The Ombudsman of the Archdiocese of Montreal receives 75 complaints, including 46 for abuse

The ombudsman hired by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal revealed on Wednesday that he had received 75 formal complaints, including 46 relating to abuse, which spanned a period from 1950 to today.

This second report by Me Marie Christine Kirouack was published on Wednesday. The lawyer was hired earlier this year by the archdiocese to handle complaints against members of the clergy. The new data is based on complaints received between May 5 and November 30.

Of the 46 abuse complaints, 30 are of a sexual nature and 16 are of a physical, psychological, financial or spiritual nature.

Also according to Me Kirouack, ten of the abuse complaints were transferred to external investigators and nine others were transmitted “to the religious communities concerned”.

She adds that she has received 30 requests for issues that fall outside her jurisdiction, such as complaints related to health measures imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic or related to atrocities committed against Indigenous people.

By means of a press release, Me Kirouack maintains that the alleged victims “need to be comforted” and that an important part of his work consists in “listening to their suffering”.

She also says she hopes her report “will encourage other victims to file a complaint.”

The appointment of Me Kirouack, in May 2021, followed a recommendation from the former Superior Court judge, Pepita G. Capriolo. In November 2020, the ex-magistrate filed a report on the Church’s management of the case of ex-priest Brian Boucher sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting two minors.

Among his conclusions, the ex-judge noted that the Church maintained a “culture of secrecy” and lacked accountability. Pepita G. Capriolo argued that the Church was more concerned with protecting Brian Boucher’s reputation than the importance of responding to complaints of sexual assault.

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