The remains of a priest suspected of having molested children in Kahnawake are exhumed

The remains of a priest suspected of having molested children in Kahnawake are exhumed

St. Francis Xavier Mission Catholic Church, located in the Mohawk Indigenous community of Kahnawake.

The remains of a Catholic priest suspected of sexually abusing children in Kahnawake have been exhumed and removed from this Mohawk community.

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, which governs this community south of Montreal, says the remains of Father Léon Lajoie, who died in 1999, were exhumed on Wednesday.

Summer last, several members of this community maintained that they had been abused by Father Lajoie, and they asked that his body be removed from Kahnawake, in order to begin a healing process.

< p class="e-p">In a referendum held in March, the citizens of Kahnawake voted 233 to 195 in favor of exhumation.

Father Lajoie, a Jesuit, arrived in Kahnawake in 1961 and served as parish priest there until 1990.

An investigation by the Jesuits did not find; found no evidence of assaults allegedly committed by Father Lajoie.

However, the internal investigation found evidence of a sexual assault grave at the Saint-François-Xavier mission, the church where the Father Lajoie was buried.

But the Jesuits concluded that this assault was committed by someone else.

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