Priest Who Sexually Abused Nunavut Children Dead

IQALUIT - A Roman Catholic priest who sexually abusing dozens of children while working in Nunavut has died in France, according to the Canadian Oblates.

93-year-old Johannes Rivoire (see the photo) died on Thursday "after a long illness," according to Ken Thorson, head of OMI Lacombe Canada.

Rivoire, an Oblate priest who fled to France to avoid prosecution, has long denied allegations he sexually abused children in Nunavut in the 1960s and 1970s. He spent more than 30 years working as a priest in the territory, mostly in Arviat and Naujaat. He was facing one charge of sexually abusing a girl in Nunavut when he died. His other charges were stayed in 2017 after the Crown decided there was no prospect of conviction.

"We recognize that this news will be difficult for many to receive, especially for the survivors and their families who advocated for him to face justice in Canada," Thorson wrote. "We sincerely regret that despite all their efforts, Rivoire never made himself available and will never face the charges that were laid against him. We further regret that efforts for him to be formally removed as a priest were unsuccessful," Thorson added.

Last month, retired Quebec Superior Court judge Andre Denis, in a report commissioned by the Canadian Oblates, said he believes allegations made against Rivoire of sexually abusing children in the territory are true.

Lieve Halsberghe, a Belgian human rights activist who has been working with Rivoire's victims, said she doesn't think it's common for priests accused of such crimes to ever face justice. "It's very, very rare because the Catholic Church protects them," she said. "Now they think the whole issue can be buried with Rivoire," she added.
- 0 -
Click Here to Close This Window
Copyright© 2024 MacIntosh Technical