From the earliest days of the crisis, we have understood the paramount importance of assuring the protection of children and ensuring that the sexual abuse crisis is never repeated. As the Holy Father stated during his first visit to the United States in April 2008, “It is vitally important that the vulnerable always be shielded from those who would cause harm.” We must be ever vigilant for the protection of children in order to keep safe our most vulnerable and restore the confidence of the faithful in the Church and its institutions. While progress has been made on many fronts, we continue to work diligently to ensure that our protection and prevention efforts are strengthened and that the healing process is fostered.
The Office of Child Advocacy, Implementation and Oversight is responsible for the implementation of all policies and procedures that the Cardinal promulgates in the archdiocese for the protection of children and prevention of their abuse.
The pillars will be adult education and training in the parishes and schools, a standard personal safety curriculum for our children.
By educating the children about appropriate and inappropriate contact with adults, and helping them to develop the skills to communicate with parents and caretakers, by building adult awareness of signs and symptoms that a child is being abused, knowledge of how to talk with children and the responsibilities and mechanics of mandated reporting, and capable child abuse prevention teams in the parishes and schools, we can help to ensure the creation of safe environments for our children and their protection from inappropriate contact with adults.