Share This Post


New Report Analyzes Origins and Phenomena Behind Abuse in France’s St. John Community…

“Many people around couldn’t imagine what was going on, myself included, even though I’d been a prison chaplain for a long time and thought I’d seen and heard everything,” he said. 

For Leyds, the novelty brought out by this report is the phenomenon of psychological control, made possible by intrusion into a person’s spiritual and contemplative life.  

“The abuse scandals of recent years have mainly concerned, in most cases, clergymen who used their positions of authority to physically abuse minor boys. Now we’re becoming aware of the existence of mystical kind of abuse, which comes on top of physical abuse, and consists [of] a perversion, a confiscation of the intimate link with God.” 

Disconnection from institutional Church

More in Europe

Another central element of the commission’s analysis is the profoundly problematic approach Philippe and others in the community took toward the way they lived out leadership and community life.

In an interview with the KTO TV channel following the publication of the report, Brother Jean-Yves, the community’s communications manager, referred to a “very vertical and compartmentalized system, which has favored silence,” and a certain disconnect with the institutional Church, including the local bishops.

“It was this self-referentiality of Marie-Dominique Philippe, who constantly bypassed the institution, that allowed such a system to develop,” he said, adding that collective awareness within the community came about above all through the regulation of this institutional link.

“The more frank the dialogue and the link with the Church authorities, the more we free ourselves from this hold of Philippe.”

“I am grateful to this commission for this work of clarification and objectivity, which is painful but more than necessary, because our responsibility must be public,” Leyds said.

“It is now up to us, Brothers of St. John, to make sense of these wounds, as well as our presence in this community, and try to understand God’s will for us.

“We will continue to make progress in the right direction as long as we remain anchored in faith, hope, and charity, in the light of the risen Christ.”

(Story continues below)

At their General Chapter in 2022, the brothers, along with the female branches of the St. John Family, made the decision to no longer observe the rule of life written by Philippe and approved a new declaration that will henceforth serve as a reference for the brothers in organizing their religious and community life.

Services MarketplaceListings, Bookings & Reviews

Entertainment blogs & Forums

Share This Post

Leave a Reply