WILLIAM JOLLIFFE writes from Oxford — Thank you for sharing the faith. I trust it’s alright to ask you to pray for my late godfather Jean Vanier.
I think my faith came (largely) through him, and I never saw his abusive side. Of course my family and I are shocked and disappointed by his abuse of adult, non-disabled women. Presumably people can get carried away by their own reputation and influence; evidently Pere Thomas Philippe was a very bad example, being Jean V’s spiritual guide. Let us remember we are all combinations of light and darkness, love and sin. Sinful as some of Jean Vanier’s acts were, his message of meeting Christ through the disabled remains true for all time.
You may know of Saint John of the Cross, the Spanish mystic of the 16th century and a Doctor of the church (his writings are of permanent teaching value for Catholics). You may find him helpful, to place the mystery of Jean Vanier’s best and worst qualities within the mystery John, and Mother Teresa, found by decades of perseverance in pursuit of Christ. The paradox of Jean V’s abuse can ultimately only be answered by the mystery of God’s love – on the cross, dying and rising for us.
Please may I ask you to pray for Jean Vanier to be forgiven, and for his victims to be healed ?
Thank you very much.
Praise be for the Mother of God.