6 May 2021 – Regina, Saskatchewan – Today, the Bishops of Canada launch a national, bilingual service for reporting situations of clergy sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a Bishop. This service furthers their commitment to start to work toward responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate what structures are needed for to help victim/survivors move forward.
In 2019, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Vos estis lux mundi (You are the light of the world) was issued after victims/survivors continued to ask for accountability from bishops. In his 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. In response to his letter and the call for accountability from victims/survivors, the Canadian Bishops are launching this system. The reporting system for Bishops introduces another level of accountability for Church leadership in Canada, alongside the existing diocesan/eparchial protocols for reporting and responding to clergy sexual abuse or other clergy sexual misconduct by priests, deacons, religious.
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 clergy sexual abuse, clergy 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 the sin and crime 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.
Listening to victims is an essential starting point. “The pain of being abused is something I wish on no one. Yet, when the church told me to come forward and they would walk with me and instead I was met with condemnation and essentially excommunicated with the intent to try to silence me. The doors to the church were locked to me. I was left alone to suffer in silence in the pain, shame and ever present blame from others. Change is needed, victims deserve better. “
The Archdiocese of Regina commits itself to doing everything it can to walk with and support victims and to implement polices regarding clergy sexual abuse in an open, accountable, transparent way, with the help of victims.
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 Clergy Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop, please visit our Bishop Reporting System page.
|For questions about The Archdiocese of Regina’s Policy and Procedure for Reports of Sexual Abuse of Minors and Vulnerable Adults by Clergy or Persons in a Religious Order, please contact either Archdiocesan Delegate Fr. Brad Fahlman at 1(306) 400-3655 or by email at enquiryarchregina [dot] sk [dot] ca, or the Victim Services and Advocacy office at: victimserviceadvocacygmail [dot] com .||
For general and technical questions
about the Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)
E-mail at communicationscccb [dot] ca
Phone at 613-241-9461, ext. 225
Page URL: http://archregina.sk.ca/news/2021/05/06/new-canadian-reporting-system-clergy-sexual-abuse-or-cover-catholic-bishop