CNS photo/Francois Gloutnay, Presence

Montreal identifies 46 abuse cases in ombudsman's report

  • December 16, 2021

The Archdiocese of Montreal has received 75 formal complaints, 46 of which relate to abuse, dating back to 1950, according to the second quarterly report compiled by an independent ombudsman.

The report by Marie Christine Kirouack was released Dec. 15 and listed complaints filed against members of the Church from May 5 until Nov. 30.

Of the abuse complaints, 30 were related to sexual abuse while the remainder are alleged psychological, financial, physical or spiritual abuse.

Ten of the abuse complaints (sexual or other) have been referred to external investigators, while nine others are in the hands of religious communities concerned.

The report also said there were 20 complaints concerning problems between a member of the clergy, church wardens or an employee that are being addressed by the Office of Pastoral Personnel. Nine other complaints are before the vicar general. The report also records 30 complaints not within the ombudsman’s jurisdiction.

“These people need to be comforted and comforted in their feelings,” said Kirouack. “I hope this report will encourage more victims to file complaints.”

“It is with an open mind that I receive this second report from the ombudsman,” said Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine. “On one hand, we are constantly striving to improve our internal procedures. On the other hand, there are people who have remained silent for a very long time about events that turned their lives upside-down. It is my sincere hope that by attentively listening to victims today, people will feel the freedom to speak.”

Lépine established the ombudsman position in May to assure victims of abuse that their voices will be heard and acted upon. The position was one of the major recommendations of the Capriolo Report from November 2020. In it, former Superior Court Justice Pepita Capriolo examined the archdiocese’s handling of the case of ex-priest Brian Boucher who was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2019 for the abuse of two minors. Her report concluded the Church had a culture of secrecy, lacked accountability and was not interested in addressing the abuse.

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