August 26, 2008 — Is it a form of an apology? Former Bishop Eugene LaRocque has told the Cornwall Public Inquiry that a letter Father Charles MacDonald penned in 1997 appears to be an apology. It was addressed to a former altar boy who alleges abuse at the hands of MacDonald however his name is protected under a publication ban. LaRocque says he had not seen this letter before the inquiry but he may have suggested MacDonald write it. Lead Commission Counsel Peter Engelmann read the note into the record during yesterday’s proceedings. (Hear audio clip below) LaRocque says the alleged victim’s parents told him about the alleged abuse after their son began having problems in his marriage. LaRocque says he did not report the allegation to police because he believed it was a consensual adult relationship. MacDonald has been accused of sexual abuse but charges against him were stayed in 2002 when a judge ruled the case took too long to get to trial. Hearings continue this morning at 9:00.
[Transcript of audio clip: I honestly didn’t realize you were hurting. What’s done is done, but I want to tell you that I am very sorry for causing you any hurt o pain. It was never y intention to hurt you. I wish I could change things but . . . I hope you can find it within your heart to forgive me.]