SUMMER IN THE FOREST invites us to abandon the rat race and forge new friendships. Amid the ancient trees, Philippe, Patrick, Jean and the others welcome us into their lives. If there are rules to break, they will be broken and if there is a truth to be told, they will tell it. Michel reveals his war torn past, Andre is desperate for a date, and young David will prove himself a hero in the fight against the forces of evil.
Now in hindsight those lines there are rules to break, they will be broken and if there is a truth to be told, they will tell have become ominous as the truth of Jean Vanier's life unravels.
Across our L'Arche communities,among our supporters and in the world that longs for heroes a trust has been betrayed, a lie has been exposed and a myth has vanished.As we struggle to understand the depth of this deception by a religious leader we now find ourselves caught in the Winter in the Forest.
I offer these outlines of the revelations that have been made public as well as a selection of responses and music that I am finding helpful in these dark days.
Summary Report - February 2020
Inquiry and historical timeline
Letter from International Leader – June 2019
Letter from International Leader – July 2019
There is no illegality in any of this; no preying on youth or on the disabled; no calls for compensation. Just a sad but determined effort to cleanse the waters of perception, listen with compassion to the victims, look at the origins of L’Arche in in an unblinkered manner, begin the tasks of healing and of telling the truth. Lies and deception, subterfuge and evasion, have compromised the integrity of the mission of L’Arche. But the international body responsible for the inquiry is committed—with a subdued and eloquent dignity, in my opinion—to recovering its purpose and ensuring its survival by demystifying its origins, holding accountable the spiritual father and spiritual son, and redressing the evils committed.
When Our Heroes Fail Us Chuck DeGroat
I can forgive Eve, the Twelve, Merton and sins of weakness, but I am not ready to forgive Abraham, David, Theodore McCarrick, Vanier, Harvey Weinstein and others who abused their power to prey on the vulnerable. I will leave their forgiveness to God.
Granted that we have been struggling to survive ever since we crawled out of the muck, evil does not surprise me. I am surprised by the problem of good. Why is there good in the world?