26 October, 2009

Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher addresses the Lahey Scandal

In the editorial section of Cornwall’s Standard Freeholder the following Letter to the editor was written by Bishop Paul-André Durocher on October 2, 2009. In the letter he expresses his shock and shame, bewilderment, and sorrow. “My heart goes out to all those who have been deeply shaken by this revelation. My prayers are offered for all of us.” Here is his full letter: Shocked By Charges Against Fellow Bishop: I imagine most readers of this newspaper have been shocked and scandalized at the news that a Canadian bishop has been charged with possession of child pornography. I share their shock, I also feel a great sense of shame that a fellow bishop could have been involved in such a horrible activity. The seriousness of the charge and the immediate resignation of the accused shakes our confidence in his presumed innocence. It also undermines our trust in all persons in positions of authority, including those who, like Bishop Lahey, have used their authority positively to heal breaches with past victims of clergy sexual abuse. In the face of such paradoxical behaviour, I can only shake my head in bewilderment and sorrow. I cannot understand what would lead a person to to be interested in pornography involving children. All pornography is demeaning, but that involving children is even more so, since it requires that children be abused in its production. Unfortunately, anyone with an internet connection can easily access this material. It has become a scourge in our society, one which needs to be combated as courageously as possible. My heart goes out to all those who have been deeply shaken by this revelation. My prayers are offered for all of us. May we respond with an even greater awareness of our weakness, a greater commitment to care for our children, a greater engagement in building a society where such horrors do not happen. Paul-André Durocher Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall (Standard Freeholder – Oct 2, 2009, Letter to the Editor)

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