Referred to as a “savior of people on the margins” in his New York Times obituary, Vanier founded L’Arche in 1963 to create group homes and communities for people with intellectual disabilities.
Today, that Catholic organization operates 154 communities in 38 countries.
A fellow organization, Faith and Light, which operates as an ecumenical Christian organization, operates 1,500 communities in 83 countries.
According to America magazine, a Catholic outlet, Vanier’s alleged behavior “mirrored” that of Philippe, who died in 1993; Vanier had repeatedly denied that he knew of Philippe’s abuses, but the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which promotes Church doctrine, directed that Vanier be informed of Philippe’s sanctioning in 1956.
But broader questions about how abuse can be institutionally fostered has been a painful source of reckoning within many Catholic organizations in light of ongoing investigations into sexual abuse by priests.
Thinking of those who had the courage to disclose, all those who have been part of the L’Arche community and all those who have been betrayed. But we need to learn what it is that produces and protects such abusers within the Christian church— Bishopviv (@Bishopviv1) February 22, 2020