ns-hi-albert-leblanc-4col

Albert LeBlanc will be sentenced in August. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

The archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth is condemning the actions of a former Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to molesting six children decades ago.

Albert LeBlanc, 83, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault Monday in Yarmouth provincial court. He will be sentenced on Aug. 17.

Some of the crimes date back to when LeBlanc was a priest in Yarmouth County in the 1970s.

"Sexual abuse of children is always wrong, and these criminal acts by Albert LeBlanc are to be condemned," Archbishop Anthony Mancini said in a statement.

"His victims must receive the understanding and respect that they deserve and which will help them to recover from these crimes.

"I deeply regret the harm which has been done to them and offer each one my sincere expression of compassion. I can only hope that, with time, they will come to healing and reconciliation."

LeBlanc was a priest in the Yarmouth diocese from 1955 until 1973, when he resigned and left the priesthood. He got a job as a probation officer.

LeBlanc was charged last year after RCMP received a complaint in 2010. He faced 40 charges initially, accused of sexually abusing children as young as seven in the 1970s and 80s. Another 10 charges were added later.

Forty-four charges will be dealt with at the sentencing hearing in August.

The church is facing a civil suit from several people who say LeBlanc abused them. They're asking for more than $5 million in damages.