• Archdiocese

Responsible Pastoral Ministry

Accompanying people at risk in our communities

Responsible Pastoral Ministry

To bring safety and integrity to the people to whom we carry the Gospel message, the Catholic Church of Montreal adopted in 2016 the Diocesan Pastoral Responsibility Policy, which aims to ensure to everyone a healthy and safe environment, and to prevent all forms of abuse towards vulnerable individuals. The pilot project was validated by the Archbishop in June 2018 and implementation within the diocese is currently underway. Out of concern for transparency, here is a copy of that procedure.

Screening Process

Screening, a responsible process tied to human resource management, consists of carefully examining the candidacy of those who apply for a job, be it in a volunteer or paid position. This process clears the way to choosing the best candidates and to warding off, as much as possible, all those who might be susceptible to behaving inappropriately toward those who are vulnerable, be it children or adults.

Screening objectives

1- To create and maintain a safe and secure environment.

2- To assure that the chosen candidate possesses the necessary aptitudes to accomplish the task.

Screening steps

Ten stages of the screening process


Job description

The job description for positions of authority defines the tasks to be performed in the context of a particular service or of a pastoral activity. The task description establishes the precise rules and procedures to which all hired personnel in pastoral activities must conform. It also permits the proper evaluation of the risk level inherent in each task.

Job description model

Risk evaluation

Risk evaluation associated with a position represents a pivotal step if we want to choose the most adequate screening measures.  This evaluation, done beforehand, will be very useful to the directors of the screening process, and is comprised of 10 steps.

The following factors will serve to establish the risk level for a position of authority:

  • Profile of the participants or the beneficiaries (age of the people involved, physical state, degree of vulnerability);

  • Environment (location of the activity, physical disposition, public/private);

  • Nature of the activity (animation, counseling, visit);

  • Type of supervision (people present, direct, indirect, frequency);

  • Nature of the interactions (individual, group, intensity, intimacy).

Examples of risk factors

Recruitment process

It is strongly advised that all organizations adopt a formal recruitment process, whether for volunteers or for those in paid positions.

If you want to transition from an informal hiring context to a process that is more systemized, we recommend following these steps:

  • Provide a written statement that outlines the position of authority or the description of the associated tasks to the people involved;

  • Give written or oral explanations concerning the moral and legal obligation of submitting to administrative formalities, as much for any volunteers who wish to work for the community as for those applying for a paid position;

  • Provide information regarding the routine screening process that all candidates must submit to.


The admission or identification forms should be completed by all those who wish to occupy a position, or who already occupy a position. This form, which collects basic information (name, coordinates, work experience, references, etc.), will allow, as needed, the various diocesan organizations to proceed with regular verifications, according to the risk associated with the desired or occupied position.

Volunteer form
Employee form


Job interview

All new personnel offering their services on the diocesan or pastoral level must undergo a job interview, to be led by at least two interviewers. The candidate will answer questions pertaining to his or her human and professional development (formation and experience), his or her motivations, as well as all other subjects judged to be pertinent, with scrupulous respect to the fundamental rights of the person as granted by the laws and charters of Quebec.

Practical guide for interviews

Verification of references*

All candidates who wish to occupy a function (whether paid or not) in the diocese, must provide at least two references on his or her admission form. Those listed as references may be of several types: employers, association managers, pastors, community members, etc.; out of prudence, the listed references must have no family ties with the candidate. The verification of a reference is most often done over the phone and does not last longer than ten to twelve minutes.

Checklist for the verification of references

Verification of police check*

The verification of the police check is done within a protocol that exists between the SPVM and the Diocese of Montreal.  The diocesan pastoral responsibility service will inform the parishes and other organizations of the mode of application of this protocol.

*Steps reserved for people occupying a position with elevated risk.

Orientation and Evaluation

All hired personnel are considered on probation for a determined time, out of respect for the laws of Quebec. This probationary period, clearly outlined by the employer, will allow for the validation or cancellation of the choice of candidate for the position.  This probationary period is essentially the orientation and formation stage.

The orientation and formation stage allows the employer:

  • To review with the hired person what the task consist of, the objectives to be achieved and the expectations of the parish directors, as well as the internal functioning of the organization (procedures, relationships with authorities, responsibilities, etc.);
  • To familiarize the person with the diverse tools associated with their task (programs, catechetical processes, etc.);
  • To recognize that employee and volunteer have read and subscribed to the code of ethics and the code of conduct of the responsible pastoral policy.
  • To keep up to date employee and volunteers with any document necessary to complete the policy for responsible pastoral ministry, such as the guide to online activities, in our common concern to always promote a safe and healthy environment for our pastoral activities.

A volunteer candidate who has been accepted at a parish has an obligation to provide written (signed) agreement to respect the mutual commitment agreement.

Supervision and evaluation

The form and frequency of evaluations will vary according to the nature of the task (or the function) and the associated risks. For this reason, the supervision of any positions of trust will be regular and thorough.

The supervisor must therefore foresee the form and frequency of the evaluation of the person under his or her responsibility, keep that person informed, and as much as possible provide support in a positive way and tailor their professional development and the use of their talents.

Follow-up with participants

After the supervision and evaluation of pastoral personnel, whether volunteer or in a paid position, it is also necessary to assure a follow-up for the beneficiaries of the pastoral work (and their families, if necessary)

Regular meetings or telephone contact with the participants (and their families) of a program or activity will allow those responsible to assure their human and organizational quality. These follow-ups will also allow for the quick identification of a dysfunctional individual or of any malevolent intentions.


Training 2022

Training for churchwardens, employees, catechists and SASMAD
Focus on the Victims of Abuse - starts October 15 – Register now!

VVA-Phase 2

The Focus on the Victims of Abuse is one of the pillars of transformation in our Archdiocese. Phase II of the mandatory VVA training program will begin on Saturday, October 15 and is open to all churchwardens, paid parish employees, catechetical volunteers (18+), as well as SASMAD volunteers from all parishes and missions in the Archdiocese. The training session will be offered in a one-day colloquium format at a parish hall in your area, respecting effective health requirements.

"Along with the Ombudsman listening to victims, this Focus on the Victims of Abuse training is essential for learning together and getting involved together in order to promote prevention": Archbishop Christian Lépine.
"The testimonies are very touching and make us think about the importance of ‘never again’: Danielle Leduc-Poirier, CSR, Saint-Martin Parish.
"For my part, I learned a lot about different forms of abuse. Now I will be able to detect the red flags in my work and family environment": Magdalena Ybneth Cedeno Banguera, MRDM sexton.
"A fine and courageous initiative on the part of the Archdiocese of Montreal. Thank you": Fr Dominic VU, deacon, Saints-Martyrs-du-Vietnam.
"This training is essential. Thank you so much for this program. I feel better equipped and protected": Sylvie Quenneville, CSR, Saint-Enfant-Jésus Parish.


If you are a person included in the four categories listed above (churchwardens, paid parish employees, catechetical volunteers (18+) or SASMAD volunteers), please register by clicking on the EventBrite link (below) that corresponds to your preferred date and location. If you are a paid employee, we invite you to register on a weekday, so that your day will be paid. 

This training is offered free of charge, and each seminar will be hosted by inspiring leaders and will include periods of interaction and participation.



Jour / Day









15- 10

09:00 à 16 :30





10 - 22

9 :00 AM to 4 :30PM





24 - 10

09 :00 à 16 :30





29 - 10

09:00 à 16 :30





5 - 11

09:00 à 16 :30





11 - 12

9 :00 AM to 4 :30PM





19 - 11

09 :00 à 16 :30





11 -22

9 :00 AM to 4 :30PM





26 - 11

09 :00 à 16 :30






09 :00 à 16 :30





10 - 12

09 :00 à 16 :30





Addresses of the halls 

Sanctuary St-Judes/St-Benoit, 10120, d'Auteui Ave., Mtl, H3L 2K1 – (514) 381-1767
St. John Fisher Church, 120 Summerhill Ave., Pointe-Claire, H9R 2L7 – (514) 695-0205
Mary Queen of Hearts Shrine, 5875 Sherbrooke St. E., Mtl, H1N 1B6 – (514) 254-5376
St. Sixtus Church, 1895 de l'Église St., Ville Saint-Laurent, H4M 2M9 – (514) 747-7621
St-Thomas à Becket Church, 4320 Ste-Anne Street, Pierrefonds, H9H 4Y7 – (514) 626-4111
Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, 1085 de la Cathédrale Street, Mtl – (514) 866-1661
Our Lady of Egypt Coptic Catholic Church, 3569 Blv Lévesque Ouest, Laval H7V 1G1- (450) 934-0995
Centro Santa Famiglia, 4765 Robert Blvd., St-Léonard, H1R 1P5​​​​​​​
Our Lady of Divine Love, 765 Roland-Forget St., Laval H7E 4C1 – (450) 663-1120

To register, please open the attached file Guide for registration via Eventbrite and follow the instructions.

If you require information about your registration for this training, please contact Maria Parente (T. (514) 925-4300 ext. 212 or mparente@diocesemontreal.org

Thank you for your cooperation. 

Please see the following documents:  

Communiqués :


Module 1: It's not just about sexual abuse


Module 2: Struck to the core

Vous désirez porter plainte ? Communiquez avec l’Ombudsman.

« L’Archidiocèse de Montréal veut aller au fond des choses dans la recherche de la vérité et fait appel à une Ombudsman, autonome
et indépendante de l’Église, qui accueille avec bienveillance et compassion toute personne qui fait appel à elle pour déposer une
plainte à l’égard de toute forme d’abus ou de comportements inappropriés, quel que soit l’âge de la victime, ou le moment où est survenu l’abus ».  

« Nous voulons entendre les victimes et mieux les soutenir ».

+ Christian Lépine
archevêque de Montréal

  • Lettre de l’Archevêque
  • Documents sur le traitement des plaintes
  • Système de signalement épiscopal
  • Rapport de l’honorable Capriolo
  • Pastorale responsable 

 « Passer de la parole au geste »

Dans une lettre d’opinion publiée le 8 septembre 2018 dans les quotidiens La Presse et The Gazette, Mgr Christian Lépine, archevêque de Montréal, appelle l’Église à se montrer ferme dans sa lutte contre les abus sexuels.

Système de Signalement Épiscopal

Les évêques du Canada lancent un service national bilingue pour signaler les situations d’abus sexuels commis ou dissimulées par un évêque. Ce service renforce leur engagement à l’égard de la responsabilité, de la reddition de comptes et de la transparence en matière d’abus sexuels commis par le clergé, et celui de faciliter davantage la guérison et la justice pour les victimes et survivants.


Traitement des plaintes d’abus 

Le rapport Capriolo a été rendu public le 25 novembre 2020 et nous avons pris l’engagement de mettre en œuvre les recommandations grâce au travail d’un Comité coprésidé par l’honorable Pepita G. Capriolo et Mgr Lépine. Il en résulte un processus de traitement des plaintes centré sur la victime, où toutes les formes d’abus et de comportements inappropriés sont incluses et où l’âge de la victime n’est plus déterminant. La présence d’une Ombudsman, la création d’un Comité consultatif laïque de cinq membres, dont un survivant, et des enquêtes faites par des experts externes, permettront de traiter chaque plainte avec diligence et respect.


Témoignage vidéo - Il faut le dire


Sous cet onglet, on retrouve le rapport de l’honorable Pepita G. Capriolo, rendu public en novembre 2020. Le rapport visait à comprendre qui faisait quoi, quand, dans le traitement des plaintes visant l'ex-prêtre Brian Boucher, durant sa carrière au sein de l’Église catholique de Montréal.


Nous avons diffusé un communiqué le 9 juin 2022 sur le rapport de l’honorable André Denis sur ses deux mandats portant sur l’examen des dossiers personnels de toutes les personnes vivantes, incluant les personnes actives ou à la retraite, ayant servi dans neuf diocèses, en 1940 et 2022, ainsi que sur un audit statistique afin de recenser les abus sexuels confirmés ou bien fondés, ayant été imputés à tout évêque, prêtre, diacre permanent, membre du personnel employé par un diocèse ou du personnel pastoral ayant œuvré en paroisse entre les années 1940 et 2021. 

  1. Communiqué du 9 juin 2022

  2. Rapport de l’honorable André Denis  

In June of 2016, our archbishop Most Rev. Christian Lépine published the Decree regarding the Diocesan Policy for Pastoral Responsibility, preparing for the implementation of a pilot project in some of the parishes of our diocese.
The time has now come to present the first summary of what was carried out by the parish pastoral teams that were part of this pilot project.

On this page you will find a monthly publication which will highlight the experiences of each of the parishes that were involved in the implementation of this policy. Three sections are presented: steps undertaken, challenges that were met with, and accomplishments, so as to recognize the efforts of those pastors and parish teams who put this pastoral responsibility into practice.

If you are a pastor of a parish within the diocese of Montreal and you would like to apply these new diocesan norms, please contact the diocesan coordinator of Pastoral Responsibility Services. It will be a pleasure to accompany you and to provide you with all of the necessary tools for this process.

The principal objective of the Diocesan Policy for Pastoral Responsibility is to assure a healthy and safe environment for all, while preventing all types of abuse of those who are vulnerable.

Pilot parish summaries:




Purification de la Bienheureuse-Vierge-Marie and Notre-Dame-des-Champs


Saint Donat


Saint-Théophile and Sainte-Dorothée

Saint Luke

The diocesan pastoral responsibility service wants all parishes, works and diocesan organizations to put into place a systemized screening process for salaried personnel and volunteers. Integrating this process of preventative measures into current systems of operations will allow us to achieve the objectives of the pastoral responsibility policy.

Contact information:

Responsible Pastoral Ministry
2000, rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal (Qc)
H3H 1G4
(514) 925-4355