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What is the Church doing?
The care of young people is among the Church’s most important obligations. For them to suffer harm at the hands of anyone working on behalf of the Church, especially members of the clergy, is a great betrayal.
There is no place in the priesthood or religious life for those who would harm the young.Pope St. John Paul II
The following actions are among the measures adopted by the Diocese of Fort Worth to combat abuse and promote healing within our diocese:
Established the Safe Environment Program in order to educate and train throughout the diocese. This was done to ensure that the Church is an environment promoting the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of all members in the faith community. Under the Safe Environment Program all clergy, church, and school personnel, including volunteers and seminarians are required to:
- Complete mandatory Safe Environment Training
- Review and sign the Diocesan Code of Conduct
- Receive a cleared Criminal Background Check
Appoint a Victims' Assistance Coordinator.
Establish and maintains a Sexual Misconduct Review Board for the purpose of reviewing allegations of sexual abuse. The board consists of a chairperson, a priest, and lay men and women with expertise in psychology, child protection, and sexual abuse recovery. The members are selected to serve on the Review Board because of their expertise and capacity to give the Bishop expert advice on the diocese’s overall sex abuse policy and with individual allegations.
Initiated and maintained programs of Outreach to victims. The Bishop has been meeting with all victims who are open to meeting with him or in the case of victims who reside outside the diocese, of speaking with him by telephone. The Victims' Assistance Coordinator coordinates services for victims and their families, depending on their circumstances. On-going pastoral care and services focused on healing form the outreach effort of Victims' Assistance in the diocese.
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