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Chilliwack priest abuse alleged in lawsuit against Vancouver archbishop

Christopher Mark Wanner alleges Father Duncan Goguillot sexually abused him between 1972 and 1976 while at Chilliwack’s Saint Mary's School.
A man alleges a Catholic priest sexually abused him while he was a Chilliwack student.

A man who attended a Chilliwack Catholic school is suing the Vancouver archdiocese for alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.

In a B.C. Supreme Court notice of civil claim, Christopher Mark Wanner alleges Father Duncan Goguillot sexually abused him between 1972 and 1976 while at Chilliwack’s Saint Mary’s School and part of the church’s congregation.

"The plaintiff alleges that the aforementioned acts occurred on a repeated basis, increasing in frequency, nature and intensity as time progressed," the claims said.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver is named as the defendant.

The claims alleges Goguillot used his authority position as a priest and coach to develop a close personal relationship with the plaintiff when he was young, vulnerable and in need of guidance.

The claim further said the archbishop had a duty to Wanner to protect him from sexual wrongdoing.

“The defendant created the risk of sexual assault that led to and allowed Goguillot to sexually assault the plaintiff,” said the claim, filed by lawyer Christopher McDougall.

The claim said the archbishop failed to investigate Goguillot’s background thoroughly prior to offering him a position. Court documents further allege the archbishop failed to have an abuse reporting system and fostered a system in which reporting could result in retaliation.

“They implemented and maintained a system which was designed to cover up the existence of such behaviour, if such behaviours were ever reported,” the claim said.

Wanner alleges the asserted abuse led to physical pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, humiliation, addiction, depression, anxiety, psychological injuries, sexual dysfunction, distrust, inability to maintain relationships and loss of enjoyment of life.

Wanner is seeking general, special, aggravated and punitive damages.

Priest named by archdiocese

The archdiocese's website names Goguillot as being the subject of other abuse allegations.

“In March of 2020, a letter alleging abuse by Fr. Goguillot was received,” the site said. “In March of 2021, a lawsuit detailing the allegations was filed. The reporting person was an 11–13-year-old boy at the time.”

The site said Goguillot also served at Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver; St. Patrick’s, Vancouver; St. Andrew’s, Vancouver; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Surrey; and Immaculate Conception, Delta.

Goguillot died in 2018.

In a statement to Glacier Media, the Archdiocese of Vancouver said it could not comment on the case as it is now before the courts.

"The Archdiocese of Vancouver would like to express deep sympathy for all victims of sexual abuse," read the statement. "We hope the attendant publicity will help give any other victims/survivors the confidence to come forward and get the help they deserve."

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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