What games is the archbishop playing?

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A statement by Regina’s Archbishop Donald Bolen regarding the pending (?) extradition of former Benedictine Scottish priest Father Robert MacKenzie is posted:

April 2019:  Archbishop Bolen letter re Father Robert MacKenzie

Note the following:

Two years ago we were informed that criminal proceedings were underway in Scotland against Fr. MacKenzie, then 84 years of age. At that time, in the spirit of our archdiocesan policy, Fr. MacKenzie was moved from the rectory where he had retired, to a retirement home where his movement and activities were further restricted. One year ago, as more revelations regarding the outstanding criminal sexual allegations pending against Fr. MacKenzie in Scotland were brought to our attention, his faculties to minister as a priest were suspended.

Strange!

Very strange.

The reality here is that the archdiocese knew of allegations against Father MacKenzie back in 2013, and, as a result, MacKenzie, who by that date was presumably retired, was  suspended. (A 2012 article indicates that MacKenzie was then completely retired but continued to ‘say’ Mass twice a week)

Good enough.  A suspect clerical molester was suspended.

But then, according to media reports, in January 2015 ,  for reasons unknown, the suspension was lifted!  What is particularly disturbing here is that, despite lifting the suspension, there were obviously still concerns that MacKenzie is, was or might be a molester.  Note specifically that, according to Archbishop Bolen,  at the time the suspension was lifted, “[Father MacKenzie] was asked never to be alone with children as a safeguard.”

Yes, a safeguard.

I wonder, did the children know? Were the children  gently advised that it would not be a good idea to ever ever be alone with Father MacKenzie?   What of parents and grandparents?  Were they ever told by the archbishop or anyone else that the archbishop felt the need for such “a safeguard”?

No matter, whether the faithful knew about the safeguard or not, after the suspension was lifted Father continued to live at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church rectory in Cupar, Sask.

The question here is:  Why did the archbishop lift the suspension of a priest who was a suspect molester?  What changed?

Now jump two years on to 2017.  That’s when Father MacKenzie’s name was very publicly  in the news in the news as a suspect molester:

04 April 2017:  Scottish police trying to extradite Saskatchewan priest over abuse claims: report

Note that at that time, Bolen said that Father MacKenzie denied the allegations, and that the allegations came from one individual alleging two instance of abuse in the early 80s, and note particularly that he stated  that as of November 2016  “the situation was unchanged in Scotland, that the Crown counsel was still contemplating moving towards criminal procedures.”

So, the situation in Scotland was unchanged.That must mean unchanged from 2013?  No?

Anyway, witness the folloing, it was at this time, 2017, that the archbishop decided to relocate Father MacKenzie  to a retirement home:

At that time, in the spirit of our archdiocesan policy, Fr. MacKenzie was moved from the rectory where he had retired, to a retirement home where his movement and activities were further restricted.

Ah yes, do you catch that?  Asking MacKenzie not to be alone with children was perhaps no longer suffice?  The archbishop mysteriously decided that Father MacKenzies “movements and activities” needed to be “further restricted.”

But, and this is important, as great as his concerns about MacKenzie’s “movement and activities” were, the archbishop was not concerned enough to ensure the priest could no longer function as a priest and, among other things,  ‘say’ Mass and hear confessions.

In other words, Father MacKenzie was not suspended.  He was relocated to restrict his “movements and activities.”  There was no apparent desire to restrict  him from functioning as a priest .

That was it, until last year:

One year ago, as more revelations regarding the outstanding criminal sexual allegations pending against Fr. MacKenzie in Scotland were brought to our attention, his faculties to minister as a priest were suspended.

What “more revelations”?    There were revelations in 2013 which were deemed serious enough to revoke his faculties.  Two years later (2015), that suspension was mysteriously lifted.  Three years later (2018) he was quietly suspended:  again!

What games is the archbishop  playing?

Enough for now,

Sylvia

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Bishops, Clerical sexual predators. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What games is the archbishop playing?

  1. Sylvia says:

    I am aware that Archbishop Dolen was appointed Archbishop of Regina in July 2016, and installed in that office October 2016. That does not negate the fact that in 2017 he was aware of the situation and opted to relocate MacKenzie to a retirement home, and at that time opted NOT to withdraw his faculties.

  2. NatLog says:

    MacKenzie is not the only former monk from Fort Augustus Abbey, Scotland whose extradition is being sought.

    Denis Chrysostom Alexander is now in custody pending an extradition warrant being granted by Australian judicial authorities for his return to Scotland. The former monk’s counsel is using the usual “medical grounds” to halt the granting of the extradition warrant.

    Refer to the BBC media link attached

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-39880645

    So this monastic extradition saga rolls on………

    • Natlog says:

      Update on Denis Chrysostom Alexander a former Benedictine monk at Fort Augustus Abbey, Scotland.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-47949648

      The Australian government has agreed to surrender Alexander to the authorities in Scotland. Naturally Alexander opposes this decision and is appealing. Interestingly enough Alexander ha prior to his arrival been a monk at New Norcia a Benedictine monastery in Western Australia;

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-06/new-norcia-child-abuse-stats-revealed/8244106

      The report found 7 per cent of priests from all Catholic Church authorities who ministered from 1950 to 2010 across Australia were accused of child sexual abuse, but for the Benedictine Community of New Norcia, the amount was more than triple that at 21.5 per cent.

      In the 1950’s, 17.6 per cent of the Benedictine Community of New Norcia was subject to an allegation, compared to a 2.7 per cent of priests of all Catholic Church authorities with priest members in a ministry that was subject to a claim.

      Why did Alexander leave New Norcia for Fort Augustus. I can only guess….

  3. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Natlog – I am sure Alexander left for medical reasons…………………………………? Mike.

  4. Natlog says:

    Medical reasons are the grounds for not leaving Australia for Scotland!! I am sure it will all become apparent once he arrives in Scotland.

    Curiously enough the BBC article links Father Robert MacKenzie and Denis Alexander as both being returned by the Canadian and Australian governments respectively to Scotland.

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