Seven new complaints for abuse filed against the Archdiocese of Montreal

Seven new abuse complaints filed against the Archdiocese of Montreal

The facts denounced to the Ombudsman of the Archdiocese concern more and more contemporary cases.

Seven new complaints of abuse have been transmitted to the Ombudsman of the Archdiocese ;Archdiocese of Montreal, reveals the most recent quarterly report of the religious institution, which covers the period from April 1 to July 31 of this year.

The report in question, the fourth of its kind since the arrival in office of the ombudsman, Me Marie Christine Kirouac, covers the period from April 1 to July 31.

The document states that of the seven abuse complaints, six were transferred to the Advisory Committee for investigation and follow-up.

In all, since the beginning of Me Kirouac's work, 58 complaints of abuse were submitted to the said committee, which then presents recommendations to the Archbishop, Msgr. Christian Lépine. Of these, 33 relate to sexual abuse.

To this total, specifies the quarterly report, it is also necessary to add 11 complaints resulting from old files which were under the responsibility of retired judge André Denis, who presented, last spring, the results of #x27;an external audit.

The audit in question related to possible sexual abuse of minors, covering a period from 1940 to the present day .

Also in his report, the ombudsman specifies that he must devote a good part of [his] current energies to processing complaint files which, sometimes, have not been processed at all; were treated, but without sanction or even follow-up; were destroyed, but with an express mention of the abuses they contained.

If his mandate is to deal with complaints of abuse as a whole, and not just allegations of a sexual nature, Me Kirouac indicates that he has prioritized cases where sexual abuse has been alleged against people still in office or still having faculties, in order to ensure the safety of the community in the first place.

According to the Ombudsman, the 11 complaints related to the old files having been transmitted to the Committee would target as many members of the clergy, resulting in 22 victims.

According to the complaints received by the ombudsman, within the framework of this fourth quarterly report, the vast majority of the alleged facts would have occurred in the decade 2020; there are also cases in the 1950s and 1960s, even if they are few.

Me Kirouac was interested in cases related to psychological abuse – abuse of power, misogyny, etc. –, financial, physical, spiritual and sexual.

Almost all of the complaints, for the period from April 1 to July 31 of this year, relate to cases of psychological abuse. There is also a complaint for financial abuse, two complaints for physical abuse and a complaint for sexual abuse, in particular.

For all the complaints for abuse transmitted to the Advisory Committee, however, for a total of 69, including complaints stemming from internal audit, abuse of a sexual nature comes to account for a third of cases, with 33 complaints.

This is followed by psychological (26 cases) and physical (10 cases) abuse, among others.

The ombudsman specifies that in cases of abuse of a sexual nature, nearly one in two victims (42.5%) have been repeatedly abused. This rate rises to 80% for victims of physical abuse.

Always for cases of sexual abuse reported since the beginning of the ombudsman's mandate , most of the facts would have occurred in the 1950s and 1960s, but a good part would also have taken place since the beginning of the 2020s.

Abuse, whether sexual , physical or psychological perpetrated during the fifties and sixties were mainly perpetrated by members of religious communities, indicates the ombudsman in his report.

In the conclusion of the report here, Me Kirouac believes that since the facts denounced are more and more contemporary, this is proof that the change initiated with the establishment of the present system is working and that together, we will be able to end to all forms of abuse.

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