News has emerged that Montreal Catholic priests are not going to be allowed to spend time alone with children. 'Recent events have brought to light the horrific reality of abuse of minors and vulnerable persons by members of the Church,' Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lépine said in a Wednesday letter.
'These intolerable situations have shocked and shaken the Universal Church as well as the entire population to whom we wish to proclaim the Good News of Christ.' the Canadian Press reported.
He continued: 'It is our duty to ensure the well-being and security of all the people to whom we offer pastoral care and to ensure a healthy and safe environment that is free of doubt for all who work within our churches, whether priests or lay people.'
According to Lépine, 'This pilot phase is scheduled to begin during the 2016-2017 pastoral year and will involve French and English speaking parishes, those from the cultural communities, as well as the diocesan offices and services.'
Canon François Sarrazin told the Canadian Press: 'Imagine if you are alone in a room and a child accuses you of hitting them, how will you react?
'Whether it's true or not, you need a witness. Not being in the room alone with someone who is vulnerable is simply being prudent.'
'Anyone else in the orbit of the diocese' is subject to the policy, he told the newspaper.