Antigonish Bishop to attend meetings in Rome

ANTGONISH: Bishop Brian Dunn of the Diocese of Antigonish will be among 10 Atlantic Canadian Roman Catholic bishops meeting with Pope Francis and other papal officials in their Ad Limina visit taking place March 11-22.

Ad Limina visits are a tradition, both sacramental and collaborative, held usually every five years to strengthen relationships between the Vatican and dioceses and archdioceses around the world.

This is the first ad limina visit for Bishop Dunn, and the first in a decade for the Atlantic region and the Diocese of Antigonish.

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The diocese claims it has entered a new phase of growth following a $13 million class action lawsuit in 2009 for sexual abuse perpetrated by diocesan priests, and the conviction of former Bishop Raymond Lahey on charges of possession of child pornography. A review and discussion of these and other topics, including euthanasia, decline in the number of priests, parish closures, and new initiatives, including a Family and Life Committee, and offices for both youth and communications, are possible, according to Bishop Dunn.

The Bishop submitted a 150-page Quinquennial Report to the Vatican this past fall, from which topics and questions will be prepared for discussion.

“It is an opportunity to learn from the past and from other jurisdictions, and to discuss our plans moving forward,” he said of the meetings.

Bishop Dunn will be sharing updates from Rome through the diocesan website blog: www.antigonishdiocese.com. He is also one of three Atlantic bishops selected by Rome to interact with the media on the group’s behalf.

The Diocese of Antigonish includes 99 parishes and missions in seven counties of northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island: Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough, Inverness, Richmond, Victoria, and Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

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A St. FX graduate and native of Arichat, Jake Boudrot has been the editor of The Reporter since 2001. He currently lives on Isle Madame.