Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bishop: `No Battle' with Predecessor

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Bishop: `No Battle' with Predecessor

Article excerpt

The new Catholic bishop of Victoria insists he's not publicly airing a multimillion dollar financial mess he's inherited to hurt the reputation of Remi De Roo, the retired liberal bishop he replaced last year.

"There's no battle between me and Bishop Remi De Roo," Bishop Raymond Roussin said in an interview, referring to commentaries in Canada's national media and angry speculation in his own diocese.

"People are editorializing on things that are totally false: that I'm a right-wing bishop and he's a left-wing bishop. That's so off the mark. I continue to respect the man for so much that he's done."

Roussin succeeded De Roo, who has an international reputation for supporting social justice causes, last February, when De Roo reached the mandatory retirement age of 75.

The Victoria diocese released a statement earlier this month saying the church will hold a commission of inquiry into a series of bad investments and loans that have cost the diocese $12 million.

The commission will investigate whether diocesan officials during De Roo's tenure followed proper church procedure in a series of financial dealings involving Arabian horses and Washington state development property.

The diocese will determine whether "legal actions for damages or restitution are appropriate."

It said a series of problematic transactions began in the diocese in the late 1980s, all of them linked to a Seattle lawyer named Joseph Finley, who invested in horses.

The diocese's four-page statement details how the problems began when, on the advice of Finley, the diocese purchased a $30,000 interest in a limited horse breeding partnership known as Lakeview Arabians. …

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