Vancouver priests to start annual performance reviews

B. C. Catholic [Archdiocese of Vancouver, British Columbia]

July 7, 2022

The Archdiocese of Vancouver’s latest update on sexual abuse by priests says priests will start undergoing performance reviews this year. 

Priests in the Archdiocese of Vancouver will undergo regular performance reviews starting this year, the archdiocese announced in its latest update on sexual abuse by priests.

The archdiocese released its latest report on sexual abuse June 30. It’s the latest in a series of updates since 2019 when it first released a 12-page report that contained 31 recommendations. An Implementation Working Group has been working to develop solutions for the recommendations.

Recommendation 15 in the 2019 report said “all clerics – whether incardinated in the Archdiocese or in ministry in the Archdiocese – should undergo an annual, formal performance review process, similar to the process that permanent deacons currently undertake.” The review should be done “by a group of people, including lay men and women.”

Archbishop J. Michael Miller had committed to putting “a suitable formal performance process” in place by the fourth quarter of 2020, but the work of the implementation group was delayed by the COVID pandemic.

The most recent report in December said a working group composed of people experienced in pastoral work, business, and human resources was being formed to implement the annual performance review system for priests in the archdiocese with the initial pastors to go through the process in 2022.

In other updates, Father Bryan Duggan, a Vancouver priest with a doctorate in clinical psychology, is creating a team of local clerics and designing a program to help priests become more trauma-informed in order to be a support for victim/survivors seeking priest involvement. 

The announcement was in response to Recommendation 18, which said, “A select group of trauma-informed clerics should be chosen to hear from survivors and to be a support should the survivors need or desire this. Clerics should also be trained in self-awareness to recognize if, at any time, they are not the right person for that role.”

The latest report also includes the name of a priest who had allegations of sexual abuse made against him.

Father Placidus Sander, a monk at Christ the King Seminary in Mission, was alleged in 1987 to have been involved in homosexual activities with high school seminarians. He was removed from his role as Vice-rector.

In 1993, three men said he had sexually abused them during their time as minor students at the seminary. He was acquitted in court but admitted to a single sexual encounter with “an older seminarian” and to kissing one student twice.

A civil claim regarding the 1993 accusations was recently filed, however Father Sander died last October. 

In its report, the archdiocese said it was publishing the allegations “at this time because the criminal proceedings have concluded and the plaintiff(s) with civil claims have requested such publication.”

The archdiocese said it had been previously advised, “including by law enforcement representatives, not to publish information during the course of the legal proceedings.”

The archdiocese also said to increase transparency it will contribute to Sylvia’s Site, a victim/survivor-led website that has been blogging reports of sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Canada since 2006.

The report can be found on Page 6 of this week’s issue and online at