An audit report of Catholic Dioceses in Quebec find only 87 abusers; SNAP calls foul

(For Immediate Release June 10, 2022) 

An audit report of Catholic Dioceses in Quebec find only 87 abusers; SNAP calls foul

An "independent" audit of more than 80 years of files involving nine Quebec Catholic dioceses found only 87 abusers among Church personnel, according to a summary of findings released Wednesday. The perpetrators included people who worked for a diocese or parish, but not those who worked in schools. It also did not include religious order employees.

To us, this report is spin-selling, deceitful, and demonstrates the unwillingness of Catholic officials in Quebec to fully disclose the true number of abusers within these dioceses. Given the Church’s long history of using sanitizing language to minimize awful crimes, we are more than confident that the actual number of perpetrators is far greater than the 87 acknowledged, particularly since schools and religious orders were not included.

Retired Superior Court justice André Denis was given a mandate to root out persons accused of abuse who were still working for the Church, and to show the dioceses how many employees, historically, had faced "credible" accusations. He said less than five of the 87 were still working for the Church by the time he finished his review.

“They’re counted on the fingers on one hand, but those who had allegations, they were removed from their positions and submitted to disciplinary committees of the respective dioceses,” Denis added in an interview Wednesday.

The audit involved the dioceses of two church jurisdictions — Montreal and Gatineau — which include several major cities, such as Joliette, Longueuil, St-Jérôme, and Valleyfield. According to the report, 10,000 documents were reviewed, including the files of bishops, priests, deacons, pastoral associates, and diocesan staff. We remain unclear as to why schools were excluded since they are a primary hunting ground for those who abuse children, but to us it seems abundantly clear that eliminating educational institutions and religious orders artificially minimized the extent of the problem.

If Catholic officials in Quebec are confident that their rate of abuse among laypersons and clergy is really less than two percent, they should be willing to voluntarily turn over all records to the government and request a Pennsylvania grand jury-style investigation and report, with no exceptions for schools or religious orders. Law enforcement officials could then invite testimony from survivors, who may have been reluctant to approach the institution where they were hurt, and permit truly independent legal professionals, not someone hired and paid for by the Church, to review all these records. We believe that will get to the truth and provide a clearer sense of the full scale of abuse in Quebec.

It is impossible for us to reconcile the facts documented here in the United States and around the world with the findings of the Quebec report.  Independent government investigations have consistently found the rate of abuse in Catholic institutions to be approaching 10 percent, not less than 2 percent. We find it highly unlikely that Quebec is the lone exception to this trend.

Coquitlam British Columbia 

Contact: Leona Huggins
Phone: 604-240-3741
Email: [email protected]

Windsor Ontario 

Contact: Brenda Brunelle
Email: [email protected]

SNAP Communication Manger

Contact: Mike McDonnell

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: 267-261-0578

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org.)

 


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  • Michael Mcdonnell
    published this page in Media Statements 2022-06-10 14:19:05 -0500

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