Safe Environment


God Cares
The Church is here for your protection and healing

Complaints about Clergy Misconduct:

  • If there is imminent danger of child sexual abuse, immediately:
    • get the child out of danger
    • advise the authorities

Policies & Procedures in the Archeparchy of Winnipeg

  • If there is sexual abuse perpetrated either by clergy or by a Church Worker authorized by the Church for ministry, the Archeparchy is very concerned for the safety of the victim and wishes to take immediate steps to protect the victim.

Introduction

  • Central to the Church's mission is the salvation, safety, care, and health of all who have been oppressed or victimized
  • This is felt most keenly where those abused are children - members of its own flock
  • Where the victimization of its own flock has been perpetrated by persons who previously had been authorized to minister in the name of the Church, the Church feels a particular concern to protect and help the victim and their family
  • St. John Chrysostom likens the Church to a spiritual hospital dispensing “therapia” for the healing of soul and body.

In a message sent from the Vatican on April 23, 2003, Pope John Paul II stated that the abuse of minors by priests

...is rightly considered a crime by society...
an appalling sin in the eyes of God...
To the victims and their families, wherever they may be,
I express my profound sense of solidarity and concern."

How to report abuse

  • contact: The Chancellor of the Archeparchy: (204 338 7801 ext.6)
  • He will put you in contact with the Archbishop’s Delegate for Complaints of Sexual Abuse
  • if he is not able to take your call immediately, please leave a message on his private voice mail.
  • If the Chancellor is out of province, ask for the Metropolitan, and ask that the Assistant Delegate contact you

Personnel:

In order to assist persons making complaints of Sexual Abuse by Church personnel, the Metropolitan has established the following:

  • The Delegate: who responds to Complaints
  • The Examiner: who investigates Complaints
  • The Review Committee: an independent body that advises and assists the Metropolitan
  • The Pastoral Committee: which extends pastoral care to the complainant

The PROCESS (in brief):

  • A complaint is made to the Metropolitan's Delegate (via the Chancellor)
  • the Delegate appoints an Examiner
  • the Examiner is sent to investigate
  • the Delegate appoints a member of the Pastoral Committee to offer pastoral care to the complainant and all affected parties
  • the Examiner reports his investigations to the Delegate
  • the Delegate, with the assistance of the independent Review Committee, submits an independent report to the Metropolitan
  • The Metropolitan, assisted by the Review Committee, takes appropriate measures to ensure the safety of his Faithful, especially of any victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • The Archeparchy exists to save and protect the lives of all God’s children, including its own members--especially where they are minors

Q.: If I find out that there is sexual abuse taking place at the hands of a clergyman or someone authorized for ministry in the Archeparchy, how do I bring this to the attention of the Archeparchy?

  • Rx: First of all, it is vitally important to take immediate steps to protect any child from harm.
  • After that, you should immediately contact the Chancellor (204 338-7801).
  • The Chancellor will put you in contact with the Delegate.
  • The Metropolitan has appointed a “Delegate” to oversee these matters.
  • The Delegate will appoint an Examiner to meet with you to receive your complaint.

Q.: May I be accompanied when I meet the Examiner or Delegate? I need some support.

  • Rx: Yes, of course you can bring with you anyone you wish when you make your complaint.

Q.: What will the Archeparchy do when it finds out that there is a complaint about sexual abuse by clergy or someone appointed to ministry by the Archeparchy?

  • Rx: The Archeparchial Delegate will dispatch the Examiner to meet with you and take your complaint.
  • The Examiner has been appointed to investigate the situation.
  • The Delegate also informs the appropriate parties concerned, e.g. the Metropolitan Archbishop.

Q.: What happens to the Cleric or minister once a complaint has been lodged against them?

  • Rx: The Delegate will inform the Cleric or minister that there has been a complaint against them.
  • They will be placed on administrative leave for the protection of all parties concerned - pending the results of an investigation.
  • They will be instructed to have no contact with pertinent persons or groups, esp. the complainant or the complainant’s family.

Q.: What does the Examiner do?

  • Rx: The Examiner will meet with the complainant.
  • The Examiner also interviews and investigates the person against whom the complaint was made.
  • If there are any witnesses, the Examiner will see them too.
  • The Examiner then reports to the Delegate.

Q.: Are decisions in these matters handled only by priests and bishops?

  • Rx: No.
  • Assisting and advising the Metropolitan in making the appropriate decision in these difficult matters is the Archeparchial Review Committee for Allegations of Clergy Sexual Abuse.
  • This is an independent Committee which reviews both the facts of each case and the procedures taken in handling the case.
  • It makes an independent report to the Metropolitan.
  • This Committee is specifically drawn from a representative constituency of our community. Its make-up is multi-disciplinary and broad based, comprising: laity, as well as clergy, women as well as men. It also includes parents, professionals in psychology, members with legal knowledge, both canonical as well as civil.

Q.: What does this Review Committee do?

  • Rx: The Archeparchial Delegate, together with the Review Committee will review the results of the Examiner’s investigations & make an independent report to the Metropolitan.
  • This report will include recommendations as to how best to respond to the situation both to protect the victim from harm and for the good of all the parties concerned.

Q.: If I make a complaint against a priest, I feel that I am putting myself against or outside the Church. How can I do that?

  • Rx.: Where a child of God, a member of the Church, is being victimized by sexual abuse, the entire Church (the Body of Christ) is also being harmed.
  • If anyone is being sexually abused, it is incumbent upon good Catholics to respond in love.
  • Responding in love includes bringing the matter to the attention of Church authorities in order to protect the victim - for the good of the entire Church, and indeed for the good of the perpetrator.

Q.: Will the Church still help me if I make a complaint against a priest?

  • Rx.: The Archeparchy has also appointed a Priest to give Pastoral Care to the one making the complaint.
  • All who are victimized are at the heart of the care of the Church - especially when the abuse comes from someone who has exploited the Church as a cloak to work their sins.
  • The Church will not abandon any member of its flock, especially when they need the Church the most.

"See that you never despise any of these little ones,
for I tell you that their angels in heaven
are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.
For the Son of Man has come to save what was lost."

(Gospel according to St. Luke 19:10)

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