Program on the abuse of religious women in the Church airs in Canada

Posted 2019-04-25

L’Arche Canada reiterates our deep compassion for the victims of abuse and our commitment to a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment and abuse.

April 25, 2019

Following the broadcast in Canada of the documentary on sexual abuse in the Church, L’Arche Canada wishes to reiterate its deep compassion for the victims of Father Thomas Philippe. We know that without these testimonies and the awareness they bring, the victims would continue to be locked in silence. We pay tribute to the courage of these women who have made their voices heard.

The actions of Father Thomas Philippe are unspeakable and L’Arche condemns them again forcefully, as it did in 2015 when the canonical investigation confirmed the facts alleged against him. In 2014, as soon as the leaders of L’Arche International received the two testimonies of women implicating Father Thomas Philippe (who died in 1993), they asked for a canonical investigation so that people were listened to and the facts established. About fifteen testimonials were collected. The results of the canonical investigation were made public by L’Arche officials in June 2015, attesting to “sexual acts against adult women … and a psychological and spiritual grip on these women” and L’Arche “strongly condemns these acts aware of the seriousness of the impact in the lives of the victims.”

We recognize that this episode is part of our history that we will need time to understand and integrate it in all its dimensions. We refuse any temptation to evade this reality.

L’Arche Canada has, for several years, introduced abuse prevention policies that will ensure a safe environment for people with disabilities and all members of our communities. L’Arche Canada is committed to a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment and abuse.

Louis Pilotte


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