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Independent report concludes that priest Johannes Rivoire hid his passed to his superiors

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Johannes Rivoire arrived in Nunavut in the 1960s and left in France in 1993.

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An independent report aimed at shedding light on the circumstances surrounding the departure of French priest Johannes Rivoire from the country, accused of sex crimes against Inuit children, concludes that “the Nunavut ecclesiastical authorities neither concealed nor organized the 1993 flight of Johannes Rivoire from Canada to France. »

The independent investigation was entrusted by the congregations of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) Lacombe Canada and the Oblates of the Province of France to retired judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, André Denis.

I went to Marseille, Lyon, Ottawa, Winnipeg, to the Heritage Center of the Saint-Boniface Historical Society, to Nunavut and to Montreal where I consulted all the archives that I needed, writes the latter, in the preamble to his report.

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André Denis, retired judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, was mandated to complete the report on Johannes Rivoire.

Following his investigation, the retired judge concludes that Johannes Rivoire committed the sexual assaults on five minor children in Naujaat, Nunavut, between the years 1968 and 1970 and on a minor child in Arviat and Whale Cove between 1974 and 1979, of which he is accused.

I acted, throughout my work, as a judge acts in court. I relied on precise, serious and consistent facts to arrive at conclusions based on testimonies and documents which had a satisfactory degree of proof, writes André Denis.

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He adds that he did not, however, replace the decision of a judge or a jury who would have to rule on the innocence or guilt of Johannes Rivoire at the during a criminal trial.

In an interview with the priest, now 92, he again denies the allegations and says he has never molested a child, even suggesting that the people accusing him may want to extract money to the Oblates given the current situation of sexual abuse.

I do not believe the version of the facts that he gave me during our spring 2023 meeting in Lyon, France, however maintains André Denis, adding that Johannes Rivoire hid his criminal past in Canada from his Oblate superiors in France .

In his report, retired judge André Denis suggests to the Superior General of the Oblates in Rome to review his decision and allow the exclusion of Johannes Rivoire of the Oblate community of France.

He emphasizes, however, that this measure would be symbolic since Johannes Rivoire would nevertheless be authorized to continue living at the Maison des Oblates in Lyon.

In a joint declaration, the congregations of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) Lacombe Canada and the Oblates of the Province of France presented an apology to anyone who suffered harm from an Oblate missionary. They also apologize for not acting sooner.

It is with a heavy heart that we accept the conclusions of the report.

A quote from OMI Lacombe Canada congregations and the Oblates of the Province of France< /blockquote>

They acknowledge, however, that due to his declining health and advanced cancer treatments, he may never be officially discharged from the clerical state or will never be the subject of a trial.

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