Letter to parishioners regarding charges laid against the Bishop of Antigonish

                              October 1, 2009

Dear friends, 

I regret that I cannot be with you today in the wake of the devastating news surrounding the arrest warrant issued against Bishop Raymond Lahey. Know that I am praying for you, the Diocese of Antigonish and Bishop Lahey today. 

As I am writing this in the wee hours of Thursday morning, I am preparing to leave for Montreal for some much needed rest and reflection. I am reeling from my own disbelief and shock, and also deeply aware of the trauma that we as Christians in northern Nova Scotia are experiencing. It is hard for me to reflect without a strong filter of emotions of sadness and anger. I offer you today some of my prayers. 

I pray for our Roman Catholic neighbours and friends as they come to terms with this devastating news, and that they will find solace in community with one another. 

I pray we can be a source of support to those who are feeling hurt and angry. Now is the time for us to listen and to pray. 

I pray these claims will be investigated thoroughly by the law and the Church, and that anyone with any information will be forthcoming.  

I pray we will gain a greater understanding of the invisible crime of child pornography, and take the opportunity to teach our children about their bodies and appropriate and inappropriate contact.  

I pray for those who have been victimized by the Church, and that the journey to healing begun with the settlement will continue to move forward. 

It is tempting for us to indulge in our anger and point fingers. We remember that we are called from our own brokenness to walk in solidarity with those who are most vulnerable: the children who are exploited in this industry and our neighbours and friends in their pain.   

In the days to come, please pray for all who have been hurt by these allegations. Talk to one another and support one another in your own pain and confusion. Please contact the parish office at 863-5089 if you require personal pastoral care and support in the days ahead. The Rev. Melissa Frankland (522-2510) is available while I am away. I will be back in the parish on Wednesday, October 7. 

May God go with us in the difficult days ahead. 


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Rev. Dawn+