Montreal archdiocese names independent ombudswoman to investigate abuse complaints – Montreal

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The Montreal archdiocese has named its first independent ombudswoman to handle complaints regarding abuse and other inappropriate behaviour connected to the church.

Montreal lawyer Marie Christine Kirouack has been named to the newly created post, which is one of the key recommendations in a report tabled last November on improving accountability in the diocese.

Kirouack, who is not affiliated with the church, is mandated to receive all allegations of abuse and other inappropriate behaviour and to ensure those complaints are followed up.

READ MORE: Montreal’s archdiocese missed red flags in handling of priest’s abuse, review finds

Complaints will be referred to a new advisory committee composed of five lay members — four experts in various fields and one survivor of abuse — who will determine next steps.

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Last November, former Superior Court justice Pepita G. Capriolo issued a report harshly criticizing how the archdiocese handled the case of ex-priest Brian Boucher, sentenced to eight years in prison in 2019 for sexually assaulting two minors.

Archbishop Christian Lepine told reporters today more than half of the report’s 31 recommendations have been implemented, adding that the rest are expected to be put into force by the end of 2021.

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