate, entrusting him with administrative tasks without any responsibility, and under appropriate disciplinary supervision, firstly in Switzerland and then in Canada from 2019.

During that period he was in no way in contact with children in an SSPX setting.

Now, I do love the SSPX, as is no secret, but I will admit that sometimes the “Frenchness” of the documents released by the Society does not translate well. “Ambiguous and inappropriate attitudes” might be better said in English as “inconsistent/confusing and inappropriate behaviour.” There are many ways a priest could act inappropriately which would not be criminal, but as soon as something clearly illegal was reported, they reported it to the civil authorities. So, he was taken out of the ministry and placed under supervision. First, he was surveilled at the General House in Menzingen, Switzerland, then at the District House in Saint Cesaire, Quebec.

For those who are unaware of what a district house is, or the general house, it should be noted that they are not like a typical “parish” and it is where the superior of the region or the Society lives. I have visited the District House of Canada and I can attest that it is not a place where children spend any time, and the building itself is well-staffed, and there would be constant supervision by the superior or other priests who are always there. On a personal note, I know Father Sherry — former Canadian superior very well — and will attest that he is a man of great character and upright morals; he is a commanding figure and a leader of men. Furthermore, Father Sherry appeared on my podcast last summer and explained exactly how the SSPX deals with suspected abusers or abusers under investigation. The video should be set at the correct moment in our interview where explained the process (1:50:55), also, I will add, that the present administration of the SSPX in Canada confirmed to me that this is and has been the policy and there are no exceptions permitted.

After Rostand arrived in Canada it was brought to the attention of the Society that there was good reason to believe that he had committed criminal acts, as the statement reads:

After his arrival in Canada, the Society’s Superiors became aware of the existence of offences, under the jurisdiction of the courts, and they immediately reported them to the judicial authorities, in accordance with the norms in force in our society, and strengthened his disciplinary framework. Following this report, the necessary investigations were launched, culminating in the recent trial.

Those who are not fans of the SSPX may accuse the Society of “moving the abuser around,” but this is unfair. The SSPX removed him from his post and placed him in locations where they believed he would be best surveilled. It should also be stressed that when he was initially removed from ministry it was not for any reason of criminality, which did not become apparent until later revelations. In addition, as soon as it was possible to have the man convicted it was the SSPX who brought the information to the police in France.

Shortly thereafter he was sent away from Canada and put into a monastery-type setting while the legal investigation took place. So, from 2019 until the present — almost five years — the SSPX cooperated with the legal authorities and Rostand was found guilty. Sadly, the French courts will not penalize him in any severe way, as it looks like he will only be under probation for a few years and placed on an offender registry. This is in itself a crime, as a man like Rostand should be locked up forever or put down. In the past, it was common that such offenders would be either executed or sent to a monastery to do penance for the rest of their lives. However, apostate France will not deal with the crimes in a commensurate manner.

Whatever one may think of the SSPX, it cannot be said that there was any cover-up and that the Society did not follow its sensible policy. Again, this does not absolve the crime, and it does not take away from the regret of the priests who dealt with him who have expressed with great sorrow the wish that they could have done more, or never trusted him in the first place.

Rostand Lies and the Devil Wins Again

With every act of child abuse, there is a victory for the Devil of the most egregious kind. Those who are abused are permanently damaged and there is seemingly no earthly cure for such an offence. Of course, with God’s grace, all things are possible, but anyone who has known someone who was abused will tell you that the wounds are a heavy cross that is never really lifted. Pedophilia is in a way the archetype of diabolism as it is both against nature — representing the hatred of God’s created order — and a destruction of the innocence of children.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.  And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:4-6)

There is no other explanation other than the mystery of iniquity whereby we understand that due to the fallen nature of the human race, sin will permeate through our dealings with one another, and, with an abuse of free will, there will be trusted individuals — even priests — who incarnate the evil of the Satanic hatred of children. Lord have mercy on us all. “Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.” (Matthew 18:7)

It was bad enough that Rostand did what he did, but adding to the Satanic destruction of the priesthood, he told the public during the trial that the SSPX had covered up the issue. Now, even before the SSPX denied this allegation, I did not believe it. This is not because I am some fanatic partisan of the Society, but because of my journalistic instincts and understanding of what a pedophile is.

To start with, we must take into account the psychological nature of claims when assessing their probability. Based on what we know to be true, it was the SSPX that brought the abuse allegations to the judicial authorities, and it was Rostand who was the pedophile; those are the facts. So, it would be very strange if the SSPX was in the business of cover-up given their policy and their adamant cooperation with the police. Usually, those afflicted with a criminal mindset do not bring information to the authorities that will condemn them. Furthermore, there had been an almost five-year period of investigation by the legal authorities between 2019-2024, and it was Rostand who was convicted, not the SSPX. Covering up for a pedophile would be a grave legal matter — punishable legally in virtually all Western legal systems —  and it seems highly improbable, if not practically impossible, that a court would simply ignore allegations of cover-up during a years-long investigation. Also, perhaps the reader is not aware of just how much the French authorities hate the SSPX.

Do you think the US government is bad because it sent a couple of field agents to check out an SSPX chapel? The French government charged Archbishop Lefebvre with what amounts to a hate-speech crime just before he died because he told the truth about Islam and that it would take over France. France is a country that just enshrined abortion into its constitution. The French papers that reported on the Rostand story called him an “intégriste” priest, which is directly translated as a word like “fundamentalist” but is used more as a slur in France the same way that “racist” or “white-nationalist” is used in America.

The French papers demonstrated no journalistic ethics in their reporting, as they should have said, “Father Rostand said xyz…” I have covered court proceedings before, and it is Journalism 101 to include qualifying words to clearly state that what is being quoted is nothing more than an allegation by the person in question, not an established fact. However, the press reported his allegations as Gospel truth, even though there was no evidence other than the claims of a pedophile. It goes to show how willing the enemies of the Church are to destroy the priesthood; they will trust a pedophile if it means getting a good anti-Catholic headline for a story.

For these reasons, I never believed his claim, and I am happy to have seen it refuted by the Society. It is my opinion that it is completely disingenuous to assume that the pedophile is telling the truth and the Society is lying.

In addition to this, I was able to verify that Rostand has a history of lying. On his LinkedIn page — which is still active — he listed his position in Canada as Secretaire de District (District Secretary). However, I received an email from someone who emailed back and forth with him when he was placed in Canada and he told the person he was in Canada to “manage some projects for the District.” Well, that is a far cry from being the Secretary of the District. And, I can attest that I did deal with Rostand a few times when I was editing a magazine for the District; Rostand’s “special projects” were nothing other than basic secretarial work (in the sense of office work, not the ecclesial sense) and computer/accounting work. Again, this is consistent with what the SSPX has said about how he was dealt with. He was put under supervision by competent superiors and given menial tasks to do to pass the time until a trial could be arranged.

This fact was also confirmed to me by the present Superior of Canada.

All of this is to say that his claims were not true and that he lied. What a shocker, the sociopathic pedophile who lived a double life for decades was dishonest! Sadly, until the SSPX clarified the matter, even some traditional and tradition-friendly publications seemed to believe Rostand’s statements and commented on them as if they were likely true. I was immediately confused by this, namely, that any sensible person would believe the claims of a pedophile facing conviction.

Are people unaware of the psychology of pedophiles? They are not normal people. They are compulsive liars and are masters at fooling good-natured people. Does it not seem all too convenient that the pedophile would unleash accusations that would be picked up by the anti-Catholic French press after the investigation was finished?

And this, dear readers, is how the Devil wins again. Not only did the Devil claim victory with the abuse, but now with the delirium of the press, the reputation of the Society and Tradition has been tarnished even more. If only the Catholic press had waited a bit to get all the facts, we could have avoided the circulation of Rostand’s claims which were untrue, and thereby avoided another victory for the Devil.

As they say, “the internet is forever,” and whenever someone googles Rostand’s name or the SSPX, they are likely to now find articles seeming to give credence to the alleged cover-up.

Again, please pray fervently for the poor victims who were hurt by this monster.

Popular on OnePeterFive

Share to...