Canadian Bishops launch Bishop Reporting System regarding Clergy Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Canadian Catholic Bishop
A word to victims
After having endured the pain and torment of clergy sexual abuse, beginning to talk about it can be a terrifying task. The wounds and pain of that experience are real. Sharing that information through a reporting process may be overwhelming and terrifying. For many that have gone to the church to share their experience, the response has not been positive. This needs to change. With the assistance of victims, the Archdiocese of Regina has been working on various structures and policy changes so that victims can be accompanied and supported as they come forward. It is our intent that anyone coming forward with a report against a bishop would also be accompanied and supported in that process.
Invitation from Archbishop Don to Victims
As a victim of clergy sexual abuse, you pay a price that others are not aware of. You should not have to carry that burden alone. On Thursday May 6, 2021 the Canadian Bishops launched a reporting system to allow people to report bishops who covered up or engaged in clergy sexual abuse. As the Metropolitan Archbishop, some of those cases may come to me to be investigated. Although this can be an anonymous process, I am also mindful that some who go through such a reporting process may need accompaniment and support. While we need a system for reporting bishops (and other clergy or religious), we also need to offer accompaniment. You do not have to be alone in this process. I would be willing to meet with and talk with you on your terms. Likewise, you may turn to Fr. Brad Fahlman, my Delegate for cases of clergy sexual abuse; to Pamela Walsh, at the Victims Services and Advocacy office; or to Lorie Harrison, a trauma counsellor, who has been contracted to work with victims through a direct self referral with no obligation to report to the diocese.
In this as in other contexts relating to clergy sexual abuse, the Archdiocese commits itself to listening to and walking with victims, and is open to your suggestions about how we can meaningfully do that.
Accountability of bishops
In 2019, responding to requests from victims for a way in which bishops are held accountable for their actions, Pope Francis issued the Apostolic Letter Vos estis lux mundi, calling on dioceses and eparchies throughout the world to establish a system by which bishops can be reported for committing or covering up clergy sexual abuse. On May 6, 2021, the bishops in Canada, each in their own diocese, launched a system by which this can happen. The BishopReportingSystem.ca provides a means for reporting clergy sexual abuse by a Canadian Catholic Bishop. It also allows a means to report cover up by a bishop, whose actions or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid civil or canonical investigations regarding clergy sexual abuse.
ClearView, a Canadian based firm, is in charge of a confidential platform that will be used to gather and then transmit your report to the proper Church authorities, who will then act as required by church law.
Please note in Saskatchewan there is a duty to report law that requires anyone who suspects that a child currently under the age of 16 may be in danger of sexual abuse or other abuse, that this be reported to either social services or the police. If this is the case please contact the proper authorities immediately.
The Reporting Process:
In addition to how to submit your report a list of Frequently Asked Questions has been compiled that you will find here
Should you need further information about this process, or about anything regarding clergy sexual abuse or serious pastoral misconduct, or should you wish to be accompanied in the process of making a report against a bishop, please contact either the Archbishop’s Delegate, Fr. Brad Fahlman at 1(306) 400-3655 or by email enquiryarchregina [dot] sk [dot] ca, or the Victims Services and Advocacy office at: victimserviceadvocacygmail [dot] com.
Page URL: http://archregina.sk.ca/report-clergy-abuse/bishop-reporting-system