British Columbia

Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver set to reveal results of sex abuse investigation

The archdiocese will be publishing 31 recommendations from an independent investigation it launched into cases of sexual abuse and assault by its clergy.

Internal review showed archdiocese was aware of 36 cases of abuse by its clergy since the 1950s

An internal review found the Archdiocese of Vancouver was aware of 36 cases of abuse since the 1950s by its clergy, including 26 involving children. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver will be publishing 31 recommendations from an independent investigation it launched into cases of sexual abuse and assault by its clergy.

In July, the committee reviewing the files submitted its recommendations, including that the names of clergy who were deemed "credibly accused" be released publicly. 

"I think that the church has an ethical and moral responsibility to reveal those names," said Leona Huggins, an abuse survivor who was part of the case review committee.

The 13 members of the independent group included lawyers, a psychologist, and four survivors of abuse.

Archdiocese aware of 36 cases of abuse

The review, commissioned in 2018 by Archbishop Michael Miller, examined church files dating back to the 1950s. 

The information contained in the internal review was uncovered in an investigation by CBC's The Fifth Estate into how the Catholic Church has dealt with abuse allegations over the years. It aired on Nov. 17 and featured testimony from Huggins.

Clergy sexual abuse survivor Leona Huggins is fighting to make sure that the Catholic Church in Canada comes clean about what happened to her and others. (Doug Husby/CBC)

The internal review showed the archdiocese was aware of 36 cases of abuse since the 1950s by its clergy, including 26 involving children.

The review also found three of their priests had fathered children.

In response to that investigation, the archdiocese issued a statement saying it has been "working determinedly to implement these recommendations and to publish a response demonstrating how the committee's input has been turned into action."

According to The Fifth Estate, none of Canada's Latin Rite archdioceses and dioceses have made information about credibly accused and convicted priests public.

Unclear whether accused clergy will be named

The archdiocese says its response to the committee's 31 recommendations will be available on its website at 11 a.m. PT Friday. It will also be delivered as a special insert in the BC Catholic newspaper next week. 

A statue of Pope John Paul II welcomes visitors to the Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

It is not clear whether the clergy who have been "credibly accused" of abuse will be named.  Being accused does not mean that someone was convicted of abuse, only that there is enough evidence for the church to believe an incident took place.

In the United States, more than 6,800 credibly accused clergy members have been identified by the church.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has not yet responded to CBC News' request for an interview.