June 22, 2016
Saints John Fisher and Thomas More
Dear Friends in Christ,
“Jesus, however, called the children to himself and said, ‘Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’ ” Luke 18:16
As recent painful experience within the Church has taught us, there is no more serious barrier to young people coming to a saving knowledge and love of Jesus Christ than their physical or sexual abuse within the Church. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is firmly committed to preventing the sexual, physical, or emotional abuse of children and in healing any who have been abused. As priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, we take as our solemn duty the thoughtful and active protection of our children, youth and at-risk adults within our parishes, parochial communities and schools. Creating a Safe Environment for our children is a an absolute priority for all of us.
Though the Ordinariate has had a Safe Environment Program, in one form or another, in place since 2012, I take this opportunity to reiterate and promulgate as official policy our current Safe Environment policy and program. I am most grateful to my predecessor, Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, for the pastoral priority he set for child protection from the very beginning of the Ordinariate.
The Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter will comply fully with the requirements as promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms derived from the Charter. The Essential Norms, having received the recognition of the Holy See, are particular law in all the dioceses of the United States.
The policies are designed to direct the administration and implementation of our Safe Environment Program in all parishes, parochial communities, communities in formation, schools, agencies and programs of the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. More specifically, the Ordinariate Safe Environment Program consists of the following components:
Finally, we will continue to evaluate and improve all aspects of our Safe Environment Program. Thank you for your conscientious cooperation in this important area of our life in common. The safety of our children is never a distraction from our mission but foundational to bearing witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Steven J. Lopes
Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
In the United States
|Lynn Schmidt||Rebecca Hill|
|Safe Environment Coordinator||Victim Assistance Coordinator|
|P.O. Box 55206||281-507-4142|
|Houston, TX 77255||VAC@ordinariate.net|
|Catalina Brand||VeraLucia Cottim-Coughlan|
|Safe Environment Assistant – United States||Officer for Child and Youth Protection - Canada|
|email@example.com||Click to email VeraLucia Cottim-Coughlan|