Upon Child Victims Act expiration, bishops promise to protect kids, restore relationships

| May 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

In a statement released May 25, the last day victims of past child sex abuse could file a civil claim under Minnesota’s Child Victims Act, the state’s Catholic bishops acknowledged the “painful reality of sexual abuse” that has come to the forefront during the last three years and promised not to be silent when an allegation of sexual abuse is made against a clergy member or someone else in the Church.

“We will continue to report every allegation to law enforcement immediately and cooperate with them every step of the way,” the statement read. “We also promise to continue stringent hiring standards, background checks for employees and volunteers who interact with children, and specialized training for employees and volunteers to make sure they are able to recognize the signs that might suggest that young people are at risk or in danger.”

Signing the statement were: Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Bishop Michael Hoeppner of Crookston, Bishop Paul Sirba of Duluth, Bishop John LeVoir of New Ulm, Bishop Donald Kettler of St. Cloud and Bishop John Quinn of Winona.

The bishops also apologized several times for victims’ pain and thanked them for their courage to speak about it. They asked for prayers for all victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

“While we cannot say or do anything to return the innocence of youth that was stolen, we will work to restore broken relationships with family, friends and loved ones, and help heal the pain caused to so many,” the bishops stated. “We promise that we will continue to work every day to make sure our churches, schools and communities are safe for all people — especially children.”

In 2013, the Minnesota State Legislature passed the Child Victims Act, lifting the statute of limitations on claims of child sexual abuse through May 25, 2016.

Read the full statement at http://www.archspm.org.

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Category: Local News