The actual USCCB memo

The actual USCCB memo

I got hold of a copy of the memo from Teresa Kettelcamp, the director of the USCCB Office for Child and Youth Protection, to all bishops. Here it is in full (recall that this was four typed pages). Note the tone this bureaucrat takes toward the successors of the apostles that she putatively works for.

Office of Child and Youth Protection
3211 Fourth Street NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194

September 9, 2005

To:  All Bishops
From:  Teresa M. Kettelkamp
        Executive Director
Subject:  Office of Child and Youth Protection and Audit Update

As many of you already know, the audits ascertaining compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People are underway.  As of the end of August, approximately 24 audits will have been completed:  3 full audits, 5 focused audits and 16 self audits.

There are two audit-related issues that have come to the attention of the Office of Child and Youth Protection which I though would interest all the Bishops; and thus, I would like to share with you.  The first issue involves the safe environment training of children and the opting-out of this training. The second issue concerns Required Actions.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Makes me proud to be a “paying member” of the “American Catholic Association.”

    Nice final line – marvelously bold (”continue to guide us”).

    If I got a pejorative letter like this I’d dismiss it immediately.  I’m sure most bishops will too – if they ever read these things from the USCCB anyway.

  • Our “children” are unsafe because they haven’t been “trained.”

    These people refuse to understand that our teenage boys are unsafe because of predatory homosexuals in the priesthood and the bishops who protect them.

  • “Both I and the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People agree that parents are to be the primary educators of their children ….”

    Whew….lucky for us she agrees with the Magesterium.

    Why do I get the feeling that heretic Bishops who ordain homosexuals will implement this full force while orthodox Bishops who would never ordain a homosexual will blow this off?

    Who trains the Bishops? They are the ones who shuttled around rapists.
    I wonder what my Diocese is doing? I’m afraid to even ask.

  • Are there any programs/materials out there that would be acceptable to Catholics (St. Blog’s Catholics, at least) other than the dreaded TAT etc. ???

  • Tony,

    It’s not just the programs themselves that are objectionable, but the idea that anyone but parents should be teaching their kids about this stuff.

    I have no problem with teaching parents how to teach their kids to avoid abusers, but not directly teaching kids about it.

    There may be good programs for training parents, but I haven’t seen one. Of course, how difficult is it to teach your kid to avoid strangers and “never let anyone touch you anyplace covered by your bathing suit, except the doctor and only when mommy or daddy are present”?

  • I hear you, Dom. I was just wondering. Gotta work all angles, no?


    I wonder if reading the John Jay Univ report to a bunch of kids counts as acceptable Safe Environment Materials. Probably not.

  • Dom, 

    I appreciate the memo, but maybe you can take out the personal contact information.  Would you like your personal cell # on the Internet like this?

  • The phone numbers were in the original post that’s now been copied and posted around the Internet twice and back. Shutting the barn door after the fact now.

    The phone numbers allow parents access (and transparency and accountability!) from the bishops conference they wouldn’t otherwise. I think it’s fair.

  • Well, office numbers, yes, but private cell phone numbers?  I give my personal number out to colleagues all the time, but I would be ticked if they blogged it.

  • Keep the cell phone number on there. They need to have the heat turned up in a big way. Sorry to say, I think most Catholics, even the “conservative” or “orthodox” variety, don’t really understand what all the fuss is about.

    We’re engaged in spiritual combat, and they are swinging pillows.

  • I think I would begin a letter to ALL BISHOPS with the greeting:

    Your Excellencies:

    somewhere after the Subject line.

    Don’t you think this memo has a ring of superiority?

    Just who is in charge here?

  • How insidious. If the bishops wish to abdicate their authority as shepards, that’s their problem with the Almighty, not mine.  But this woman wants to strong-arm parents into her way of thinking. 

    “…parents are to be the primary educators of their children and have the right to refuse the safe environment training by the Church.  However, in such cases the Church needs to help parents who may be inclined to opt-out of the training offered by the Church to appreciate the wider communal and social dimensions of this issue.”

    Translation: pressure should be brought to bear on those who take seriously their responsibility before Almighty God to be the primary educators of their children and dare to object to our Group-think.

    “While they may be attentive to the needs of their own children, they need to look at the greater good of all children cared for and educated by the Church.” 

    No. Wrong. I don’t need to sacrifice my child’s spiritual well being to any “greater good.”  And neither does any other Catholic parent.

    But then there’s the piece de resistance: “It is a sad fact today that some parents are unable or unwilling to provide the educational support essential for the safety of their children.  Moreover, there is the tragic reality that child and sexual abuse oftentimes takes place in the home.”  Yes, of course. I can hear it now, “I’m not saying that Mr. and Mrs. Smith abuse little Joey, but they do oppose his being part of the program.”

    It will be a mighty cold day before I or my kids are any part of this program.

  • There are dioceses and parishes which won’t let homeschooled kids receive First Confession/First Communion, or Confirmation unless they are part of the CCD program.  I wonder along this line, if parents who opt out of these sex programs might not find the Sacraments withheld for their children, too?  Creepy thought.