Monday, March 11, 2019

Statement by Prior of Johannes Brothers About Sex Abuse

We understand that victims are still angry at our community - the Johannes Community has published a recent statement on the allegations of abuse against the founder of the community, Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe

Vienna-Paris ( documents the statement:

Following a shocking testimony of an abuse victim of Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe over the last few days, the Brothers of St. John set great store by asking forgiveness from all the victims.

The Brothers of St. John denounce any incident of sexual abuse and abuse of power and reaffirm their commitment to communing with Pope Francis in the fight against abuse. They are aware that their approximately 45-year religious history is painfully shaped by their founder's sexual abuse cases - which was unveiled on the Prior General’s own 2013 initiative - and by confreres, as well as by mistakes made in dealing with sexual abuse cases, in particular by a lack of awareness of the victims' suffering and lack of training and inadequate procedures in dealing with such cases.

Mistakes that have happened in the past would not be possible today and have been for several years. Each reported incident will be handled according to state and ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

We understand that the victims of our community can still be angry. In a letter to all the brothers on the 20th of February [1] this year, Father General Thomas Joachim, General Prior, wrote about the painful issue of abuse: "I want to take this opportunity to ask forgiveness from those victims who have not been sufficiently heard and / or accompanied (...). I would like to apologize to the victims of our founder and some of our confreres.”

The governing body of the Brothers of St. John has for years, with courage and determination, taken important steps to prevent the errors and mistakes of the past from being repeated. In a letter from the Vatican dated 18 February 2019 to the General Prior of the Brothers, "[the Dicastery] recognizes the measures taken and encourages all the brothers and sisters of St. John to continue on this path in humility and with courage, trust and determination.”

The General Prior stated in his letter of 20 February 2019 to the brothers: "In order to fight against the manifold abuse and the internal climate that made this possible, we had to implement measures in at least four areas. They concern: 1) the education of the brothers 2) a facility for immediate hearing of victims 3) a facility to handle reported incidents seriously and promptly 4) measures to assist victims of abuse and provide real assistance.” In fact, numerous measure have been implemented for several years; At the same time, these included: the distinction of vocation, the basic and secondary education of the brothers in affective and sexual matters, the prevention of pedophilia, spiritual guidance, procedures for dealing with allegations or testimonies against a brother, and in particular the establishment of an Abuse Commission in 2015, which also includes two lay people - including a psychologist - which includes full cooperation with Rome and the state authorities. For all this, we call on the support of external experts.

We would like to remind you that any (affected) person can contact the Abuse Commission directly by sending an e-mail to or by contacting the complaints office of the French Episcopal Conference at:

Our commitment to correcting mistakes is also motivated by the desire that we will not overlook all the good that is done in the 50 or so priests of the brothers of St. John on all 5 continents, and that the life of the great majority of the brothers, dedicated to the service of God and man, continues to be a sign of hope in this world.

In the following words, the General Prior concluded the letter of February 20 to his brothers: "Thanks to the power of the Johannine charism we have received, thanks to our brotherhood, which amazed me most recently during our last Vicariate meeting, in the face of all the trials we have I am convinced that, in his letter of June 2016, Cardinal Braz de Aviz [Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life] rightly said to us, "That young people in your family of St. John can be called to spiritual life, is a good for them and the Church. "The joint work begun will certainly bear fruit for our community in the medium term, even if we have to sow in tears.

Trans: Tancred


Robert F Scott said...

No mention of the word sin. Instead, there were "mistakes". Lord, please come again soon, I beg you.

Anonymous said...

Roman Catholics have embraced what and who they deserve.
Jorge Borgoglio is the punishment sent by God Almighty because the Faithless Rome.
This is what you get when you preach absolute authority......absolute corruption.
Now tell me, aside from praying the Rosary and pleading to the Mother of God,
who can the laity appeal to to affect change?
To eliminate all the perverted homosexual priests the heterodox Bishops and Cardinals or the communist Pope?

AMalek said...

Maybe the Brothers are telling the truth, maybe they aren’t. If these religious and prelates start to go to jail, I will believe that real change is coming, otherwise, more promises...

Tancred said...

Their prinary concern isn’t going to Hell, it’s avoiding court.