Diocese of Victoria
Truth and Reconciliation Day (September 30th) A new statutory holiday has been announced to commemorate the history and ongoing trauma caused by residential schools. In recent years, September 30th has been know as “Orange Shirt Day”, named after the residential schools experience of the campaign’s founder, Phyllis Webstad. Support of this national day of commemoration is a direct response to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. As such, please note that the Pastoral Centre, parish offices, and all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Victoria will be closed on September 30th to encourage staff to commemorate Truth and Reconciliation Day. To see Bishop Gary’s letter, please go to the bottom of this page.
A message from Pope Francis
A post has just been added to the Diocesan website about Pope Francis’ new video message urging people to get vaccinated against Covid-19:
British Columbia Bishops’ Campaign in Support of Healing and Reconciliation
The Catholic bishops of British Columbia recognize the need for a province-wide initiative to raise funds to support healing and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
This appeal will launch formally in September 2021, at which time further details will be provided.
The goal of the Campaign is to support residential school survivors and Indigenous communities in our province as part of our ongoing response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. This includes projects that promote healing and reconciliation.
As part of this process, each bishop will consult with Indigenous leadership, survivors, elders, and other community members.
The bishops of British Columbia sincerely hope that this Campaign will help to restore trust and further the ongoing journey to truth and reconciliation.
In the Diocese of Victoria, donations may be made at: https://www.rcdvictoria.org/donate-healing-reconciliation
The campaign message may be found on our Diocesan website at:
Many thanks and blessings,
Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-Up by a Catholic Bishop
On Thursday, May 6, 2021, the Bishops of Canada launched a national, bilingual service for reporting situations of sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a Bishop. This service furthers their commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors.
Individuals can access the reporting system online (BishopReportingSystem.ca) or by calling toll-free 1-866-892-3737 from anywhere in Canada, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.
The reporting system was developed by ClearView Strategic Partners, a Canadian provider of an independent reporting platform. ClearView’s technology benefits anyone wanting to make such a report by providing them with a secure and confidential platform, allowing them to remain anonymous if they so choose, and ensuring all communications are documented and preserved.
The Catholic Bishops of Canada condemn the sin and crime of sexual abuse in the strongest possible terms. No one should ever have to endure the pain, humiliation, and long-term suffering it causes, nor should anyone have to doubt that serious consequences await a perpetrator of sexual abuse or cover-up. With this reporting system, the Bishops make themselves accountable to live with integrity and to address reports of sexual abuse according to Church and civil law. The Church grieves with victim-survivors and profoundly regrets the tremendous harm caused. The Bishops of Canada wish to reach out and accompany victims-survivors along the path that restores justice and promotes healing.
Reports of current or historical sexual abuse by any other member of the Diocese of Victoria (clergy, religious, employees or volunteers) may be made by calling 1-800-968-3146. This number connects to an independent reporting service which can assist in contacting the appropriate authorities and help access counselling services. For more information about Responsible Ministry and Safe Environment in the Diocese of Victoria, please visit https://www.rcdvictoria.org/responsible-ministry.
Thank you for your prayers and the support you provide to victim-survivors in the ongoing work of healing.