Sexual abuse: 87 clerics pinned during an audit

The analysis of 6,809 files dating back to 1940 by former Quebec Superior Court judge André Denis identified 87 clergymen who engaged in sexual abuse in the Ecclesiastical Province of Montreal and the province clergyman of Gatineau.

Sexual abuse: 87 clerics pinned during an audit

The analysis of 6,809 files dating back to 1940 by former Quebec Superior Court judge André Denis identified 87 clergymen who engaged in sexual abuse in the Ecclesiastical Province of Montreal and the province clergyman of Gatineau.

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This is 1.28% of files that have reported sexual abuse carried out by priests, bishops, deacons or "staff members employed by a diocese or pastoral staff who worked in a parish between the 1940s and 2021”.

“This exercise seeks to ensure that no pastoral staff currently active in our parishes is targeted by substantiated allegations of sexual abuse. The parishioners can be confident that a serious verification exercise has been carried out,” assured the Archbishop of Gatineau, Paul-André Durocher.

A first mandate was carried out in order to identify “the files which included the indication of sexual abuse” and to check “if the complaint had been investigated and what had been the follow-up”.

A total of 10,000 files were studied and 6,809 were retained for in-depth investigation.

Thereafter, a second mandate was used to make a statistical audit from the personal records of all living individuals who served in dioceses. However, records of personnel who operated in colleges and boarding schools were not included in the search.

“The only warning received from the bishops was not to leave anyone immune from my study, it being understood that each case of sexual assault by a person in pastoral authority was one case too many. Concern for the victims should guide my work,” said former judge André Denis.

The results will be communicated “to the person designated to receive complaints and forward them to a committee in charge of studying the files,” reported the Catholic Church of Montreal.

The Ecclesiastical Province of Montreal includes the dioceses of Montreal, Joliette, Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Saint-Jérôme and Valleyfield while that of Gatineau includes the dioceses of Gatineau, Amos, Rouyn-Noranda and Mont-Laurier.

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