Update on allegations of historic abuse

Posted 2023-03-21

L'Arche is committed to receive, act on and learn from any new information that comes to light, so that L'Arche today is as safe and healthy as possible.

The January 2023 Study Commission Report urged L'Arche to remain vigilant. Hence, we welcome any new information that comes to light related to potential abuse. We understand that the Commission Report may help people who have suffered abuse in the past, or have information about it, to speak out. We are open to the possibility that abuse may be reported beyond what is in the scope of the Commission Report, and that this might involve people with disabilities.

L'Arche offers two primary ways for people who have information to share it with us:

  • For recent and current information or concerns about abuse, we encourage people to use the international email or use the form on the L'Arche Canada website: Reporting a concern or making a complaint.
  • For testimonies about historic situations—whether directly related to the facts described in the Study Commission report or not—a new unit is being set up by L'Arche International, made up of people outside L'Arche or that do not have an operational responsibility within L'Arche. Testimonies will be received in strict compliance with the rules of confidentiality. We will provide more details of how to contact this unit as soon as they are available.

Since the publication of the Study Commission Report, press reports have emerged in France of an allegation that a man with disabilities suffered a sexual assault in the early days of L'Arche there. Evidence of this allegation was received by L'Arche in 2019 and was passed to the Study Commission, reporting action taken by L'Arche in the 1980s against an assistant with a family relationship to Thomas Philippe. Since the Commission found no evidence that this incident was part of the pattern of abuse involving the sectarian group around Thomas Philippe and Jean Vanier, they chose not to include it in their Report, and concluded they had found no evidence of such abuse involving people with intellectual disabilities. This evidence of the allegation was also passed on to the French police.

L'Arche is committed to receive, act on and learn from any new information that comes to light, so that L'Arche today is as safe and healthy as possible.


Louis Pilotte
Executive Director

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