Attached please find press statement
Bathurst, NB November 2, 2010
Conciliation Process Nears Completion.
Representatives of the diocese of Bathurst concluded the first of a series of meetings to review claims advanced by victims of Levi Noel and others in connection with the Conciliation Process which is being overseen by the Honourable Michel Bastarache.
Mr. Bastarache has identified over 35 claimants who merit compensation as well as apologies for abuse suffered by them. As announced in the process and in respect for the confidentiality promised to them, the victims have not been identified to the representatives of the diocese. Clerics identified by victims include Levi Noel and Charles Picot, as well a few others who are either dead or no longer in ministry within the diocese.
The diocese appreciates the hard work done by Mr. Bastarache in assessing the accounts of the victims and awaits additional information from him before the process is completed.
The diocese also appreciates the difficult task of the victims themselves in coming forward with their wounds and sufferings and looks forward to the opportunity to apologise to them formally, and provide them with compensation in accordance with Mr. Bastarache’s recommendations.
The diocese, on recommendation by Mr. Bastarache, has agreed to extend the date for submitting new applications to the process to December 1, 2010. Before completing the process, Mr. Bastarache will attempt to meet with the victims who hesitate to participate and invite them to reconsider their options.
While regretting any abusive circumstance, the diocese is encouraged to learn that most of the reported cases occurred many years ago. Hopefully, the lack of recent cases can be attributed to greater societal awareness of the problem of abuse of any kind. By establishing new policies for all members of the clergy, all diocesan and parish employees and volunteers, the diocese hopes that these efforts will ensure a healthy and secure environment for all children and vulnerable people. Thus, our Church will be able to concentrate more on its mission of evangelization.
In continued respect for the victims and the efforts of Mr. Bastarache, the diocese will provide additional information when the process is complete.
Father Wesley Wade, vicar general
C.P. 460, Bathurst, N. B. (Canada) E2A 3Z4
Telephone: (506)-1420 Telecopier: (506)546-1423 (Courriel: [email protected]