Canadian archbishop: ‘The Church is not this, OK! The Church is not the sum of our faults.’

Canadian archbishop: ‘The Church is not this, OK! The Church is not the sum of our faults.’ August 31, 2018

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From Canada’s The Catholic Register newspaper:

Even as he faces another sex abuse case in his own diocese, Archbishop Anthony Mancini is not afraid of going bankrupt.

“The truth is what finally sets you free, not the BS they keep mouthing and saying. If there are other people (abuse victims) there, let them come out. Is it going to bankrupt the diocese? If it does, it does. So what?”

The case the archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth is talking about involves Jesuit Fr. George Epoch, who is accused of sexually abusing an altar boy in Halifax in the early 1960s. Epoch’s trail of abuse extends well beyond the Maritime province, though. Between 1969 and 1983 he abused boys and girls in Cape Croker and on the Saugeen reserve on Ontario’s Manitoulin Island. After his death in 1986, 22 lawsuits were launched by Cape Croker residents against the Jesuits. 

A lawyer is now trying to have the Nova Scotia Supreme Court certify the latest case as a class action, which would open up the case for other potential victims in the archdiocese. 

It is one more black eye for a Church already reeling with revelations south of the border about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s predatory history and then the Pennsylvania grand jury report on abuse and Church coverup.

In an interview with The Catholic Register, Mancini was clearly exasperated with the mess the Church finds itself in. 

“Every time we try to do anything that moves us in the direction of trying to get closer, or to return, to the Gospel there’s always a step forward and two steps back,” Mancini said. “The two steps back always seem to be, at this period in history, the sexual abuse phenomenon.”

It both grieves and angers Mancini that people think sexual abuse whenever they think about the Church.

“It certainly has defined us in the media. And it has defined us in the minds of many who are disenchanted with the Church. This provides good reasons for being even more critical and for staying away,” he said. “The Church is not this, OK! The Church is not the sum of our faults. But faults are there…. I think we’ve inadequately dealt with our faults.”

Mancini does not try to hide the toll this trail of sin is taking.

“This morning as I was saying Mass, I just broke down,” said Mancini. “I still have faith in God. I still have my own, personal experience of Jesus Christ and what that has meant to me…. Yeah, I’m aware of sinfulness of my own and I have a sense of the forgiveness of God that has happened over the years. That’s what holds me up. And a couple of friends do a pretty good job, too.”

Read it all. 

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