This past Sunday in parishes across Nova Scotia, a letter was read from Archbishop Anthony Mancini, the Archbishop of Halifax, Apostolic Administrator of Yarmouth and Apostolic Administrator of Antigonish. The letter offers his reaction to the arrest of Bishop Raymond Lahey on charges of possession and importation of child pornography.
October 2nd 2009
To the Roman Catholic Faithful of Nova Scotia,
Greetings and peace.
In the past days, I have been asked over and over again: What do you say to the parishioners, to the priests, the young people and to the faithful communities that make up our Church in Nova Scotia? What will you say to the victims of sexual abuse, as we all struggle in the aftermath of unbelievable revelations and allegations of even more unacceptable shocking and possible criminal sexual behaviour?
What I want to say is: Enough is enough! How much more can all of us take? Like you, my heart is broken, my mind is confused, my body hurts and I have moved in and out of a variety of feelings especially shame and frustration, fear and disappointment, along with a sense of vulnerability, and a tremendous poverty of spirit. ...
Read the Entire Letter
On Monday, an additional statement
from Archbishop Mancini was released:
In this trying time, we want to ensure that those in this diocese who have been affected by the charges concerning Bishop Raymond Lahey, especially those who have already been victimized, will indeed receive appropriate care if they choose to seek help. Therefore, a group of competent individuals will be convened immediately. Their pressing task will be to identify, structure and put into motion the appropriate personnel and programs to provide such care. More information on this initiative will be available shortly to everyone.
Understandably, one of the most pressing questions in the past few days has been whether the Diocese of Antigonish would assume legal costs for the defense of Bishop Lahey. The bishop has not requested that the diocese meet his legal costs. If that request were made, it would be declined by the diocese.