Updates & News
September 22, 2009
U.S. Bishop's Annual Report
The Office of Child Protection at Mount Angel Abbey continues to diligently promote and maintain a welcoming and safe environment so that all guests who visit our hilltop may be welcomed as Christ. Of particular note are several new developments that have assisted the Office of Child Protection in enhancing our knowledge of and responses to potential child abuse situations that may be useful to the general public.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of Child and Youth Protection recently issued their 2008 Annual Report which summarizes allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct by clergy. Also, the National Review Board has welcomed several new members to their team, including its new chairperson Diane M. Knight, ACSW, CISW. The National Review Board collaborates closely with the USCCB in evaluating current safe environment practices and preventing child sexual abuse within the dioceses of the United States.
For more information from the USCCB Office of Child and Youth Protection, please see their website: www.usccb.org/ocyp/index.shtml
Mrs. Mona Jaeger
Coordinator for the Office of Child Protection
Mount Angel Abbey
Each April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Child sexual abuse is a widespread, ever-growing problem in our country. The Catholic Church is providing excellent outreach and education to address this issue. Mount Angel Abbey has a comprehensive Program for Child Protection in place. Safe Environment training for monastic members, employees and volunteers continue throughout the year. The Abbey’s Office of Child Protection has a library of videos, DVDs, brochures and referral information. If you have questions or are seeking assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us at OfficeOfChildProtection@mountangelabbey.org .
Learn more about what the Catholic Church in the United States is doing to prevent child sexual abuse. Visit the website of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Office of Child and Youth Protection at www.usccb.org/ocyp .
In December 2008, Mount Angel Abbey was re-accredited for three-years through Praesidium, Incorporated. This certification is an A+ on the “Abbey Report Card” from the premier agency chosen by Archdioceses and Religious Institutes to oversee our safe environment program on the hilltop.
The Abbey system for accountability and transparency, Instruments for Hope and Healing, utilizes an accreditation model and is contracted with Praesidium, Inc. The accreditation process requires that an independent team of specialists verify that the 25 Standards for Accreditation have been met. This process includes a thorough review of our policies, site visits, and interviews with members of the monastic community, vocation and formation directors, and members of our Abbey Review Board. To learn more about Praesidium, Inc, visit their website: www.info@PraesidiumInc.com .
Safe Environment Education
One week last September was the highlight of our child abuse prevention training; Father Roman Paur, OSB, conducted a series of workshops for monks, seminarians, faculty, staff and many Archdiocesan Priests titled “Cybersex: The Wrong Side of the Internet”. Fr. Roman said “nobody is exempt from engaging in internet cruising of sexually explicit sites that can compromise… communit[ies]… and endanger vulnerable children and adults and erode personal integrity. As the technology improves and conveniences increases, even innocent people are hooked insidiously on internet pornography in ways that feed addiction.” His workshop examined the “what-who-how-why” of internet pornography in sorting through moral and behavioral issues of how it can affect people, the impact on commitment and service, safeguards for prevention, quitting, intervention, assessment and rehabilitation.
Fr. Roman Paur, OSB, is a monk of Saint John’s Benedictine Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. He is currently the Prior of Trinity Benedictine Monastery, Fujimi, Nagano-ken, Japan and the founding executive director of the Interfaith Sexual Trauma Institute (ISTI), a joint educational initiative of Saint John’s Abbey and University, established to advance the understanding and prevention of clergy sexual misconduct. He is a member of the Praesidium National Advisory Board.