Priest sex abuse allegations not reported to RCMP
2 Moncton-area priests accused of 'serious sexual abuse on minors'
The Archdiocese of Moncton has not contacted police about "serious" sexual abuse allegations against two recently suspended priests, church officials have confirmed.
But RCMP are aware of the accusations about Father Yvon Arsenault and Father Irois Després and could still investigate, said Cpl. Chantal Farrah.
"If we are made aware of someone being the victim of a crime then we can proceed in opening an investigation to see if we can further that," she said.
Farrah declined to say whether the RCMP plans to investigate in this case, citing confidentiality.
Even if an investigation were ongoing, police could not comment until a charge is laid, she said.
The archdiocese informed parishioners during mass last weekend that Arsenault, 70, who was removed in July, and Després, 82, who retired in 1992, have been removed "from any ministry whatsoever following allegations of serious sexual abuse on minors."
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Alleged victim from Cap-Pelé commends archdiocese
An alleged victim of sexual abuse by another priest in the southeastern village of Cap-Pelé said he supports the independent and confidential conciliation process the archdiocese is following rather than going to police.
"As important as I think it is to send these people to jail, or at least make them accountable for what they've done, the most important part is the healing of the victims," said Normand Brun.
Talking about sexual abuse is difficult, especially in a small community, said Brun, who went public last May to say he was molested as a child by the late Father Camille Léger for years, starting at the age of nine.
Brun, who received financial compensation from the church in 1997 and anticipates receiving additional compensation though the conciliation process, said he commends the archdiocese for suspending Arsenault and Després.
"I think what [Archbishop Valéry] Vienneau is trying to do right now, and and I think, you know, in my opinion, he's succeeding, is that he's rebuilding some trust," he said.
"There's two new priests, you know, get them out of the preisthood right away, get them away from where they're with children and whatever."
The archdiocese hired retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Michel Bastarache in June to set up and manage a conciliation process for people with complaints about Léger, who died in 1990 and was never convicted of any crimes.
Bastarache, who also handled a church-related sex abuse file in Bathurst in 2010, has estimated each victim could receive between $15,000 and $300,000.