Archbishop Bolen letter re Father Robert MacKenzie

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Bishop’s Letter re: Fr. Robert MacKenzie

TO: Priests, Parishes, Lay members of the Archdiocese

We regret to inform you that Fr. Robert MacKenzie, a long-time pastor serving in our archdiocese, has been charged by Scottish authorities with physical and sexual abuse alleged to have occurred at day and boarding schools in Scotland whose students were primarily children. On March 22, 2019 Scottish authorities obtained a Surrender Order from Canada’s Minister of Justice which authorizes the extradition of Father MacKenzie to Scotland to go on trial. These charges are related to his position in these two schools there in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s while he was a member of a religious order in Scotland.

These most recent developments are the result of investigations that began in Scotland several years ago. 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.

To date no allegations against Fr. MacKenzie have surfaced from the communities where he has served in the Archdiocese of Regina.

While we understand and respect the legal presumption of innocence, our primary duty in every case of suspected abuse is the protection and care of the alleged victims. We are keenly aware of the devastating and life-long impact of clergy sexual abuse on victims, and the grief and intense pain experienced by those near them who are also personally affected by abuse. Our hearts go out to all victims of abuse and we pledge our support in whatever ways are most helpful. We are committed to promoting the safety and well-being of every person in the communities to which we minster.

Child sexual abuse should be reported immediately and directly to the police. If you have been affected by clergy sexual abuse in any way, and would like to meet with someone, please contact Fr. Brad Fahlman, the Archbishop’s Delegate for clergy sexual abuse, at 1(306) 400-3655 or by email at [email protected]. The delegate will proceed in a manner that preserves confidentiality and is mindful of the need for victim safety and support, including assisting in contacting the appropriate authorities.

For further information, contact the Archdiocesan Delegate for clergy sexual abuse, or Deacon Eric Gurash, Archdiocesan Director of Communications: Eric Gurash, 306-352-1651 Ext. 211 [email protected]. Bishop Donald Bolen Archdiocese of Regina

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