Maine Catholics Observe Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Exception
April 1, 2009

Portland, Maine -- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is encouraging Catholics to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month, which takes place every April, by praying for victims of child abuse during mass. Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Portland will hold a special day of prayer for people who were sexually abused by the clergy tomorrow, April 2, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

According to a statement, Bishop Malone wants all parishes in Maine to hold special prayers throughout the month and has identified the weekend of April 25-26 for specific masses to address sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

“The work of protecting children in our diocese is not a short-term project, but a commitment and responsibility now woven into the fabric of church life. The Catholic Church seeks forgiveness for past harm and pledges not only to make our parishes and schools safe, but also to give parents and children the information they need to be safe in all settings where children spend time,” said Bishop Malone in a statement.

Disseminating information about the church's new position and procedures against improper behavior is also a goal.

The Church's "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," adopted seven years ago, was established to finally remove any church member from the ministry who sexually abused children.

In the past, the Church often protected priests who had sexually abused children. Now, in the event of abuse allegations, the police will get involved, according to the Portland Diocese. 9000 Church employees in Maine have also gone through "safe environment training" as well as background checks.


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