EX President McAleese threatens to leave Catholic Church if Vanier story not explained


Christ Church of Dublin

Source: Irish Times

Former president Mary McAleese has written to Pope Francis saying she will leave the Catholic Church “if it transpires that the Holy See failed to act to protect members of the L’Arche Community”.

She said people should have been alerted to “the known predatory activities” of the community’s founder Jean Vanier and his mentor, Dominican priest Fr Thomas Philippe.

“I have to say that this will be my final line of least resistance. I could not in conscience continue to support an institution capable of such gross negligence,” Mrs McAleese said in the letter.

Mary Mcaleese

Mary McAleese

Vanier founded L’Arche International in 1964 to assist people with intellectual disabilities. It caters for 10,000 people in 39 countries and has four communities in Ireland at Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Kilkenny, where up to 60 people are cared for and around 100 others are provided day services.

L’ Arche International announced on February 22nd that an inquiry it commissioned last June into allegations of sex abuse by Vanier had “received credible and consistent testimonies from six . . . women without disabilities, covering the period from 1970 to 2005”. Vanier died last May.Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

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