A Roman Catholic priest serving in Behchoko, N.W.T., is going back to India following a disagreement with the diocese's administration.

Father Clement Rockey began serving at St. Michael's Parish about a year ago.

His departure caused a lot of confusion in the community.

Archbishop Murray Chatlain said the matter is a personnel issue and rumours the community ordered Rockey to leave are not true.

"Basically, I've asked him to work on some things and it’s become an irreconcilable difference between us," he said.

"And so it’s gotten to be a point where I asked him to do something and he wouldn't, so the option was, if he's not able to do that then to return back to India."

Chatlain said Father Bernie Black will continue to serve as pastor at St. Michael’s.

Chatlain said the details of Rockey’s release are confidential but the archbishop is writing a letter to be read this Sunday at mass explaining what happened.

Chatlain, who used to be bishop of the N.W.T. diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith, was installed as the archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas in March. He continues to serve as the diocese administrator for N.W.T. until a new bishop is appointed.


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the diocese had asked Father Clement Rockey to leave. In fact Rockey left following a disagreement with Archbishop Murray Chatlain.
    May 29, 2013 2:36 AM CT