Aberdeen Bishop Mario Conti expressed sorrow for any actions which had left a mark on the lives of vulnerable individuals, following the conviction of a Sister of Nazareth on four charges of cruelty to children under her care.
    He said he could confidently restate that cruel and unnatural treatment did not form part of any official policy of discipline promoted or accepted by the Sisters of Nazareth or the church then or now.
    58 year old Sr. Marie Docherty committed the actions in the 1960s and 1970s while working at Nazareth House homes in Scotland. She was found guilty of four charges earlier this month, and stood passively in the dock at Aberdeen Sheriff Court as the sentence was handed down.
    Bishop Conti went on to refer to how child discipline practices had changed drastically over the last 30 years and that some practices which rightly today seemed excessive and even cruel would not necessarily have been viewed in this light many years ago.
    The bishop went on, "Nevertheless some actions are always wrong and we would be very sorry if even one had left its mark on the lives of vulnerable individuals, and had affected their sense of personal worth."
    He also said the convictions did not invalidate the great good that was done by the Sisters of Nazareth, including the convicted nun, in caring competently and appropriately for many thousands of children over the last hundred years.
3 Oct 00

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