Catholics planning demonstration

Globe and Mail
October 12, 1990

[See the Winter report, Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Conclusions and Recommendations. See also the subsequent Royal Commission report, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.]

St. John's - Roman Catholics are planning to demonstrate today after comments by two papal envoys that the Pope did not consider a report commissioned by the St. John's diocese to be sufficient in determining whether the resignation of Archibishop Alphonsus Penney should be accepted.

The report of the commission headed by former lieutenant-governor Gordon Winter was released in July. It criticized the archbishop and other church officials for ignoring reports of sexual abuse of children by priests in the St. John's diocese. Bishop Penney announced that he wished to resign after the Winter report was released.

The papal envoys, Bishop Roger Ebacher, Bishop of Gatineau-Hull, and Rev. James Weisgerber, secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, refused yesterday to be specific about the mandate of their investigation.

Father Weisgerber said only that they will "assess the spirit of the diocese," in addition to making recommendations on Bishop Penney's future. The envoys did not say what their recommendations to the Pope will be when their report is sent to the Vatican on Tuesday.

"They spirited these people in and spirited them out again without informing us," said Bobbie Boland, a member of a panel established by the St. John's diocese to respond to the Winter report.

"This (the envoys' investigation) is an invalidation of the Winter commission report."


















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