Sunday, February 23, 2020

On the not so Blessed Weakness of Jean Vanier

If you're not part of the Catholic blogosphere, or don't follow things that affect Special Needs news, you man not know about the summary report from L'Arche concerning its founder, Jean Vanier. He created communities known as L'Arche, in which people who have special needs, live in community.   I've read his book, A Blessed Weakness, and interviewed Marie-Helene Matthieu, who worked with him, and later created an organization, "Faith and Light" which organizes pilgrimages for families that require special assistance. 

So this scandal hit me on a personal and professional level. I'm a former Special Educator, and a mom to a kid who has special needs. I want places like L'Arche to be everywhere, so that my son and other kids like my son, will have a place they can call home if they one day need to call a place home that isn't with us.   When founders (and both Vanier and Fr. Phillipe were found guilty of misconduct with women who worked with them) are found to have looked the other way at each other's abuses of power, one has to wonder, what else might have been not scrutinized for the sake of worldly success? 
I do not want such places destroyed by the sins of some, but I do not want sins cloaked over either.  Ergo, I do not know what one can do except pray and continue to examine closely what was done when.   As a result, I wrote a piece in the moment, after reading the report.  The Register picked it up, and I feel nothing but sad.   Pray for all the souls affected, and that none who lived in the community were spiritually or physically or emotionally injured by anyone, so that the good created can continue.  Here's the link. 

It is a Ponderous Chain.

P.S. Attention world! I would like to stop being able to use scandal as a hashtag. Thank you.

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