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Report: L’Arche Founder Jean Vanier Abused Multiple Women

Independent investigation found at least six victims were coerced into sex by the celebrated Catholic leader, who died last year.
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Report: L’Arche Founder Jean Vanier Abused Multiple Women
Image: Lefteris Pitarakis / AP

L’Arche founder Jean Vanier, who helped improve conditions for the developmentally disabled in multiple countries over half a century, sexually abused at least six women, a report produced for his French-based charity has found.

According to the report released by L’Arche International Saturday, the women’s descriptions provide evidence enough to show that Vanier engaged in “manipulative sexual relationships” over a period from 1970 to 2005, usually with a “psychological hold” over the alleged victims. Vanier, a respected Catholic figure and Canadian, died last year at age 90.

“The alleged victims felt deprived of their free will and so the sexual activity was coerced or took place under coercive conditions,” the report said. It did not rule out potential other victims.

None of the women was disabled, a significant point given the Vatican has long sought to portray any sexual relationship between religious leaders and other adults as consensual ...

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May/June
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