By hiding behind a wall of silence, the Clerics of Saint-Viateur seem to protect the five religious of their congregation accused this week of pedophilia, considers an expert in sexual abuse committed by the Church.
“The superiors [of the Clergy], by remaining silent, send, in fact a message. They use the judicial process as an excuse. The silence, this is not the solution, ” says father Thomas Doyle. Rather, they should publicly affirm that they are doing everything possible to help the victims and their families. “
For the past 35 years, the american priest and a great defender of the victims denounces loud and clear the intrigues of the clergy who camouflait sexual assault.
According to the expert in canon law, who has testified in several trials, Quebec is in arrears in his denunciations compared to other places in the world.
“It is relatively new in the province of Quebec, while in the United States for example, it dates back to 1984,” he says. But I’m really relieved to see that the victims are more forward and seek justice. “
Of the ancient history
In the history of Québec, there have been few religious who are made to pass the handcuffs by the police.
“The arrests send the message that the authorities and forces of law and order no longer give preferential treatment to priests because they are priests, as we know very well that it was done. These days are ended and it’s good that they are, ” says Thomas Doyle.
However, the Clerics of Saint Viator should change their strategy in order not to ” give the impression that they approve of what these priests have done.”
“They should denounce it. Yes, they have the obligation to continue to provide these religious a roof and food. But it does not mean that they will be closely supervised and we will remove them from all ministry, ” argues the american priest.
Independently of the criminal process, the organization of the Clerics of Saint-Viateur is also referred to by a collective action, or civil. Before the arrests, she had a total of 270 victims. But since then, more than 30 new people have contacted the lawyers behind the action.
“[Despite the arrests], as a lawyer in civil cases, is considered to have all the elements to prove what it alleged, ” says Me Justin Wee, the bureau Arsenault Dufresne Wee Lawyers.
The beginning of the negotiations
Negotiations should be started soon, at the beginning of July, with all parties involved in the case.
“We have good hope that they will lead to an agreement for the victims,” pointed out Justin Wee.
“We can not comment currently. We do not want to undermine the judicial process, said Simon Potvin, a spokesperson for the Clercs of Saint-Viateur. But we are working with the police and the courts for clarity in this folder. That’s all we can tell you in respect to the processes and people involved. “
The five religious accused