Response to Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church
Our society has grown acutely aware of the tragedy of child sexual abuse. The pain and confusion which such abuse causes victims, their families, and the community are compounded when the abuser is a religious or other trusted member of society. The Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Barbara are deeply concerned to prevent any such abuse by its friar members. Should such a tragedy occur, despite our best efforts at prevention, the Province is committed to taking steps to mitigate the destructive impact of the abuse on the victim, the victim’s family, and the Church community. In such cases, the Province seeks to move quickly and with compassion to attend to the needs of victims and their families.
The Province of St. Barbara responds to all allegations of sexual misconduct with great care. To ensure that we handle each instance promptly, thoroughly, and compassionately, the Province has established an Office of Pastoral Outreach. The Pastoral Outreach Coordinator is a lay professional who will listen to, understand, and offer help, including appropriate psychological counseling for those affected by friar misconduct.
The Province, through the Pastoral Outreach Coordinator and independent investigators, will respond swiftly to evaluate and investigate any accusation of sexual misconduct by a friar. Any friars who have engaged in the sexual abuse of a minor will join the province Aftercare Program. This rigorous relapse prevention program provides appropriate psychological treatment specific for offenders, and entails ongoing monitoring and supervision for the rest of their lives in the Order. The Province, consistent with the directives of the Catholic Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, has also established the Province Review Board (PRB). This interdisciplinary board of lay professionals advises the Province on all matters related to sexual misconduct. If you or someone you know believe that a friar has violated the boundaries outlined in the pamphlet below, we urge you to report such behavior immediately to the Provincial Minister, or the Pastoral Outreach Coordinator. Your case will be handled with the strictest sensitivity and confidentiality.
Pastoral Outreach Office
1500 34th Avenue
Oakland CA 94601
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