June 20, 2019
By Leah Hendry
A.B. says he had no idea what he was walking into when he was asked by the auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal to attend a meeting with church officials in late 2016.
He’d recently come forward to make a police complaint about the years of sexual abuse he’d endured as a child at the hands of a Montreal priest.
He was told the Church now needed to do its own internal investigation of the matter.
“It seemed like it was just going to be a normal day, to go talk to people,” the man said in an exclusive interview with CBC/Radio-Canada. He is known by the initials A.B., as his identity is protected under a court publication ban.
However, when he arrived at an archdiocese building that houses a priests’ residence and meeting rooms, tucked behind Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on René-Lévesque Boulevard, he was met by nine members of the clergy, some robed in their red and purple vestments.
He says he was grilled for hours, as some of the priests tried to poke holes in his story, looking for inconsistencies.
It felt to him like he was on trial.
“In the moment, you feel like you’re trying to win a war,” he said.
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