News & Events
Sep 4, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In 2010, Fr. Philip Jacobs, inactive as a priest since 2002, was charged with four counts related to minors. On February 25, 2013 Justice Gropper found Fr. Jacobs guilty of one count and acquitted him of the three other charges. Today, Fr. Jacobs was handed a five month conditional sentence, which includes two months of house arrest, and two years of probation following the sentence. A conditional sentence refers to the rules the offender must follow in order to remain out of prison, which are similar to when one is on parole. To receive a conditional sentence, the sentencing judge must be satisfied that the offender does not pose a danger to the community.
The Diocese of Victoria accepts and respects the judgment and sentence of the Court regarding Fr. Philip Jacobs. The Diocese of Victoria fully cooperated with the Court proceedings and encouraged those involved to do likewise. A sexual offence against minors is a crime and like all such harmful actions, goes directly against what the Church believes and teaches.
The trial has been difficult for those directly affected by this offence and for our community as a whole. I remain truly sorry for any harm caused by this situation and the actions of Fr. Jacobs. Our prayers and support are with all those concerned during this difficult time. We continue to pray that with God’s help we will move forward together and do our part to build a loving and trusting community.
Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard Gagnon
Bishop of Victoria