Catholic orders call for action over L’Arche abuse scandal

L'Arche abuse

The Catholic Church in France is facing demands from its religious orders to take responsibility for the evidence of sexual, spiritual, and psychological abuse in L’Arche, a former lay community for people with developmental disabilities.

A 437-page report, published after a two-year investigation, exposes the shocking details of how L’Arche’s founder, Jean Vanier (pictured), created a secretive “sect” within the Catholic Church.

Vanier used seduction, manipulation, secrecy, and coercion to initiate as many as 25 young women into mystical-sexual practices and abused them sexually and spiritually.

The report is the latest in a series of documents exposing cases of abuse by priests and charismatic lay leaders, which the Vatican has long dismissed as mere “boundary violations”.

Sister Veronique Margron, the president of the conference of religious orders in France, expressed her shock at the findings. She has called for a reexamination of the Catholic Church’s “entire ecclesial, theological, and pastoral culture”.

In a statement, she criticised the secrecy and “great silence” of the Vatican that allowed Vanier and his spiritual guru, the Rev Thomas Philippe, to abuse with impunity.

Pope Francis has also commented on the issue, acknowledging in an interview with the Associated Press that the Catholic Church still has a long way to go in dealing with the abuse of “vulnerable adults” and that more transparency and speaking out is needed.

The findings of the report raise serious questions about the Catholic Church’s handling of abuse cases and its response to the exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

The L’Arche abuse case is just one of many such instances that have been handled without due care.

The demands from the religious orders in France are a call to action for the Catholic Church to take responsibility for its past actions and to make meaningful changes to prevent abuse from happening in the future.


AP News

CathNews New Zealand


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