|Jean Vanier and his spiritual director, Pere Thomas Philippe. France, 1964.|
More news has come to light regarding the abuse allegations against the "living saint" Jean Vanier and their connection with his mentor, Thomas Philippe. He may be recently dead, and I want nothing more than to show a modicum of respect to him, but the new revelations are indefensible.
Does a "living saint" lead women into sexual encounters while clothing his actions with pious words and basically justifying unjustifiable actions, just like his mentor, Thomas Philippe, did?
Does a "living saint" tell a vulnerable woman that "This is not us. This is Mary and Jesus. You are chosen, this is special, this is secret."
Does a "living saint" keep a relationship with a man who he knows has questionable sexual tendencies after receiving circumspect advice like this from Philippe?
For XX be very careful. You can sometimes pray with her, if it is very prudent; but externally the minimum, no more than St John at the Last Supper and in a rather discreet way. I feel that the Blessed Virgin asks us to be very careful about this point. Rely on obedience. Even if XX […] and you are very much in a hurry internally, you must remain below this limit rather than go beyond it… Mary may want to test your obedience.Not a "living saint," that's who. More like someone who used the Catholic Faith to commit horrendous crimes - that is what they are - in the Name of Our Lord.
We seem to have a few of those men around these days - in Canada and elsewhere.
The quotations below - as the one above - come from the released summary of the internal L'Arche investigation:
Despite being categorically banned from doing so, Thomas Philippe continued to run l’Eau Vive clandestinely throughout the investigation period. The dozens of letters he sent to Jean Vanier during this period show that he advised and guided him in all the steps to be taken. Braving the ban (which he could not ignore as he later said), Jean Vanier met him many times during this period.
The Dominican archives contain the statements of the two victims of Father Thomas Philippe who sounded the alarm. It describes the behavior of Father Thomas Philippe but also his justification for his behavior:
Then he began theories, to try to convince me, […]: the lost woman of Hosea, the sacrifice of Abraham, the glorious mysteries, the transcendence of the prophetic mission (of his mission) regarding the norms of morality. He asked me, most insistently, to bind myself to him by an act of absolute faith in this mission and in himself. I replied that I could only make an act of faith in God alone, and trust in creatures only insofar as they were God’s instrument for me […]. He explained to me that it was not for me to make this discrimination, that he was an instrument of God, and therefore at present and directly moved by God […].
He said that I lacked strength, that I had to get used to it gradually, that all this was a great honour to Our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin, because the sexual organs were the symbol of the greatest love, much more than the Sacred Heart -. And I said, “but that’s blasphemy! “Then he took up his theories again, saying that when one arrives at perfect love, everything is lawful, for there is no more sin.Let this be a lesson to all of us - be very wary of those proclaimed as a "living saint" by the Catholic establishment while they are alive.