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LAY NETWORK UPDATE
CLAIMING OUR VOICES
in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
August, 2018
 

 

Trust in Church leadership is still in ebb tide with the recent news of abuse of children in six dioceses of Pennsylvania as well as the sexual behavior of  U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. See Archbishop Hebda's column with 48 comments on that subject in The Catholic Spirit
http://thecatholicspirit.com/only-jesus/archbishop-mccarrick-and-accountability/

What is your trust level of the Church in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis?  What would the leadership have to do to gain your trust?

Tim O'Malley, Archdiocesan Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, is committed to do that.  He spoke at the invitation of CCCR/Council of the Baptized on Thursday evening, August 2, telling us of efforts to prevent clerical abuse from happening here:
  • Every single clergy file was analyzed for allegations, how they were handled, and what follow-through is required.
  • The strong message is posted in many places: Call law enforcement immediately with allegations or suspicions of abuse.
  • Every parish has a Safe Environment Coordinator to see that staff, including the pastor, has undergone the Essential 3 safeguards: background check, Virtus training, and training in the Code of Ethics.
  • After police processing, every allegation of abuse goes to the Ministerial Review Board made up of lay people who are not Archdiocesan employees to determine fitness for ministry.
  • The Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment is staffed by lay people with law enforcement backgrounds.
  • Tim O'Malley and Janell Rasmussen of the Office of Safe Environment meet and teach all the seminarians at the St. Paul Seminary.
  • Former Hennepin County Attorney Tom Johnson is available for telephone calls from anyone with a question or suspicion about a situation.
  • The Office has received accolades of the "cleanest" diocese in the country from the Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and the survivors' attorney Jeff Anderson.

To boost your trust level, go to the Archdiocesan website to see the 6 month reviews from the Ramsey County District Court and the policies set up as law in this Archdiocese.  A careful study is well worth your while.

But, as we all know, vigilance and safeguards are only as good as the culture they grow out of.  Questions and comments submitted by participants in the August 2 event gave us some insight into the need for healing from the tragedy of abuse we have lived through.  Here are some of the questions:

Accountability
  • Why has the Greene Espel Report on Archbishop Nienstedt not been made public? Is the silence about it a cover-up?  How much did it cost? What did the resignations of Nienstedt and Piche signify? What does Archbishop Emeritus mean with regard to John C. Nienstedt?
  • On what grounds was the criminal case against the Archdiocese dismissed?
  • Why were bishops and others in charge not prosecuted for knowingly covering up crimes?
Underlying Causes
  • A component of restorative justice must be some reckoning of what caused the systemic abuse and cover-up in the Church. What were and are the causes?  What is being done about the causes?
  • What is the Archdiocese doing about clericalism, the corrupt system that sets the powerful up to exploit the less powerful?

There were many more questions submitted on cards, about seminary formation, healing plans, and two-way channels of communication.  To see the transcribed list of questions and comments, click on www.cccr-cob.org,  scroll down, and download the file under Archdiocese--Transparency, Trust, Healing.

Email us your questions and we will put them on the list or you can send them to Tim O'Malley yourself: omalleyt@archspm.org  We will ask him for a response for the next Update.


Still trying to live in joyful hope,
CCCR Board and Council of the Baptized