Bishop condemns crimes against the innocent

CORNER BROOK, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sept. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - The Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador, the Most Reverend Peter J. Hundt, responded today to the guilty plea entered in provincial court by Rev. George Smith, a retired priest of the former Diocese of St. George's, on charges of sexual misconduct.

"We abhor these crimes," said Bishop Hundt. "Such an abuse of power over the young and innocent is wrong and is contrary to the Gospel. We regret the pain, hurt and humiliation suffered by these men; we are praying for God's healing grace for them and for their families."

In May 2010 the diocese received information of the alleged sexual misconduct and contacted the RCMP. Following their investigation the RCMP charged Rev. Smith with multiple counts of sexual misconduct between 1969 and 1989.

"Along with these men and their families, the whole Catholic community is wounded by such sins committed against the young and the vulnerable.  It is a crime that leaves us all in need of healing," said Bishop Hundt. "But if we are a wounded Church and people, we are also a Church and people who believe in, and are committed to working for healing and forgiveness.  My door is open and I will gladly offer whatever pastoral support I can to the victims and their families to help them come to terms with their pain and grief."

The Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador has developed protocols and procedures that help to ensure a prompt and proper response when allegations of sexual misconduct are made or suspected.  http://rcchurch.com/index.php/policies/response-to-allegations-of-sexual-misconduct

SOURCE: Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador

For further information:

Margaret McLaughlin
519-439-0646
margaret@excaliburcommunications.ca

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Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador

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