Embattled diocese in Antigonish, N.S., gets new bishop who vows to regain trust

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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ANTIGONISH, N.S. - Parishioners packed St. Ninian's Cathedral on Monday as Bishop Brian Dunn was installed during a special mass as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish.
In his homily, Dunn addressed the controversy surrounding his predecessor, Raymond Lahey, who faces charges in Ottawa of possessing and importing child pornography.
He said Lahey's resignation created a scar on the diocese and the entire Roman Catholic Church.
Talking to reporters after the service, Dunn admitted that regaining public trust will be one of his biggest challenges in a diocese rocked in recent years by sex scandals involving clergy.
"How do you regain trust in any kind of relationship?" Dunn said.
"It means being present with people. It means listening. It means being patient. It means loving them. It means forgiving. It means whatever I can do to provide a presence to people and, above all, to allow the Lord's healing to come to people."
Lahey, 69, has been charged with importing and possessing child pornography. He is to enter a plea in Ottawa on Feb. 3.
Last year, Lahey negotiated a historic $15-million settlement with dozens of alleged victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the 1950s after a lawsuit was filed against the diocese and the Halifax archdiocese.
The church now hopes to raise $18.5 million because six claimants have come forward with private lawsuits.
The settlement will still provide $12 million to victims who claimed abuse at the hands of priests in the Antigonish diocese between 1950 and September 2009. Another $3.5 million has been set aside for legal fees and related costs.
Dunn was an auxiliary bishop in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., before coming to Nova Scotia.

Organizations: Roman Catholic Church

Geographic location: Antigonish, Ottawa, Ninian Sault Ste. Marie Nova Scotia

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