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Outreach to victims of sexual abuse and their family members in the Diocese of Fort Worth is grounded in Jesus' words:
Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.Matthew 25:40
In response to Jesus' words, a variety of avenues are made available for victims and family members to report their experiences to the Office of Victim Assistance and to be welcomed, to receive pastoral care, and to access much-needed services. It is the belief of staff serving in the Office of Victim Assistance that individuals and communities are best served through respectful listening, attention to need, and a prompt response to requests for help and healing.
The Diocese of Fort Worth holds to these standards and guidelines:
- To reach out to victims/survivors and their families and demonstrate a sincere commitment to their spiritual and emotional well-being. The first obligation of the Church with regard to the victims is for healing and reconciliation.
- To continue its outreach to every person who has been the victim of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone in church service, whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years in the past. This outreach may include provision of counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups, and other social services agreed upon by the victim and the diocese.
- Through pastoral outreach to victims and their families, the diocesan Bishop or his representative is to offer to meet with them, to listen with patience and compassion to their experiences and concerns.
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