MONTREAL – The Archdiocese of Montreal is entrusting an independent committee with the examination of several thousand priests’ files that have taken place in the dioceses of Montreal and the surrounding area to find out the number and nature of allegations of sexual abuse committed on people of minor age by members of the Roman Catholic clergy and their staff, from 1950 to the present day.
The Archbishop of Montreal, Bishop Christian Lépine, has asked a retired Superior Court judge, Anne-Marie Trahan, to accept the mandate to lead this investigation, which will extend to the Dioceses of Saint-Jérôme, Valleyfield. Saint-Jean-Longueuil and Joliette.
From the beginning of the committee’s work, next September, access to all files will be total and unreserved.
People who claim to be victims of clergy will be able to give their testimony to the committee headed by Ms. Trahan who will do her job for a period of 18 to 24 months. This one can add specialists of its choice.
The data collected during the audit will be sent to the Archbishop of Montreal, who will have a detailed picture of the number of priests, the number of victims, and the way the dioceses have responded to wrongdoing.
The report will be made public.
The exercise is motivated by Mgr. Lépine’s concern to shed light on the actions of the past. He said he was inspired by similar initiatives that have been conducted elsewhere in the world.