Of course, that was the problem all along

Of course, that was the problem all along

A friend sends this thought along:

How do we put an end to sexual abuse in the Church?  Well, let’s look at what the U.S. bishops recommend in their 1995 classic, “Walk in the Light: A Pastoral Response to Child Sexual Abuse”:

    Some practical suggestions for developing simple action plans at the local level:

    For parishes (many of these suggestions can be adapted for use by dioceses)

    * Create an atmosphere of welcome, trust, and safety in your parish that encourages people to come forward: the abused, abusers, and all those affected by abuse, such as mothers who suspect that a friend or family member is abusing their child, as well as family members who may be in a position to offer support and security to the abused person.

    *Establish a procedure to respond when someone approaches a staff member about sexual abuse. Have available a list of referral agencies and resources to give to people who request help. Become familiar with state reporting requirements as well as diocesan policies concerning sexual abuse.

    *Develop a network of people with expertise in dealing with sexual abuse. Regularly publish a contact’s name and phone number in your Sunday bulletin.

…and so on.  But most incisive of all is their final recommendation:

    *Promote the use of language in parish programs and materials that reflects the equal dignity of women.

Obvious once you think about it.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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