The associations co-founded by Father Raymond Jaccard, Un PAS avec les Frères Jaccard and Les Frères Jaccard en Visitation, announced on Monday March 27 that they were filing a complaint for defamation against Mgr Jean-Luc Bouilleret, Archbishop of Besançon (Doubs) .
Call for testimonials
These two associations believe that the call for testimonies launched by the diocese about Raymond Jaccard, the eldest of the brothers, presented as the alleged perpetrator of “sexual abuse”, undermines the Jaccard name.
“The existence of these associations is threatened following the initiative of the prelate from Besançon”, write in a press release their lawyers, including Maître André Soulier, at the bar of Lyon. “These associations are known on all continents, in particular for their fight, for several decades, against leprosy”, they explain.
These two Doubs priests devoted themselves to the service of lepers, then of children suffering from poliomyelitis, before working in refugee camps, having invented a type of prosthesis, called “Jaccard”. Contacted by La Croix, the diocese confirmed the complaint without providing further details and reserving the possibility of reacting soon.
The diocese of Besançon has launched an appeal to find “possible victims” of this former missionary in Cameroon and South America. The priest, who ended his life at the monastery of Notre-Dame-de-l’Unité des Soeurs de Bethléem, in Pugny-Chatenod (Savoie), died on August 20, 2021 at the age of 89.
Distinguish between suspicions and works
A year earlier, “in April 2020, the diocese of Besançon received oral and written information implicating Father Raymond Jaccard for sexual and spiritual abuse of adults”, wrote the diocese in a statement sent to the press on December 29, without giving more information on the nature of the incriminating facts or on the number or nationality of the people who contacted the Church of Doubs.
According to the same press release, Bishop Bouilleret made a report to the public prosecutor of Chambéry on May 5, 2020. Raymond Jaccard has always contested these accusations, “including before the courts”, specified, in a press release published on January 5, the association Un PAS with the Jaccard Brothers.
His death automatically put an end to the preliminary investigation opened by the prosecution. “However, in the state of the investigation, the facts denounced have been corroborated by numerous testimonies”, affirms the diocese, which “intends to show total availability to hear other possible victims of sexual abuse or Spirituals of Father Raymond Jaccard”. The diocese called nevertheless to “distinguish” the suspicions weighing on the abbot “from the works of the Jaccard brothers”.
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