Archbishop addresses Yarmouth sex abuse deal

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Last Updated: Monday, January 31, 2011 | 1:19 PM AT

CBC News

Archbishop Anthony Mancini has written a letter to parishioners in Yarmouth, N.S., about why the church is paying compensation to victims of sexual abuse.

Archbishop Anthony Mancini has written a letter to parishioners in Yarmouth, N.S., about why the church is paying compensation to victims of sexual abuse. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

The Archbishop of Halifax has written a letter to parishioners in Yarmouth, N.S., to try to explain why the Roman Catholic church is paying compensation to victims of two priests who abused them.

Anthony Mancini, who is the administrator of the Yarmouth diocese, said no one feels good about having to pay out settlements.

“That is the cost for the sins of our past,” he wrote, in a letter released to parishioners last week.

The Yarmouth diocese has agreed to pay $1.5 million, to be divided among six victims who were sexually abused by priests Adolphe LeBlanc and Eddie Theriault.

The abuse took place in the 1950s and 1960s and the victims were between the ages of three and 16 at the time. Both men are now dead.

It’s not yet clear whether the diocese will have to sell off some of its properties in order to pay the settlement.

“For some time now, we have been struggling with the impact of sexual abuse on the lives of victims, and on the life of the community. Many have been and continue to be shocked and shamed by the behaviour of some priests,” Mancini said in his statement.

“The behaviour of these priests and their failures are criminal, immoral and shameful. There is no excuse for it and there is not much that can be done to change what has happened.”

The diocese of Yarmouth has been facing more than 20 cases of sexual abuse, according to a diocese spokeswoman.

Mancini acknowledged that the church “will be stretched to the limits” by paying out the settlements. He said the organization has enlisted the help of others to find alternative ways of financing in the next few years.

“Let me reassure you, that I am doing all I can with the collaboration of all the diocesan staff of the Yarmouth Diocese to steer our church through this stormy period and I count on all of you who are of good will and resolved to stay the course with us,” he wrote.

“We hope to survive, poorer yes, but alive nevertheless.”

5 Responses to Archbishop addresses Yarmouth sex abuse deal

  1. Sylvia says:

    Check the link within the article for Archbishop Anthony Mancini’s letter.
    Shades of the Dioceses of Antigonish, Nova Scotia and Bathurst, New Brunswick.

    Watch the Trust Funds!

    Archbishop Mancini wrote: “We must not let ourselves be defined soley by sins of sexual abuse.” My thought on that is that the Church will continue to be defined by the sins of sexual abuse until the cover-up of sexual abuse and tolerance of abusers in the priesthood stops. In Canada that will come when (1) every known Roman Catholic clerical predator in schools, universities, diocesan centres, hospitals and parishes has been removed from ministry; (2) our bishops publicly release the names of every clerical sexual predator charged and/or reported as such to diocesan authorities; and (3) all known clerical sexual predators are defrocked.

    Archbishop Mancini wrote: that “our sins” must be “confessed truthfully.” That confession is long past due.

    And, by the way, Archbishop Mancin allowed convicted clercial molester Father Michael J Walsh to minister to the sick and dying in the Archdiocese of Halifax.


  2. Larry Green says:

    Sorry to say Sylvia, that the answer to ” Why?” is that the rhetoric from the catholic church portrays good and noble ideas while in reality their deeds place them at the opposite end of the ‘ moral pole’. That’s marvellous in a world where ‘image’ is regarded as more valuable than ‘substance’.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Perhaps Larry it’s individuals within the Church who speak out of both sides of their mouths – saying one thing, and doing another? Sometimes actions speak louder than their words.

  4. Larry Green says:

    True Sylvia it is “individuals within the church” but at some point when the individuals representing the voice of the church form such a large group and at every level of authority it needs to be acknowledged that the talk ,the actions and the non-actions are essentially those of the institution itself. It is only with a tremendous degree of humility that the catholic church can even begin any road to reconciliation and recovery.

  5. Tim says:

    Larry, Could we guess you have enough HUMILITY to share some with the Catholic Church? Several wonder. Tim

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