New archbishop named for Moncton Catholics

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André Richard resigned after turning 75

CBC News

Posted: Jun 15, 2012  12:27 PM AT

Last Updated:  Jun 15, 2012   1:42 PM AT

Catholics in southeastern New Brunswick are getting a new leader as Archbishop André Richard is resigning after more than a decade in the role.

The Roman Catholic Church announced on Friday that Bathurst Bishop Valéry Vienneau will replace Richard.Vienneau, who was ordained as a priest in 1982 and became the bishop of Bathurst in 2002, will become the sixth archbishop for Moncton.

No date has been set for Vienneau’s official installation as the new archbishop.

The Archdiocese of Moncton has 56 parishes and missions. The church estimates the region has a Catholic population of 110,895.

Richard offered his resignation after turning 75, which the church states is required by the Code of Canon Law.

The Catholic church in the region has been gripped by a sex abuse controversy in recent months.

The debate started in March when residents in the small community of Cap-Pelé learned a referendum was being planned on removing the name of the late priest Camille Léger from the village’s arena.

Several people have come forward to say that Léger sexually abused them.

Léger died 22 years ago and was never charged with any crimes.

But Richard attended two masses in the fishing village in March and apologized for the actions of Léger.

Normand Brun, who now lives in Vancouver, said he was abused by Léger and received compensation from the church.

Earlier in June, the Archdiocese of Moncton hired Michel Bastarache, the retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, to manage a conciliation process for people with complaints about Léger.

Victims have until the end of June to contact Bastarache and they could receive compensation between $15,000 to $300,000.

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