Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2009
Book ID: 49
105 pages | 10.75 x 7.75 inches
In June 2002, the Catholic Bishops of the United States confronted the scandal of sexual abuse in the Church by approving the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," often referred to as the Dallas Charter. Men's religious institutes were included in its scope, and in accord with their canonical autonomy, developed their own implementation of the norms.
CMSM, the COnference of Major Superiors of Men in the United States, strove to develop a means of promoting child safety that was consistent with the charisms of religious life. Through broad consultation among CMSM members and professional experts, and working with Praesidium Religious Services, Inc., a nationally-recognized leader in helping church and other child-serving organizations promote the safety of children, CMSM developed a set of 28 standards of accreditation dealing with prevention of the sexual abuse of minors, appropriate outreach and investigation when such abuse was alleged or had occurred, and standards for supervision of those responsible for sexual abuse of minors.
Approved by the CMSM National Board in July 2004, as part of the CMSM Instruments of Hope and Healing Program, the 28 Standards for Accreditation became the foundation for the Praesidium accreditation audit process which certified a religious institute's implementation of the standards. The accreditation was not intended to be permanent; the standards would be revised and accreditation undertaken again in the years to come.
On July 31, 2008, the CMSM National Board approved the first revision of the Standards for Accreditation as part of the Instruments of Hope and Healing Program. Now composed of 25 standards, they incorporate learning from the first rounds of accreditation as well as responses to changes in canon and civil law since 2004.
The Society of Jesus has been among the leaders in the development and implementation of the CMSM Instruments of Hope and Healing Standards for Accreditation. We can be proud of the efforts we have made to prevent the sexual abuse of minors, to respond pastorally and fairly to allegations of sexual abuse of minors, and to supervise and support our brothers for whom this has been an issue. The Society of Jesus in the United States remains committed to the prevention of the sexual abuse of minors, and each province will work with Praesidium to implement the revised Standards.
So that we can do this continuing education consistently and successfully, the Jesuit Conference chose to work with the Early Responders Distance Learning Center (ERDLC) of Saint Joseph's University, the Saint John Vianney Treatment Center, and a group of nationally recognized experts to develop this program, designed for use in a community or area gathering.