In light of the report which was released on January 30th, 2023, by the L’Arche community, we are deeply saddened and distressed to learn the full extent of Vanier’s abuse of women over many years, and his use of the L’Arche community to cover this. We would point you to the open letter from the leaders of L’Arche International, Stephan Posner and Stacy Cates-Carney.
We reiterate an earlier statement (Feb 2020) that we stand with the current leaders of the L’Arche community, fully and unreservedly, in condemning Vanier’s actions. We honour and praise the courage of the women who dared to come forward to speak truth. Our hearts reach out to them and anyone who is affected by the conclusions of the independent commission’s in-depth and lengthy research. We commend the diligence of the international leaders of L’Arche to request a multidisciplinary commission. This wisdom informs our own resolve to create and maintain safe spaces for people within and on the edge of the Northumbria Community.
We affirm our positive and supportive relationship with L’Arche and the many small communities and individuals we know who enrich lives in the name of Christ. We pray for them as the impact of this news unfolds. We note that the two international leaders themselves say, “What justifies L’Arche is not its founder, but the life of its members, with and without disabilities, at the service of a more human society. This task of re-reading our past, will help us remain faithful to this commitment.”
In the past, Vanier’s writing has informed some of our Community’s teaching and writing. We will, therefore, review the findings of this report and consider how Vanier’s writing is to be framed within the Northumbria Community’s story going forward.
Here is a link to our own Safeguarding Policy and procedures.