The reality of child sexual abuse is devastating for many. As described by Archbishop Gregory Aymond, the Catholic Church has not always responded in the way it should have to cases of abuse.
The Catholic Church’s proactive response in 2002 was the approval of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter). Since then, there is substantial, tangible and consistent evidence that the Church has worked diligently to be a better protector of children. Efforts include, but are not limited to the fact that each diocese throughout the country now has a safe environment program to protect children, an avenue for healing and reconciliation for survivors, a streamlined process to swiftly respond to allegations, transparency in cooperating with civil authorities and measures to discipline offenders.
In order to achieve the above, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago has a Safe Environment Program that implements Training, Screening, Background Checks and other procedures that are designed to reduce the risk of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults. Every parish, school and Diocesan agency has the program and each is responsible for program implementation and continuation.