Catholic Church wilfully blind again, leaders of victims groups say

Montreal Gazette via Strathroy Age Dispatch

November 25, 2020

By Paul Cherry

The culture of silence has ruled supreme within the Catholic Church for years, a former abuse victim says.

The disturbing details that emerged from Justice Pepita Capriolo’s report on how the Catholic Church ignored warning signs and adopted a culture of secrecy as Brian Boucher, now a convicted pedophile, made his way toward being ordained a priest sounded all too familiar to people who represent other victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests in Quebec.

Boucher, now 58, was convicted last year of sexually assaulting two boys: one while working at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in Town of Mount Royal, the other at St. John Brébeuf Parish in LaSalle.

Capriolo was asked to do an audit of the time Boucher spent in the Catholic Church and found warning signs were ignored before he was ordained.

“I think we can certainly talk about wilful blindness which was for the longest time the modus operandi of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec and elsewhere in cases of abuse of children,” said Carlo Tarini, director of communication for the Comité des victimes des prêtres. The group has supported victims of abuse who have filed class-action suits against Catholic orders in the past.

“Certainly, the prevailing method of dealing with pedophile priests was to tell them they should pray to redeem their sins. Unfortunately, prayers have nothing to do with preventing pedophiles from abusing children, which is something the Church should have certainly known,” Tarini said.

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