Only affection and respect for accused priest

Vancouver Island Free Daily [Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada]

December 28, 2022

By Cathy McKinney

Re: Catholic church settles lawsuit around historical sex abuse of 10-year-old B.C. girl (Online, Dec 15)

1. The confessional at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Nanaimo is now, and in 1976, divided by a wall so that the pastor and penitent are in separate rooms.

2. Father Hartmann wrote three books about his life. There were no letters of criticism or claims of abuse, only affection and respect for his career as a priest.

3. Father Hartmann spoke of his experiences fleeing the Nazis and the Russians. He tried to escape several times and finally succeeded.

4. The article said a complaint was dismissed in 2000. The Dec. 15 news article states that the allegations were not proven in court. When a man is dead and can no longer defend himself, why has the Victoria diocese decided to condemn him?

5. In the absence of evidence to support these accusations, and actual facts to the contrary, it appears that the diocese seeks to elevate its own reputation for “truth and justice” on the back of a clergyman who is no longer able to defend himself.

Cathy McKinney