L’Arche Portland condemns the actions and inactions of Jean Vanier, which are in complete violation of the principles that L’Arche Portland represents today. The findings that were made public cause us great disappointment and grief.
L’Arche Portland is eternally grateful for the courage of the survivors who gave their testimony. While respecting their privacy, we validate the pain that these women endured for many years, and the long-lasting and negative impact that Vanier had on their personal lives and subsequent relationships.
The investigation has not found any evidence that Father Thomas or Jean Vanier engaged in sexual relationships with people with intellectual disabilities. Please know that L’Arche Portland takes all incidents of abuse, misconduct, and neglect extremely seriously and has established systems and policies to address and prevent such incidents. Given the gravity of the findings, L’Arche Portland will continue to evaluate how it safeguards all people who participate in its homes, community, and programs.
Today, L’Arche Portland is focused on the impact this news will have on the people who live in and support its homes, staff, volunteers, friends, community members, and partners. L’Arche USA is prepared to respond to all questions regarding the contents of the report.
To further support individuals in processing this news, L’Arche Portland encourages local survivors to contact the Oregon Sexual Assault Task Force (503.990.6541) which can refer survivors and those trying to support them to appropriate local organizations and agencies in their communities. If you witness or experience misconduct in any L’Arche setting, L’Arche USA has also established a safeguarding initiative on its website where you can anonymously file a report.