- Aug 10, 2020
Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese has written Pope Francis threatening to quit the Catholic Church if it comes to light the Vatican “failed to act to protect members of the L’Arche community” from the organization’s founder Jean Vanier.
The Vatican office that grants official recognition to international Catholic lay movements and organizations ordered the groups to develop detailed child-protection guidelines and norms for handling allegations of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
For the adults with disabilities who are the core members of L’Arche, news that Jean Vanier sexually abused six women over a 35-year period hit particularly hard.
The University of Notre Dame Feb. 23 revoked the Notre Dame Award that was conferred upon Jean Vanier in 1994 after the L’Arche organization he established found credible allegations that Vanier sexually exploited six women.
Following revelations that Jean Vanier, famous for his work with those who have intellectual disabilities, had sexually abused six women, a woman who works in the field and appreciated Vanier’s contributions has said she is shocked, and that the organization he founded needs support.
An internal report reveals that L’Arche founder Jean Vanier, a respected Canadian religious figure whose charity work helped improve conditions for the developmentally disabled in multiple countries over half a century, sexually abused at least six women.