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Archbishop Christian Lepine of Montreal celebrates a Mass at the Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral, 2016. CNS photo/l Etat Brut via Presence

Montreal's Archbishop Lépine promises ‘decisive action’ to deal with sex abuse 

  • September 12, 2018

In response to the sexual abuse crisis embroiling the universal Church, Montreal’s archbishop has pledged that crimes committed in his diocese will never be covered up. 

Writing in the Montreal Gazette on Sept. 8, Archbishop Christian Lépine promised that, in addition to accompanying victims, “we must unequivocally send out a clear message that we will never accept that such crimes could be committed and remain concealed.”

He promised to always “get to the bottom of things in search for the truth” and to ensure that sexual predators never use the Church to “operate secretly.” 

Lépine referred to Pope Francis’ “Letter to the People of God” in which he called for all clergy and laypersons to made every effort to prevent abuse and also ensure abuse is not covered up.

“Acknowledging that sexual assault is both a grave moral aberration and a crime, we must take decisive action to ensure that sexual aggressors do not use the Church as a refuge where they can operate secretly, thinking they are sheltered from both civil and Church justice,” wrote Lépine.

Lépine also acknowledged the work that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops have done to expand guidelines for the safeguarding of minors and to increase “accountability and transparency” in the Canadian Church. In Montreal, he noted, there is a Department for Responsible Pastoral Ministry works to ensure “a safe, responsible and healthy environment” in the archdiocese.

“We renew our commitment to ensure that each and every person who calls upon us is received with compassion and respect, and guided, accordingly, to the appropriate authorities,” Lépine wrote.

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