Monday, July 14, 2008

Setting the Record Straight!

[Archbishop] Burke is a true believer in the safety of children

Regarding the editorial "The true believer" (June 29): The Catholic Church laments the very real damage done to those who were sexually abused by priests. Archbishop Raymond Burke strongly has supported all efforts to protect our children since the day he arrived in St. Louis in 2004. His commitment to the safety of children is unwavering.

The Archdiocese disputes the statement from the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, a statement the Editorial Board did not verify with the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has no knowledge of any priest against whom a credible accusation of sexual abuse against a minor has been proven holding any pastoral role within the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Those are the priests for whom the archbishop is responsible.

Archbishop Burke's record on child safety stands for itself. The Archdiocese of St. Louis had an extremely strong showing when it was audited last year for compliance to the Safe Environment Program, mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Not only did the Archdiocese pass the audit, it was commended as one of the strongest programs in the country.

Compliance figures compiled for June 30 this year show that than 99.6 percent of all the 35,000 local church employees and volunteers — everyone from the archbishop to soccer referees — are in full compliance with the SEP. The remainder are those who have just begun the compliance process. Thanks to the strong leadership of Archbishop Burke, archdiocesan institutions and activities are safe for children.

By repeating in print unproven and spurious assertions, the Post-Dispatch is complicit in perpetuating a myth and is giving credibility to information that is simply not true. It was an example, par excellence, of journalism at its weakest.

Monsignor John Shamleffer | St. Louis
Judicial Vicar

Monsignor Richard Stika | St. Louis
Vicar, Office of Child and Youth Protection

Deacon Phil Hengen | St. Louis
Director - Office for Child and Youth Protection
As printed in the online edition of the Post Dispatch!
Great job, gentlemen! One wonders, though, when the Post will again print more trash from SNAP and Clohessy?

Source: Post Dispatch

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