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At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Card. Stritch) stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what Father Horne did to you." It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Now, I babble. - ke
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in 2009 our ongoing coverage of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church will be at City fAngels5. in 2010 at CityofAngels8

Monday, March 24, 2008

Salesian press release contradicts current Salesian court arguments and apologizes on behalf of worldwide congregation for sexual abuse, however. . .

By Kay Ebeling

Doing research for an upcoming post I came across this press release at donboscowest dot org. It's dated 2004, still it is the featured press release when you click News at the Western Province website. Re the trial coming up April 14, the Salesians currently say, when it comes to financial discovery, they are not part of Salesian Rome headquarters. Their own press release says otherwise. Here is the "Statement of US Salesian Provincials Re Dallas Morning News Articles" from June 20, 2004. Sorry, Church Attorneys, but you can't have it both ways. Maybe you should stop and read this apology to the crime victims yourselves.

"The Salesians of Don Bosco are deeply sorry. We are sorry for the sexual misconduct of some of our members, for the unspeakable violation of the young whom we have harmed rather than served. We express our profound apologies to the victims and their families. They put their trust in us, and we have failed them grievously.

We are sorry also for any of our failures to adequately respond to allegations against some of our members. While we have generally sought to shield other young people from misconduct at the hands of accused Salesians, we have not always done so effectively."

In a press release dated November 18, 2003, the further statement was made:

"Should any young person have been abused while in our care, we profoundly apologize to them and their families. We offer to assist them in any way we can and to make amends for our failures."

Today, as the Provincials of the Eastern and Western Provinces of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the United States, we repeat again these two statements.

However, some recent media attention has focused on the worldwide Congregation of Salesians of Don Bosco to which we belong. In particular, it has been alleged that our Congregation has a "systematic practice" to move abusive priests from country to country without regard for the safety of children or for the statues of criminal law. While one can find a few instances of failure in this regard among a Congregation numbering over 16,000 members, such a general characterization of the Salesians of Don Bosco is patently false and misleading.

Each Salesian province is an autonomous juridical entity, similar to a diocese. Cases of sexual misconduct by individual Salesians are handled by the respective province to which the Salesian belongs. The province has the competency to set and enforce its own policies, in accordance with the legal requirements of the country within which it operates.

Nevertheless, with due regard to necessary differences from province to province, the general lines along which the worldwide Congregation of Salesians of Don Bosco proceeds in this matter are as follows:

We examine with promptness every accusation of sexual abuse of minors to verify its credibility.

We stand in solidarity with the victims of sexual abuse, considering it "one of the worst manifestations of the mystery of iniquity at work in the world" (John Paul II), and we provide for psychological accompaniment of the victims and, when necessary, their families.

When a member of the Salesian Congregation is found to have committed sexual abuse, he is removed at once from every pastoral and educative responsibility so that he has no further contact with minors. He is also exhorted to own his responsibility and to cooperate fully with all civil, criminal and ecclesial investigations.

We practice a preventive system of education in our work with young people to ensure, as far as possible, safe environments for those entrusted to our care.

Sigh, I guess we can expect lies and more lies at the upcoming jury trial. Can't wait to write it all down.

Onward. . .

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