Safe Environment Program
The Gospels of Mark and Luke include the story where Jesus reprimands his disciples for not allowing little children to come to Him. Jesus asserts that His Father's Kingdom belongs to little children.
Our Lord was emphasizing the openness, trust, and sheer wide-eyed wonder with which children approach life. He wanted his followers to contemplate the possibilities of God's Kingdom for them with the same childlike wonder.
It is extremely sad, therefore, to contemplate the terrible effects that the crime of child sexual abuse has on children and young people and their families, and sadder still to consider that this has occurred within our Church.
The mission of the diocese's "Safe Environment Program" is to insure the safety of children and young people who have been entrusted to our care in our parishes, schools, religious education classes, and other programs.
We pursue this mission in four ways:
- By thoroughly screening and supervising all Church ministers, employees and volunteers who work with children and young people as part of their ministry.
- By providing appropriate training in recognizing and reporting child abuse.
- By holding all Church ministers, employees and volunteers who work with children and young people to Christ-centered and professional codes of conduct.
- By providing the opportunity for every minor in Catholic schools and parish faith formation programs to participate annually in a safety training covering the topics of sexual abuse prevention and the need to tell if abuse is occurring.