Dear Friends and Supporters of L'Arche,
In February of 2020, L’Arche International shared the troubling news regarding our founder, the late Jean Vanier. An internal inquiry revealed that Vanier was involved in a series of relationships with women over three decades. In the cases brought forward, the inquiry found that Jean abused his authority by initiating inappropriate sexual relations with these women, usually in the context of spiritual accompaniment.
Since the report of the initial inquiry, L’Arche International launched a Study Commission, consisting of an independent interdisciplinary group of French researchers. This commission was tasked with: shedding light on the history and founding of L’Arche and its driving forces, particularly through the life of Jean Vanier; to analyze the cultural and institutional dynamics at work within L’Arche; to assess the potential systemic nature of the systems of abuse implicating Jean Vanier.
We want to inform you that the Study Commission published its final report on Monday January 30, 2023, that confirmed and validated what L’Arche made public in 2020. The report is available as a download on the Commission's website here.
L'Arche Canada welcomes the efforts of L’Arche International and stands behind the detailed report into the abusive and manipulative practices by Vanier and Phillippe as first reported in February 2020. The Commission found no evidence of abuse involving people with intellectual disabilities. We want to thank the women who courageously came forward. We stand with them and with all victims of abuse.
Given the release of this report, we will be again making time to process, listen and accompany our community members with this news and to reach out to friends such as yourself, who have played a vital role in supporting L’Arche Greater Vancouver. We know that sharing these findings both internally and publicly is crucial to our commitment to transparency and in line with L’Arche’s values, its policies and practices. And, we want to reassure you of our commitment and investment to providing a safe environment for all our members, people with and without disabilities, through our training on abuse prevention, reporting mechanisms, policies and procedures, regular reviews, and our ongoing commitment to our core values.
From the beginning of this inquiry – which was initiated by L’Arche International – our commitment has been to openness and transparency. We remain committed to continuing this openness as we process the report of the Study Commission. Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Executive Director/Community Leader