Archdiocese of Boston Comittment
We are committed to addressing the needs of survivors and those who have suffered because of clergy sexual abuse, investigating and responding to all allegations of misconduct involving minors, removing abusive priests from active ministry consistent with our zero-tolerance policy, and creating and maintaining safe environments for children in our churches and schools. Much has been accomplished, but our work in this area is continuing, and is lifelong.
Our education programs are working: Clergy, religious, volunteers and employees are focused on child safety and creating safe environments. Our adult volunteers and employees are helping children stay safe everywhere, including among friends, family, and others.
We see this website as a living resource, not static, but one that provides valuable, useful and up to date information for all who visit.
For the past sixteen years we have worked in partnership with all levels of law enforcement; local, state and federal to maintain the highest levels of child protection. Outcomes of working in partnership include Agreements with both the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (2003) and the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts with regard to priests in federal and military service (2005). We continue to stand by both Agreements.
We report all allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy as a first step in every case. We began disclosing the identity of publicly accused priests of the Archdiocese of Boston in 2011. It is important to note that there have been no new allegations of abuse occurring since 2006.
Our recognition of the trauma of the heinous crimes committed by clergy makes the leaders of this Archdiocese committed to the survivors in many ways - none of which can ever erase the crimes of the past but seek to sincerely assist in their healing. The Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach (OPSO) was established and funded in 2002 and each year approximately 300 survivors and, in some cases their family members, are served by the staff of OPSO including connecting and supporting their therapeutic relationships and other services (OPSO link).
The summary of this information is presented here to provide you with some of the facts that evidence the sincerity of our commitment to transparency, prevention and healing. There is always more work to do and we will continue with heartfelt anguish over the failures of the Church and with recognition that our anguish pales in comparison to the pain of the trauma of crimes experienced by survivors.
“We commit our Church in Boston to work for healing of the survivors and their families, to adhere to zero tolerance so that no member of the clergy who would abuse a child, youth or vulnerable person be allowed to continue in any ministry. We commit our Church to fully cooperate with civil authorities and always to act with the utmost transparency in a Church where everyone is held accountable, whether that person be a pastor, a teacher, a coach, a catechist, or a Bishop or a Cardinal. We have an obligation to survivors and to you our Catholic family to be true and faithful to accountability.” – Cardinal Seán