Andrea Langlois
Responsible Ministry
Email: responsibleministry@padiocese.ca   
306-922-4747 ext. 234

Reporting Abuse

 

Contact: Director of Responsible Ministry:Phone:306-922-4747Ext. 234

Confidential email: responsibleministry@padiocese.ca

 

All allegations or suspicions of abuse against children, youth and vulnerable adults are taken seriously and acted upon immediately.  The Bishop is informed, and the clergy, employee or ministry personnel suspected are immediately taken out of ministry until the conclusion of the investigation.  Confidentiality is maintained with information being shared with only those who are required to be informed pursuant to the Responsible Ministry Protocol.

 

 

Definitions:

 

Abuse of a Child or Youth

The term ‘child abuse’ refers to the violence, mistreatment or neglect that a child or youth (anyone below the age of 18) may experience while in the care of someone they either trust or depend on.  The abuse or neglect may be physical, sexual or emotional/psychological in nature.  It may be a one-time event or may occur in a repeated and escalating pattern over a period of weeks, months or years.

Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult

Abuse of a vulnerable adult is an act or behaviour by anyone, including a caregiver, which results in harm to a vulnerable adult’s well-being or safety.  Caregivers are often family members, but include anyone who provides care to the vulnerable adult whether in their own home,  in a care facility or in a community environment.

Issues of power and control underlie all abuse situations.  Such abuse may take the form of financial, emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect.

Vulnerable Adult

A person 18 years of age or older who, because of age, disability or other circumstances, whether temporary or permanent, is in a position of dependence on others or is at a greater risk than the general population of being harmed by a person or persons in positions of authority or trust.

 

Director of Responsible Ministry (DRM) – an individual appointed by the Diocese to determine the appropriate response and/or action to issues pertaining to the implementation of the Diocesan Responsible Ministry Protocol including any allegations of misconduct or abuse.

 

Parish Responsible Ministry Committee (PRMC) – a group of persons responsible for the ongoing implementation of the Responsible Ministry Protocol within the parish including the pastor, parish council chairperson (or a person appointed by Parish Pastoral Council) and a member at large who is appointed by the Parish Pastoral Council.

 

Responsible Ministry Advisory Team (RMAT) – a group of 3-5 laypersons who are qualified by training and experience, to act as advisors to the Director of Responsible Ministry in the administration of the Responsible Ministry Protocol and/or in the event of an allegation.

 

Section B. Reporting of a Historical Case of Abuse - the process when reporting abuse of a minor that happened in the past and where the victim is now an adult (18 years of age or older).  The choice of whether to report the incident(s) to the police or other civil authorities is left to the victim/survivor.

 

Section C:  Reporting Abuse or Cover-Up By A Catholic Bishop – the process for reporting the sexual abuse of a minor or the cover-up of such abuse by a Catholic Bishop.

 

 

A.  Reporting Abuse of a Minor:

 [Please see Sections 3.02 & 3.03 of the Responsible Ministry Protocol for the complete policy.]

 

1. All allegation or suspicions of child abuse (of a person under the age of 18) must be reported to Child and Family Services or the Police immediately.

 

2. When a ministry volunteer or employee in the line of duty reports a suspicion of abuse or an allegation of abuse to authorities, they must also notify the Director of Responsible Ministry that a report has been made. [Complete Appendix 17- Suspected Abuse Report Form] 

 

Director of Responsible Ministry:Phone:306-922-4747Ext. 234

Confidential email: responsibleministry@padiocese.ca

 

3. The parish responsible ministry committee (PRMC) will notify and work in conjunction with the Responsible Ministry Advisory Team (RMAT) and the Director of Responsible Ministry throughout the process.  Confidentiality must be maintained with information being shared with only those who are required to be informed pursuant to the Responsible Ministry Protocol.

 

4. If the suspected child abuse happened in the context of Church ministries and was committed by a church member or attendee, the parents of the victim must be notified by the Director of Responsible Ministry.

 

5. All individuals must cooperate fully with the investigation by Child and Family Services and/or the police.

 

6. A support person who is not a part of the investigation process will be offered to the complainant and their family and a different support person will be offered to the accused person (respondent). These persons will assist with communications and understanding the procedures of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert and can provide emotional and possibly spiritual support but not counseling.

 

7. Any member of the clergy, employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Prince Albert who is the subject of a criminal or child protection investigation related to abuse of a child, youth or vulnerable adult shall be removed from sacred ministry or from any ecclesiastical office or function until the conclusion of the investigation. If the accused is criminally convicted, it will then follow that they will be permanently removed from sacred ministry, any ecclesiastical office or any function with the Diocese of Prince Albert and the Church.

 

8. Following the completion of any criminal or child protection proceeding, that does not result in a criminal conviction, an internal investigation shall be conducted to determine whether an accused member of the clergy, employee or volunteer poses a hazard to children or vulnerable adults.  The findings of this internal investigation will be used to determine future assignments of the accused person.  The determination shall be made by the Responsible Ministry Advisory Team and shall be made based on the balance of probabilities with primary consideration given to the safety of children, youth, or vulnerable adults.

 

9. Whenever allegations of sexual abuse involving minors by a member of the clergy have been made, a proper preliminary canonical enquiry, in accordance with codes of Canon Law pertaining to discipline and ecclesiastical trials, will be undertaken and the case will be referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 

 

B. Reporting of a Historical Case of Abuse:

 

1. Contact the Director of Responsible Ministry

Phone:  306-922-4747  Ext. 234

Confidential email: responsibleministry@padiocese.ca

 

2. At the claimant’s request, an initial meeting will be set up including the complainant and their support person, the Director of Responsible Ministry from the diocese and one member of the Responsible Ministry Advisory Team (RMAT).  The location of the meeting will be one with which the complainant is most comfortable, and the complainant will know the identity of those attending so that any conflict of interest can be avoided.

 

At this meeting, the complainant is invited to provide details about their disclosure either in writing or verbal form (or both).Questions may be asked for clarification of the disclosure.Notes will be taken by the diocese representatives and will be shared with the complainant after the meeting to assure accuracy.

 

3. Confidentiality must be maintained throughout the process with information being shared with only those who need to know.

 

4. A support person who is not a part of the investigation process will be offered to the complainant and their family and a different support person will be offered to the accused person (respondent). These persons will assist with communications and understanding the procedures of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert and can provide emotional and possibly spiritual support but not counseling.

 

5. Should the complainant desire it, a meeting may be set up with the lay membership of the Responsible Ministry Advisory Team to further explain their disclosure and share the impacts on their life to date. 

 

6. The alleged perpetrator will be put on administrative leave until the conclusion of the process(es) if in active ministry.

 

7. The Director of Responsible Ministry and the lay members of the RMAT will assess the complaint and investigate, interviewing witnesses and the accused if possible.  In the event that a criminal or civil action is currently in progress, the RMAT may not be convened until all legal proceedings have been completed.

 

8. Once the investigation is completed, a report will be produced by the RMAT and Director of Responsible Ministry summarising the disclosure and assessing its credibility and whether it could be substantiated.  A case may be considered substantiated by admission of guilt by the respondent, by corroboration of statements pointing to guilt, by information from other reporting persons coming forward or by a canonical penal process.  If the disclosure is deemed credible and/or substantiated the RMAT and DRM will offer an expression of regret, for all you have suffered, on behalf of the Diocese.  The report should include recommendations to the Bishop.  Once the process is complete, the victim/survivor may request to meet with the Bishop.

 

9. Counselling, pastoral, and spiritual care will be offered to the complainant.

 

10. A complainant always retains the right to go to civil authorities any time throughout the process.

 

11. Attention will be given to facilitating the healing of the victim/survivor recognizing that the process often occurs over an extended period of time and needs to be driven by the person involved.

C. Reporting abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop

New Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop

furthers the commitment of the Catholic Church in Canada

to protect minors and vulnerable persons from sexual abuse

6 May 2021 – Prince Albert, SK – Today, the Bishops of Canada launch a national, bilingual service for reporting situations of sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a Bishop. This service furthers their commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors.

 

The Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop is a direct response to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter entitled Vos estis lux mundi (You are the light of the world). In this Letter, the Pope calls on dioceses and eparchies throughout the world to establish “...one or more public, stable and easily accessible systems for submission of reports…”. With Vos estis lux mundi, the Pope indicates what procedures must be followed in the universal Church when allegations are made against a Bishop. In doing so, he updates, clarifies and standardizes practices around the world. The reporting system for Bishops introduces an additional level of accountability for Church leadership in Canada, alongside the existing diocesan/eparchial protocols for reporting and responding to sexual abuse or other sexual misconduct by priests, deacons, religious, and mandated lay pastoral personnel.

 

“Our society must aim to create a climate of safety where the abuse of children and vulnerable people is simply not tolerated, and where their support is paramount,” began Dr. Delphine Collin-Vézina, PhD, Director of the Centre for Research on Children and Families, and Director of the Canadian Consortium on Child & Youth Trauma, as well as full Professor, School of Social Work & Associate Member, Department of Pediatrics at McGill University. “The newly established national, bilingual system for reporting sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, or cover-up by a Catholic Bishop in Canada is an important step forward in this direction. This system is rooted in a victim-first approach and aims to remove the multiple barriers that prevent disclosure. These abuses have been silenced and covered up for too long, leaving victims and survivors unheard. I applaud this initiative led by the Bishops of Canada, which will hopefully facilitate healing and recovery for those who were abused.”

 

ClearView Strategic Partners, a Canadian provider of an independent ethics reporting and whistleblowing platform, was engaged by the Bishops of Canada to develop the reporting system according to the instructions and procedures outlined in Vos estis lux mundi. This new reporting system is designed to receive and transmit to the proper Church authorities reports of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct (e.g., sexual harassment or possession of child pornography) or cover-up by a Catholic Bishop. ClearView’s technology benefits anyone wanting to make such a report by providing them with a secure and confidential platform, allowing them to remain anonymous if they so choose, and ensuring all communications are documented and preserved.

 

The Catholic Bishops of Canada condemn all forms of sexual abuse in the strongest possible terms. No one should ever have to endure the pain, humiliation, and long-term suffering it causes, nor should anyone have to doubt that serious consequences await a perpetrator of sexual abuse or cover-up. With this reporting system, the Bishops make themselves accountable to live with integrity and to address reports of sexual abuse according to Church and civil law. At all times, they grieve with victims-survivors. They regret profoundly what offending Bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and laity have inflicted on victims-survivors, as well as its effects. The Bishops of Canada wish to reach out and accompany victims-survivors along the path that restores justice and promotes healing.

 

About Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop

The Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop is provided and financed by the Bishops of Canada. It operates on a confidential, secure platform, ClearView ConnectsTM, developed by ClearView Strategic Partners. Individuals can access the reporting system online (BishopReportingSystem.ca) or via a toll-free number (1-866-892-3737) from anywhere in Canada, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year in English or French.

 

To learn more about the Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop, please visit www.padiocese.ca

Information:

 

For questions about safeguarding

and responsible ministry in the

Diocese of Prince Albert

Andrea Langlois

Director of Responsible Ministry

E-mail:  responsibleministry@padiocese.ca

Phone: 306-922-4747 ext 234

Website: https://www.padiocese.ca/responsible-ministry

 

For general and technical questions

about the Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop

Lisa Gall

Communications Coordinator

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)

E-mail at communications@cccb.ca

Phone at 613-241-9461, ext. 225

 

Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop - 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Link

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