Pembroke Priests for Justice, Truth & Integrity 25/09/2010 9:28 PM
To: [Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alberta; Chancery – Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario]
Cc: [various media and Catholic diocesan offices, and the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario]
Monsignor Robert Borne – Two Former Bishops of Pembroke
The attached document represents the sentiments of many good Catholic people and priests who have been betrayed by two former bishops: Archbishop Brendan O’Brien, Archbishop of Kingston and Archbishop Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton.
Both bishops are former bishops of Pembroke, Ontario Canada and had FULL and complete knowledge of the immoral and illegal behaviour of Monsignor Robert Borne and did nothing to protect the young. It was only with the appointment of Bishop Michael Mulhall, Bishop of Pembroke, that Monsignor Borne was removed from his parish.
Borne now faces criminal charges, slated to begin this fall in Pembroke.
For obvious reasons, priests of the Diocese of Pembroke must remain anonymous in this communication in order to protect them in their present assignments and from the vindictive nature of those in episcopal authority.
Future questions can be relayed to this email address.
Pembroke Priests for Justice, Truth & Integrity
In Service of Christ the Lord
To: Archbishop Brendan O’Brien, Archbishop Richard Smith
Date: August 25, 2010
Re: Monsignor Robert Borne
cc: Media Outlets, Archbishops
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We are all keenly aware of the pending criminal case concerning Monsignor Robert Borne. Some charges have been bound over to trial, which will likely begin this fall. Although your ministry today takes you far and away from any particular concerns about the Diocese of Pembroke, I am sure you can appreciate the considerable pain, anxiety and anger that exist concerning this case and that concerning Bernard Prince. The clergy and laity of this diocese have suffered tremendously. Worries about the safety of priest pension funds, attempts to offer counsel to the laity who are disappointed and angry, verbal assaults that priests have faced in the confessional and the quiet and isolated path that we have had to walk during this juncture has been most difficult.
Priests of this diocese know full well that both of you, as bishops of Pembroke, were fully aware of Monsignor Borne’s immoral and illegal behavior. His reputation and actions was brought to your attention when you were in office here. These facts are spoken about openly among the priests today. For some unknown reason, you both chose to ignore these facts and left him in positions where teenagers (minors) could be at risk. One assumes that your interest in moving on to Episcopal advancement would free you from such concerns in time.
The question: during this interval, some reporters (both national and local) have contacted some of us to make inquiry about Monsignor Borne and his history. Who knew what and when? What did Bishop X do about this? For what reason should your identities be shielded about this case? Why shouldn’t the full facts be disclosed to those who are seeking them? Why should you be protected when the priests of this diocese have not been spared this pain as a result of your inaction?
Clearly, it is time for these facts to be made known and for you to be held accountable! We can assure you that the above sentiments that have been expressed represent many in the diocese. These matters have been shared with many offices of the Holy See by priests of the Diocese of Pembroke. You should both answer for this terrible case.
As you continue in your ministry, in whatever form, may your first instincts be that, not of politics and self-promotion, but honor, truth and holiness in Our Lord Jesus Christ.