A number of people have reached out to the archdiocese to express their concern over a homily delivered at Merciful Redeemer Parish in Mississauga, Ont., on the weekend of June 19/20.
We apologize to anyone who was offended by the remarks of Msgr. Owen Keenan, of Merciful Redeemer Parish. Msgr. Keenan has resigned as pastor of Merciful Redeemer and is on a leave of absence.
Below is a statement from Msgr. Keenan, followed by a statement the Archdiocese of Toronto.
I would like to communicate to the faithful and all those who have expressed concerns about my homily the weekend of 19/20 June 2021. I want to acknowledge the pain and anger which has been magnified as the result of a portion of my remarks being circulated in social media and elsewhere. I apologize sincerely for any hurt I have caused and pledge to do better, especially at a time when there is a national conversation underway regarding residential schools.
I am deeply sorry, embarrassed, ashamed and shocked at the revelations of abuse, destruction and harm done in Residential Schools across this country. As a Catholic and a Priest, I in no way condone the Residential School System, I regret deeply that these places existed, and I lament the harm that was caused. If and when I get a chance to meet survivors, I will seek their forgiveness. It pains me enormously to see the flags of my country, which I love, to be flying at half-staff in mourning because of something done by members of my Church, which I also love.
I am, in my own limited way, committed to advancing the cause of Truth and Reconciliation with our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters and to listen and learn more about the pain and suffering experienced by so many.
I am sorry for any hurt I have caused. I ask for your pardon, understanding and prayers.
Msgr Owen Keenan
Statement from the Archdiocese of Toronto (June 23, 2021) regarding recent remarks from
Msgr. Owen Keenan
We are aware of remarks made in a homily by Msgr. Owen Keenan on the weekend of June 19/20, 2021, that have upset and angered many in the community. Earlier this month, Msgr. Keenan joined churches throughout the archdiocese in offering apologies, prayers and a desire to journey together on a path to reconciliation in the midst of the national conversation on residential schools. He reiterated the need for an apology in his remarks this past weekend.
The archdiocese has been in contact with Msgr. Keenan to convey the deep pain and anger felt by those hurt by his words. Msgr. Keenan has pledged to fully educate himself, with the appropriate support, to gain a more wholesome understanding of the full history of residential schools and their impact in our country. We apologize to anyone who was offended by his remarks.
As previously stated by Cardinal Collins, “We all seek the truth and the recent discovery in Kamloops provides yet another opportunity for us to learn more about this dark chapter in our history and the painful journey experienced by so many of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.”