Charity Founder Accused of Abuse

News: Video Reports
by David Nussman  •  •  February 27, 2020   

Report describes 'manipulative sexual relationships'

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The founder of a worldwide charity is now being viewed as sexually abusive.

Jean Vanier was the founder of L'Arche, a global Catholic nonprofit that helps people with disabilities.

Vanier passed away in May last year. But his legacy as a champion for the disabled has now been tainted with evidence of sexual misconduct.

Earlier this month, an internal report by L'Arche concluded that Vanier lived a double life.

While serving the disabled and writing dozens of books, he secretly initiated sexual encounters with multiple women in France who came to him for spiritual advice.

The report labeled Vanier's treatment of those women as "manipulative sexual relationships."

On Monday, the University of Notre Dame responded to the abuse report by officially revoking an award given to Vanier in 1994.

Vanier had very close ties to an abusive priest, Dominican Fr. Thomas Philippe, who was punished by the Vatican in 1956 for sexual advances toward women during spiritual direction.

Widely commended for his work with the disabled, some of Vanier's greatest admirers were Catholic leftists, who saw him as a champion of social justice.

Now, they are wrestling with the tainted legacy of a former hero.

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