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August 29, 2008

LaRocque Issues Apology

by Trevor Pritchard, Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Eugene LaRocque left the Cornwall Public Inquiry with an apology for the city and a promise to keep its residents in his prayers.

Reading from a prepared statement, LaRocque said he never intended to hurt anyone during his tenure with the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese.

"I want to take this final opportunity to apologize to the community of Cornwall, to all the faithful of the diocese, to all the people in it who were hurt by mistakes I made during my administration," said LaRocque. "I also want to apologize to anyone who was hurt by any action of any priest."

He finished with a pledge to keep "all in my prayers in my daily mass."

LaRocque, 81, was bishop from 1974 until 2002. His actions during those years -- including hiring a priest convicted of sexual abuse in the U. S., and signing a $32,000 deal that kept an abuse victim from going to police -- were scrutinized carefully during his eight days on the stand. Dallas Lee, an attorney for The Victims Group, said while some of his clients would appreciate LaRocque's apology, others would find it "broad and general and vague."

"It's a little bit difficult to reconcile his general apology with the entirety of his testimony," said Lee.

Copyright © 2008 The Cornwall Standard Freeholder

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