April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
It seems that we, in the United States, recognize worthy causes on a monthly basis. For example, October is breast cancer awareness month. January is Alzheimer’s awareness month. And, April is national child abuse prevention month. In April, archdioceses, dioceses, organizations and communities within the Catholic Church in the United Sates highlight their commitment to child abuse prevention and emphasize the importance of protecting minors and vulnerable individuals from evil.
It is important, however, for the faithful and others to know that the work of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh in protecting minor children and those vulnerable is a year-round commitment. The efforts of the Archeparchy in this regard are part of its ongoing work to carry out the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Beginning with its adoption in 2002 and continuing through the present with some revisions over the years, the Charter is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. The Archeparchy, through the direction of Metropolitan Archbishop William C. Skurla, has pledged to follow the Charter by taking appropriate action to:
• Create a safe environment for children and young people;
• Heal and reconcile with victims and survivors;
• Make prompt and effective responses to allegations;
• Cooperate with civil authorities;
• Discipline offenders; and
• Provide for a means of accountability.
The Archeparchy is committed to providing a safe environment for all children in its churches, programs, and activities. Such commitment involves education, continued training to reinforce appropriate behaviors and mandated reporting by all clergy, employees, and volunteers who come into contact with children.
The Archeparchy shall continue to be vigilant and will not waiver in its obligation to provide a safe, welcoming, and prayerful place for those who seek Christ. For more information on the Archeparchy’s implementation of the Charter, please refer to the Archeparchy’s website: www.archpitt.org/Offices/protection-of-children/