On June 26, 2016, the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph held a Service of Lament to pray for and offer its sincere apology to victims of sexual abuse. The event was the beginning of a process of healing which Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. spoke of in his homily. Below is a video from the Service of Lament, followed by a summary of five commitments Bishop Johnston has made to advance healing for victims of abuse.
The purpose of the Task Force is to review all diocesan policy and protocols relating to the Office of Child and Youth Protection. Members on this task force will be appointed based upon their expertise from various fields related to child protection. The goal of this multi-discipline team is to research and recommend best practices. The work of this task force will be publicized by the Diocese to promote the credibility and integrity of the program.
PRIEST AND DEACON TRAINING
The purpose of targeted training for priests and deacons is to help better equip them to minister pastorally specifically to those harmed by sexual abuse. This mandatory training will be for all those in active service, as well as for newly-ordained priests and deacons of the diocese in future years.
SPIRITUAL GUIDE PROGRAM
The purpose of establishing a spiritual guide program is to better equip Church members with skill sets regarding how sexual abuse, particularly by the hands of someone in the Church, impacts the faith journey of OCYP clients. The goal of this spiritual relationship is to assist the individual and their family/caregivers on strengthening their relationship with God and understanding how to better utilize their faith to support them in their healing journey.
ANNUAL DAY OF PRAYER
This day of prayer will be an opportunity for all within this Diocese to share in praying for:
- All victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse, particularly those who have been abused by someone in the Catholic Church and their families, friends and our entire community;
- Ongoing efforts in support of the healing and reconciliation of those who have suffered this abuse; and
- Ongoing efforts in prevention in making safer environments for our children and educating adults to support awareness.
The purpose of this committee is to explore and recommend a manner in which the diocese could build a memorial to honor sexual abuse victims and survivors harmed by someone in the Church. The goal of this memorial is to serve as a place of prayer for all; a lasting reminder of the sins of the past; and a gesture of healing, outreach, and reconciliation.
We welcome your feedback and comments on the bishop’s initiatives. If you would like to do so anonymously, leave the Name and/or Email fields blank.