Don't Be Complacent on Abuse, Says Bishop

The Catholic Key

December 19, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNS) - Despite the small number of cases of clergy sexual abuse reported in 2007, "we dare not become complacent," said Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People. "In 2007, there were 12 credible instances of minors being abused. That's 12 instances too many," Bishop Cupich said in a Dec. 8 letter to his fellow bishops. "However, even with the small number in a church of 67 million people, we dare not become complacent. The effects of the sin and crime of sexual abuse by a cleric are so horrific that we need to make sure that efforts to protect young people continue," he said. He outlined steps the church had taken to prevent abuse from 2003 through 2007, when the last audits of U.S. dioceses' safe environment programs were completed. Bishop Cupich said the 2008 audits were close to completion. In that five-year period, he said the church had trained more than 1.8 million clergy, employees and volunteers in parishes in how to create safe environments and prevent child sexual abuse.


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