Archdiocese of Montreal releases independent report on complaints against former priest Brian Boucher

Archdiocese of Montreal

November 25, 2020

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal has released the report of an independent investigation into its handling of complaints against former diocesan priest Brian Boucher. The 276-page report, authored by the Honourable Pepita G. Capriolo, retired Québec Superior Court Justice, was made public at a press conference today by Archbishop Christian Lépine with Justice Capriolo.

The Archbishop commissioned Justice Capriolo in November 2019 to investigate “who knew what when” regarding complaints made against Mr. Boucher, from his seminary days until 2019. The Archdiocese had initiated a canonical investigation into his behaviour four years earlier, in 2015.

“I had the support of the Archbishop. At no point did he or any other member of the diocese attempt to limit or restrict my investigations,” the retired justice said during the press conference. The author of the report was given independent access to hundreds of documents and interviewed everyone whose testimony she deemed relevant, which was more than 60 witnesses. The report concludes with 31 recommendations designed to ensure responsibility, transparency and accountability within the organization of the Archdiocese and thus mitigate a recurrence of similar abuses.

The report reveals that, in the course of Brian Boucher’s involvement with the Archdiocese, his suitability both as a seminarian and a priest were the subject of repeated complaints. It was only in 2015 that the diocese undertook a comprehensive investigation into his behaviour.

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