How Jean Vanier went from a ‘living saint’ to a sexual abuser
Jean Vanier was the founder of L’Arche, a network of intentional communities where people with and without disabilities live alongside one another in mutual friendship. While he was considered a “living saint” up until his death in 2019, allegations that he had sexually abused six adult, nondisabled women sent shockwaves throughout the L’Arche Community. And more recently, a nearly 900-page report was released last Monday shed more light on the scope of the abuse.
Jenna Barnett has been following this story since it broke. She is the host of the new podcast “Lead Us Not” from Sojourners. We talk to Jenna about Vanier and how L’Arche is responding, as well as larger questions about how we hold in tension the good works created by deeply flawed, charismatic founders.
During Signs of the Times, we talk about the developing situation between the church and the government in Nicaragua, where four priests were sentenced to 10 years in prison, as well as Notre Dame’s new food delivery robots. (After we recorded, news broke that the four priests were part of a group of 222 political prisoners who were deported from Nicaragua and will take refuge in the United States.)
Links from the show:
- Listen to “Lead Us Not”
- New report finds evidence Jean Vanier founded L’Arche to reunite a religious sect with ‘mystical-sexual’ practices
- Explainer: The Catholic Church’s fraught relationship with the Nicaraguan government
- Robot food delivery launches at the University of Notre Dame
- Remembering Rachel Held Evans
What’s on tap? Champagne for Zac’s 30th