Montreal

Montreal archdiocese independent ombudsman receives 75 formal complaints

An independent ombudsman hired by the Montreal Roman Catholic archdiocese said Wednesday she has received 75 formal complaints — including 46 related to abuse — dating back to 1950 until the present day.

46 complaints related to abuse dating back to 1950

Thirty complaints involve allegations of sexual abuse from 1950 to the present day. (Charles Contant/CBC)

An independent ombudsman hired by the Montreal Roman Catholic archdiocese said Wednesday she has received 75 formal complaints — including 46 related to abuse — dating back to 1950 until the present day.

The cumulative report published Wednesday by Marie Christine Kirouack, who was hired by the church this year, is composed of complaints against members of the church that were filed between May 5 and Nov. 30.

Thirty complaints involve allegations of sexual abuse from 1950 to the present day, and another 16 complaints are connected to alleged psychological, financial, physical or spiritual abuse.

Kirouack's report says 10 complaints have been referred to outside investigators and nine others have been forwarded to religious communities.

She says she also received about 30 complaints that fell outside her purview, including COVID-19-related complaints and 13 complaints for abuse suffered by Indigenous peoples.

Kirouack says in a statement that listening to people about their suffering is an important part of her job and that she hopes the latest report encourages others to file complaints.

Her appointment in May 2021 was one of the key recommendations stemming from a report in November 2020 by former Superior Court justice Pepita G. Capriolo into the church's handling of the case of an ex-priest sentenced to eight years in prison in 2019 for sexually assaulting two minors.

Capriolo concluded the church had a culture of secrecy, lacked accountability and was more interested in protecting the reputation of ex-priest Brian Boucher than of addressing the sexual abuse.

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