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Protecting Children

The following is a message from Archbishop Charles Chaput regarding the impending release of a new Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

Dear Friends:

Soon, a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report involving incidents of sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses over the past seven decades will be made public. The Grand Jury did not investigate the Archdiocese of Philadelphia or our clergy; therefore we are not part of the report. Nonetheless, the findings will be a difficult experience for all of us — especially for survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones. We deeply regret their pain. We are committed to helping survivors heal. Our efforts to ensure the safety of children and families in our parishes, schools, and ministerial programs will continue.

Over the past 15 years, the Archdiocese has put in place a wide range of reforms to protect young people. I want to reassure you today, as forcefully as I can, that we have a zero tolerance policy for clergy, lay employees, and volunteers who engage in the abuse of children or misconduct with minors. We cooperate promptly and fully with law enforcement. And we take immediate action when an allegation is made.

Please see the reforms we have implemented to protect our children at: 

Protecting Our Children and Families

Finally, the Archdiocese has — for many years — published a database of living and deceased priests known to have sexually abused minors that can be bound online through our Office of Investigations at http://archphila.org/archdiocesan-offices/office –of-investigations/. We also provide ongoing and significant support for survivors of abuse and their families. Details can be found online through our Office for Child and Youth Protection at https://childyouthprotection.org

Research and experience have shown that sexual abuse plagues every corner of society from sports and public institutions, the entertainment industry and the political arena. Prevention of abuse comes from training and constant vigilance, and the prevention of abuse — along with support for survivors — is and will remain a constant priority for our Church.

Thank you for your fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church under difficult circumstances. May God bless you, your families, and all those you love.

Sincerely yours in Jesus Christ,

†Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, OFM

Archbishop of Philadelphia

 

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