Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 19, 2000
De Roo issues apology for financial mismanagement
The following letter was sent by Bishop Remi De Roo to Bishop Raymond Roussin of Victoria in regards to financial mismanagement of the diocese under De Roo's tenure. Because of bad investments, the diocese is now $17 million in debt and is selling bonds to parishioners to help pay off the debt.
May 19, 2000
Dear Bishop Roussin: For months now, I have been facing the decisions that were made, the painful events and the tragic burden brought upon the Diocese of Victoria that resulted from my serious lack of vigilance and faulty decision-making.
During this period I have experienced anguish, bewilderment, confusion, sadness, guilt and self-blaming. Most of all I have suffered being disconnected from the people of Vancouver Island.
I write with no claim or title, deeply saddened by what has occurred. Accordingly, I feel the need to express myself from my heart, and because of the suffering being endured by you, the laity, the clergy and the people on Vancouver Island.
I have long wanted to make a statement to the people of the diocese. I believe it is appropriate at this point, and respectful, to address this message through your office as bishop. I am also releasing this letter to the public who have keenly followed this unfortunate affair.
I acted in good faith. I am deeply saddened by what has occurred. I was ultimately responsible for all investments, including those made by my associates in diocesan administration.
In the face of the huge unintended debt which resulted from these transactions, it is extremely difficult for me to verbalize what I feel. I am emotionally shaken. These past months have occasioned for me untold suffering.
Many people have been affected by these painful events. I realize that I have allowed the diocese to be severely damaged by my misjudgments in administrative decisions and my failure to provide adequate vigilance and a more effective stewardship of diocesan goods.
I acknowledge that the Priory Trust could have been treated as part of the diocesan administration and made subject to diocesan financial reporting; that major investments should have been done with the consent of the finance committee, the college of consultors and the Vatican; that the signing of the loan documents of June 28, 1997, and June 23, 1998, is deeply regrettable and that they too should have been processed after canonical authorizations.
I have advised you from the beginning that I would do everything possible to assist the diocese in this matter and I will continue to do so.
I will work and pray, for the remainder of my life if necessary, to help the diocese resolve this debt. I have begun to contribute personally from my very limited resources toward this end.
I am profoundly grateful for the affection of many members of the diocese and other friends who have supported me in this period of intense suffering. Accepting personal responsibility, I blame no one. Even as I write this, I trust the people will forgive me, humbly praying that my shortcomings will not impede the spiritual growth of others.
Fraternally yours in Christ
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