Child Abuse Policy
This policy is based upon the teachings of the Catholic Church and Canon Law in addition to concepts of civil and criminal law.
Child abuse is contrary to the Gospel and to all that the Catholic Church believes and professes about the dignity of human persons. Thus, it is the policy of Mount Angel Abbey that child abuse of any kind is never to be tolerated.
The Abbey fully subscribes to the June 2002 American Bishops’ Charter and Norms for the Protection of Children and Young People. Mount Angel Abbey recognizes that no policy in itself prevents child abuse. Strict adherence to the policy and institution-wide vigilance prevent child abuse and help assure that no child is victimized.
This policy reflects Mount Angel Abbey’s commitment to promote and protect the dignity of each person, and to clearly manifest that Mount Angel Abbey takes seriously the responsibility to provide a safe environment for children and young people.
The Abbey is committed to providing a safe environment for children and young people and to assist Abbey personnel and seminarians in recognizing, reporting, and attending to the needs of abused children and their families. All Abbey personnel and seminarians shall maintain the integrity of the ministerial relationship at all times. Abusive conduct of any kind, including sexual conduct, between one who is performing duties on behalf of the Abbey and a minor, is not only criminal, it is a violation of the sixth commandment and Catholic moral teaching.
Persons with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse by any person acting on behalf of Mount Angel Abbey – whether monk, employee, volunteer, or seminarian – are expected to report directly to civil authorities and the Abbey’s Coordinator for the Office of Child Protection.
The response of the Abbey in cases of child abuse by any of its personnel or seminarians will address the pastoral needs of the victim, the well being of the community, and the assessment and treatment of the offender. Care is to be taken that all involved are treated in a manner that is consistent with the Gospel values of compassion, understanding, and justice, as well as those standards that are normative in the wider professional community.