MONTREAL, March 2, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Archdiocese of Montreal reacted today to the criminal charges of a sexual nature brought against Fr. Brian Boucher, a diocesan priest. The process leading to his indictment came as a result of close collaboration between diocesan authorities and the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM).
"We unequivocally denounce all forms of abuse, whether physical, psychological or sexual; furthermore, anyone practising their faith within the Archdiocese of Montreal must be able to do so in total safety and without fear or misgiving," said Bishop Alain Faubert, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General. "We would like to acknowledge the courage of those who contacted the Archdiocese to report what they had experienced. They are in our thoughts and prayers, as are their families, loved ones and the communities to which they belong."
The Archdiocese would like to stress that as soon as its officials received testimony alleging misconduct by Fr. Boucher, every effort was made to shed light on these allegations. Diocesan authorities removed him from all Church ministry, launched an internal investigation, guided the alleged victims through the process, and collaborated with the police by sharing the results of its investigation.
Zero tolerance throughout the Archdiocese of Montreal
In June 2016, Most Rev. Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal, established a service to promote Responsible Pastoral Ministry, charged with ensuring a healthy and safe environment throughout the diocese. Through the decree establishing the service, the Archdiocese of Montreal applies a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding abusive behaviour of a physical, psychological or sexual nature to all those in its employ or acting on its behalf.
"We would like to reiterate our willingness to do everything to bring the truth to light, and we renew our commitment to ensure that everyone who calls upon or looks to the Church is treated with compassion and respect," concluded Bishop Faubert.
The Archdiocese of Montreal invites anyone with information relevant to the Fr. Boucher case, or any other instance of similar abuse, to contact SPVM investigators immediately. The Archdiocese may also be contacted through a confidential helpline, at 514 925-4321 or by e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found on the Archdiocesan website (www.diocesemontreal.org).
Having full confidence in the judicial process and court proceedings underway and so as not to impede the prosecutors' work, the Archdiocese of Montreal will make no further comment at this time.
About the Archdiocese of Montreal
Founded in 1836, the diocese of Montreal includes 194 parishes and missions across its territory, which includes the islands of Montreal and Laval, as well as the cities of L'Assomption, Repentigny, Le Gardeur and Saint-Sulpice. Most Rev. Christian Lépine has been Archbishop of Montreal since March 2012.