Priests in the Archdiocese of Vancouver will undergo regular performance reviews starting this year, the archdiocese announced in its latest update on sexual abuse by priests.
The Archdiocese released its latest sexual abuse report on June 30. It’s the latest in a series of updates since 2019, when it first released a 12-page report with 31 recommendations. An implementation working group is working on developing solutions for the recommendations.
Recommendation 15 of the 2019 report stated that “all clerics – whether incardinated in the archdiocese or in ministry in the archdiocese – should undergo an annual and formal performance appraisal process, similar to the process that the permanent deacons are currently undertaking”. The examination should be carried out “by a group of people, including lay men and women”.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller had pledged to have “an appropriate formal performance process” in place by the fourth quarter of 2020, but the work of the implementation group has been delayed by the COVID pandemic.
The most recent report from December indicated that a task force made up of people experienced in pastoral work, business and human resources was being formed to implement the annual performance appraisal system for priests in the ministry. archdiocese with initial pastors due to go through the process in 2022.
In other updates, Father Bryan Duggan, a Vancouver priest with a doctorate in clinical psychology, creates a team of local clergymen and designs a program to help priests become more trauma-informed to to be a support for victims/survivors who seek the involvement of priests. .
The announcement followed Recommendation 18, which stated, “A select group of trauma-informed clergymen should be selected to hear from survivors and be of support if survivors need or want it. Clerics should also be trained in self-awareness to recognize if at any time they are not the right person for the role.
The latest report also includes the name of a priest who has been the subject of sexual abuse allegations.
Father Placidus Sander, a monk at Christ the King Seminary in Mission, was allegedly involved in 1987 in homosexual activity with high school seminarians. He was removed from his position as vice-rector.
In 1993, three men said he had sexually abused them while they were underage seminary students. He was acquitted by the court but admitted to having sex once with “an older seminarian” and kissing a student twice.
A civil suit regarding the 1993 charges was recently filed, but Father Sander died last October.
In its report, the archdiocese said it was releasing the allegations “at this time because the criminal proceedings have been completed and the plaintiff(s) with civil actions have requested such release.”
The archdiocese said it had been previously advised, “including by law enforcement officials, not to release any information during the legal process.”
The archdiocese also said that, to increase transparency, it will contribute to Sylvia’s site, a victim/survivor-run website that has published reports of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Canada since 2006.
The report can be viewed on page 6 of this week’s issue and online at https://rcav.org/abuse-crisis/report-abuse.