The Archdiocese of Montreal today published the fourth quarterly report compiled by Ombudsman Me. Marie Christine Kirouack, Ad. E.
During the period from April 1 to July 31, 2022, the Ombudsman received 29 new complaints, including seven that cited abuse. Six of these were referred to the Advisory Committee. The remaining 22 complaints were referred to the Vicars General or to the Director of the Archdiocese of Montreal’s Office for Pastoral Personnel.
Following the presentation last spring of the external audit performed by retired judge the Honourable André Denis, the Ombudsman was given the mandate to process any outstanding complaint or abuse files not satisfactorily dealt with in the past. In the carrying out of this mandate, 11 complaints of sexual abuse were duly referred to the Advisory Committee, in four of which the victims were minors.
In her report, the Ombudsman also describes the improvements introduced in the complaint handling process: “Further to comments about failures in the complaints process as voiced at the time of my last report, I must say that it is functioning better since then, and processing times, especially with respect to sending letters or following up on recommendations, have also been improved. The breaking-in phase for this new process is not yet over, but things are moving in the right direction.”
During the period since May 5, 2021, when she took office, the Ombudsman has received a total of 123 formal complaints, 58 of which cite instances of abuse having occurred over the last 70 years and ranging in nature from financial to physical, psychological, sexual and spiritual abuse.
The other 65 complaints are unrelated to abuse, pertaining instead to vaccine passport requirements or, for instance, cemetery maintenance or conflicts between employees and members of the clergy.
Among the 62 individuals named in the complaints referred to the Advisory Committee, 58 were religious persons, of whom 32 were members of religious communities, 26 were members of the clergy and four were laypersons employed by religious communities.
“The Archdiocese of Montreal wishes to emphasize again our complete cooperation with the Ombudsman in bringing to light these kinds of unacceptable situations, and we are grateful for the excellent accompaniment she affords the victims,” stated the Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lépine.
The Archbishop created the position of Ombudsman in May 2021 in order to ensure first and foremost that the voices of victims of abuse would be heard, and secondly, that a rigorous procedure would follow their coming forward. This was one of the central recommendations of the Capriolo Report.
The Report is available to the public in its entirety on the website of the Catholic Church of Montreal.
To request an interview, please contact the Ombudsman.
Telephone: (514) 752-4683