Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann has never been shy about sharing his thoughts on the current clerical sex abuse crisis, or about the many ways in which the archdiocese works to be both transparent and proactive in the care of the faithful. (See his columns in The Leaven Aug. 31, Oct. 5 and Nov. 23.) But now he’s coming to parishioners face to face — at least virtually — and to those who visit the new Response in Crisis website, launched Nov. 30 by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
What kind of screening do men undergo for admission to the seminary for the archdiocese? And once admitted, do they feel free to report concerns about their life in the seminary to the men that sent them there? For answers to these and other questions, The Leaven went to vocations director Father Dan Morris, as well as two men currently studying for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
One of the provisions in the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” signed by U. S. bishops in 2002 is that dioceses undergo yearly safe environment audits. These audits have been conducted by StoneBridge Business Partners, a private firm commissioned by the USCCB. Early in November, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann received a letter from StoneBridge saying the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas was in compliance with the charter for 2018. Learn more about the audits here.
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas implemented the Virtus training program for adults in 2003. Anyone in the church who has substantial contact with minors — priests, deacons, religious, teachers, coaches, school staff, parish personnel and volunteers — is required to undergo a background check.
Linda Slater-Trimble was hired on Nov. 12 as the new victim assistance coordinator within the archdiocesan office of child and youth protection. Slater-Trimble’s role is to accompany a person through the processes of the investigation when an allegation is brought to the archdiocese, as well as help identify resources for counseling, therapy and other needs.
Educating children in their faith is never easy. But today’s parents, youth ministers and educators are trying to introduce Christ to young people in the midst of great turmoil in the church.
No series on this sexual abuse crisis topic should start off without talking to the men on the front lines, so to speak. In this first piece, Leaven reporter Olivia Martin interviews several priests of the archdiocese on their perspective, their morale and the road ahead.
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas’ response to abuse allegations begins with Jan Saylor, report investigator for the archdiocesan office of child and youth protection (OCYP). Plying her hard-earned skills on behalf of the church since 2015, Saylor is no stranger to investigations. Learn more about Saylor’s work with this piece by Joe Bollig and Olivia Martin.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann explains that prayer is not sufficient in response to the sex abuse crisis, but it is essential. He emphasizes the work he and the archdiocese are doing to ensure safety in our parishes and schools, as well as his commitment to working with his fellow bishops to make the Catholic Church a safer environment for all.
Catholics in the United States were rocked by the Aug. 14 Pennsylvania grand jury report revealing over a 70-year period that 300 priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses had been accused of sexual abuse of more than a thousand children or adolescents. Read Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann’s response to the crisis and his hope for the Church during this time.
Pope Francis is calling the presidents of every Catholic bishops’ conference in the world to Rome Feb. 21-24 to discuss the prevention of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. The Vatican made the announcement Sept. 12 after the pope and members of his international Council of Cardinals wrapped up three days of meetings.
The Vatican requested that the U.S. bishops, before their Nov. 12-14 meeting in Baltimore, delay voting on several proposals to address the sex abuse crisis and hold bishops more accountable for dealing wayward priests and other church workers accused of sex abuse. But throughout the assembly, the spotlight was on the widening abuse crisis in the U.S. church and action the U.S. bishops must take to address it. Much of the meeting time was devoted to frank presentations and discussions about abuse.
The U.S. bishops will start 2019 with a spiritual retreat to pray and reflect on the important matters facing the Catholic Church. Set for Jan. 2-8 at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, the retreat was planned in response to Pope Francis’ request to a delegation of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops leaders during a meeting at the Vatican Sept. 13.