Review of Clergy and Pastoral files underway and Capriolo Report Implementation Committee launched
The Archdiocese of Montreal announces two major developments in its ongoing pursuit of truth, transparency and transformation, based on the work of both the Honourable André Denis and the committee implementing the recommendations of the Capriolo Report.
“We are continuing to seek the truth so that every person feels safe and secure within the Catholic Church, in all circumstances. We are very grateful to the Honourable André Denis and to the members of the committee implementing the recommendations of the Capriolo Report, who, through their diligent work, will help us to do our part to protect the faithful and the community,” said Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal.
The Archbishop has appointed the Honourable André Denis, a retired judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, to undertake two mandates.
First of all, out of concern for the safety of the faithful and the community and to ensure that the behaviour of those currently serving in the diocese is above reproach (bishops, priests, deacons – both active and retired – as well as pastoral personnel), the Archbishop has asked the Honourable André Denis to review diocesan files and identify any indication of sexual abuse perpetrated against minors or vulnerable persons by any of the above-mentioned.
‘‘Any person suspected of such unacceptable actions will be suspended while a thorough investigation is conducted,’’ added Archbishop Lépine.
In addition to the Archdiocese of Montreal, the dioceses of Joliette, Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Saint-Jérôme and Valleyfield are also participating in this review as members of the Ecclesiastical Province of Montreal; each bishop will receive a report specific to his diocese.
The Honourable André Denis began this mandate in December 2020 and is expected to complete it by summer 2021.
Following this, the retired judge will then conduct a statistical audit in the five dioceses, spanning the years 1940 to 2020, regarding sexual abuse by priests, living or deceased, based upon information contained in their files. The combined results of the statistical audit will be released publicly.
The bishops of the participating dioceses and the Archbishop of Montreal have pledged to co-operate fully, ensuring that the Honourable André Denis has complete access to all files he deems necessary.
Career highlights of the Honourable André Denis
The Honourable André Denis has had a distinguished career in the judiciary, both as a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec and as ad hoc judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec. He was the first judge in Canada to preside over a trial involving the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, convicting Désiré Munyaneza – a Rwandan citizen living in Canada – of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In the Archdiocese of Montreal, the committee implementing the recommendations of the Capriolo Report has begun its work.
As announced when the Capriolo Report was released in November – a report commissioned by the Archbishop of Montreal – Archbishop Lépine and the Honourable Pepita G. Capriolo quickly set to work establishing a committee to oversee the implementation of the report’s 31 recommendations. The committee held its first meeting January 12 and is expected to submit quarterly progress reports before completing its task in the fall of 2021.
The 12-member Capriolo Report Implementation Committee brings independent, experienced experts from various disciplines together with officials from the Archdiocese of Montreal to form an interdisciplinary team.
- The Honourable Pepita G. Capriolo, retired judge of the Superior Court of Quebec
- Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal
Daniel Granger, CM, lawyer and public relations consultant, was appointed Secretary of the Committee.
- Maria R. Battaglia – family lawyer and mediator, and member of the Archdiocese of Montreal Advisory Committee
- Richard Blain – expert in organizational management, governance, culture and transformation
- Delphine Collin-Vézina, PhD – clinical psychologist, director of the Centre for Research on Children and Families, School of Social Work, McGill University
- Karlijn Demasure, PhD – director of the Centre for Safeguarding Minors and Vulnerable Persons, University of Saint Paul, Ottawa
- Alain Duhamel – artist, cultural events producer, public speaker as a victim/survivor of abuse
- Daniel Ducharme – archdiocesan archivist and assistant to the Chancellor
- Bishop Alain Faubert – auxiliary bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Montreal
- Tetiana M. Gerych – labour and human rights lawyer, accredited civil mediator
- Father Francesco Giordano – Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Montreal, judicial vicar and administrator of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Montreal
Access to the Capriolo Report
The Capriolo Report is available on the Archdiocese of Montreal website. To read the report, please click here.