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Archbishop Robert J. Carlson responds to the Vatican Summit

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson responds to the Vatican Summit

Media Contact:
Peter Frangie

Archdiocese of St. Louis Promise to

 ST. LOUIS – The Archdiocese of St. Louis fully supports Pope Francis in his call for action at the Vatican Summit for the Protection of Minors. Pope Francis said “The holy People of God look to us, and expect from us not simple and predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to be undertaken.”

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis continue to reach out to those with proper experience to help build on measures already in place to protect all people in accordance with what Pope Francis shared with us, that “The time has come to work together to eradicate this evil from the body of our humanity by adopting every necessary measure already in force on the international level and ecclesial levels.”

Responsibility - What the Archdiocese of St. Louis is doing to prevent sexual abuse:

  • 100,000 adults in Catholic ministry trained in our Protecting God's Children program, developed and instructed by VIRTUS representatives to educate participants to identify signs of sexual abuse.
  • 34,000 K-9 archdiocesan students trained in the Safe Touch curriculum developed in partnership with the West County Psychological Associates and area educators to enable our children to protect themselves from potential abuse.
  • A Child Safety Coordinator employed by every archdiocesan parish and school to ensure employee and volunteer compliance with the Safe Environment policy requirements.
  • Real reform in our seminaries is already taking place, including the work of our lay people and psychologists in priestly formation to ensure a healthy, orthodox, and biblically-rooted understanding of human sexuality for our future priests.
  • All employees and clerics within the Archdiocese of St. Louis are instructed to never be alone with a child or vulnerable adult.
  • All clergy, employees and volunteers of the Archdiocese of St. Louis are required to submit to a background check.

Accountability - Acting promptly on allegations:

  • Suspicion of abuse by any Church personnel should be immediately reported to local law enforcement or the Missouri Department of Social Services through the Child Abuse Neglect Hotline Number: 1-800-392- 3738. In addition, we urge that any suspicion of abuse also be reported to the Archdiocese of Saint Louis Office of Child and Youth Protection at 314-792- 7704.
  • Investigations into all allegations are conducted promptly, thoroughly and in cooperation with civil authorities.
  • The Archdiocese of St. Louis assists in the healing process for abuse victims through many measures including access to a victim assistant coordinator, providing mental health care, pastoral care for themselves and family, other services based on need, and healing services.
  • A review of the archdiocesan “Safe Environment” protocols was conducted by a former member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was deemed to be appropriate and robust. Transparency – Full reporting of all past transgressions of sexual abuse:
  • The Archdiocese of St. Louis is right now working with a team led by a former FBI agent to review all records and create a list of all known clerics and consecrated religious who have had credible and substantiated accusations made against them. This is a sensitive ongoing investigation being done by an outside agency. That agency has not yet been able to estimate a timetable for completion of their work. We will afford them the necessary time for their review in order to ensure a list that is as complete and accurate as possible. Once that work is completed, the archdiocese will publish the list
  • Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has invited Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and his office to review all records within the archdiocese. The Archdiocese of St.Louis is currently cooperating with the Attorney General’s office in that review process. At the conclusion of the Vatican Summit for the Protection of Minors, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said: In my time here in St. Louis as archbishop, the archdiocese has always taken the protection of our children and youth asone of our highest prioritiesI welcome the Holy Father’s instruction to use all available means to ensure the safety of our children and vulnerable
    adults. While we have taken many steps to help prevent abuse, we continue to reach out to the laity with proper expertise to help us in creating new structures in prevention and accountability. The archdiocese is committed to being present to victims and to be Christ’s help and healing for them.