Inuk Piita Irniq (center) holds up an image of Father Johannes Rivoire, who was accused in 1998 of sexually abusing children in Naujaat and Rankin Inlet, but now resides in France.
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms that it has indeed received Johannes Rivoire's extradition request and also indicates that Canada's request is “being processed by the Ministry of Justice” for this French priest accused of sexually assaulting Inuit children more than 30 years ago.
Although it is very rare for France to agree to extradite its nationals, Canada nevertheless requested the extradition of this Oblate accused of; sexual assaults and became for many a symbol of impunity within the Church.
I am aware of the fact that an extradition request transmitted to France has been made public, which the officials of my ministry have just confirmed, indicated the federal minister in an email sent to the ;AFP declining to give further details.
It is important to Canada and its international partners that serious crimes are investigated and prosecuted exhaustive, he added.
This announcement comes as Pope Francis has just completed a trip to Canada, where he asked for forgiveness for the violence committed in residential schools for Aboriginals, where many children had been victims of abuse.
Father Johannes Rivoire, who spent three decades in the Canadian Far North, has been the subject of an arrest warrant in Canada since February, after the filing of a new complaint in September for a sexual assault which occurred approximately 47 years ago.
He has so far never been worried and the authorities have not not specified the total number of his alleged victims.
Mr. Rivoire had already been the subject of an arrest warrant between 1998 and 2017 for sexual assaults against three minors. It was never followed up. The priest left Canada in 1993 and now lives in France, in Lyon.
But Mr. Rivoire, who has dual nationality, is problematic because he is very complicated to extradite French people, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.
The nonagenarian, recently questioned by the media, proclaims his innocence.< /p>
In the Canadian North, his case remains emblematic of the impunity of sexual aggressors in the Church.
We would like that Rivoire be extradited to Canada to face his charges in court and we have asked the pope to intervene to ask him to return to Canada, Kilikvak Kabloona, an Inuit representative from the region, told AFP. Nunavut, during the Pope's visit.