Bishop Peter Hundt Pastoral Letter re Father Buckle charges

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Corner Brook and Labrador diocese website

08 July 2014

PASTORAL LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF THE DIOCESE OF CORNER BROOK AND LABRADOR, JULY 2014

Dear People of the Diocese,

On Tuesday, July 8th, the Western Star ran an article on its front page entitled “Plea date set for sex charges against former priest”.  The article stated that “A former Roman Catholic priest … has a plea date set for Aug. 25 on sex charges.”, that “Bernard Buckle … faces three charges of sexual assault.”, and that the “ … RCMP would only say the charges … are “historical” and wouldn’t give any further details, including where the alleged offences occurred or the age of the complainants at the time.”.   These are very serious charges and cannot be ignored.  Conversely, these charges have not yet been read in court, nor has the defendant yet had a chance to respond to them.  We must therefore withhold our judgement relying on God and the justice of our Canadian legal system to bring to light the true facts of this case.

Father Buckle retired from full time pastoral ministry in September 2011.  Since that time he has lived in residence at the Cathedral rectory and, when his health has allowed, he has assisted local parishes with pastoral ministry.  Due to the seriousness of the charges now before the court, Father Buckle has agreed that, pending the outcome of the court proceedings, he will not participate in any public priestly ministry.

Asking that you join with me in praying for justice and healing for all involved in this present court case, I remain,

Yours in Christ,

+Peter Hundt

Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador.

1 Response to Bishop Peter Hundt Pastoral Letter re Father Buckle charges

  1. Dr. Peter Heffernan says:

    This evening in Panorama, B.C. on November 7th, 2014, I read what I read re: Father Bernard Buckle, who married my wife and me at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, on November 7, 1975 (39 years ago to the day). We had lost all touch with him and, in a moment of nostalgia, looked into his whereabouts and how he was. If Father Buckle, who has pled ‘not guilty’ to charges made against him, is the same man we knew all those years ago, we remember only a man of honour and goodness. If he has committed any offence, as virtually all of us have, may he be forgiven and may those who have been offended forgive him his trespasses as we are sure they too, in their turn, will want any they have offended in whatever way to forgive them. My wife’s and my prayers are with Father Buckle, while also with those who have any genuine sense of having been transgressed in any way by him. Here, we pray for justice for all involved.

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