Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Ave Maria University vote unanimously to revoke honorary degree awarded to Jean Vanier

Office of the President

February 27, 2020

To: Ave Maria University Community

From: Office of Christopher P. Ice

Re: Jean Vanier, Honorary Doctorate Revocation

For Immediate Release:

On February 22nd, 2020, the leaders of L”Arche International sent a letter to the Federation of L’Arche Communities publishing the findings of an Inquiry that had been commissioned from an independent organization. The published results include testimony implicating the organization’s founder, Jean Vanier initiated sexual relations with them, usually in the context of spiritual accompaniment. Although they had no prior knowledge of each other’s experiences, these women reported similar facts associated with highly unusual spiritual or mystical explanations used to justify these behaviors. The relationships were found to be manipulative and emotionally abusive, and had a significant negative impact on their personal lives and subsequent relationships. These actions are indicative of a deep psychological and spiritual hold Jean Vanier had on these women and confirm his own adoption of some of Father Thomas Philippe’s deviant theories and practices.”

In light of these tragic and disappointing findings, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Ave Maria University has voted unanimously to revoke the honorary degree awarded to Vanier in 2017 prior to his death. The University expresses its deepest sympathies to all of the victims and assures them of its prayers. This is the first degree revoked by Ave Maria University.

Please direct all media inquiries to Bryant Morin at Bryant.Morin@avemaria.edu

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