Safe Environment for Children and Youth: Promise to Protect and Pledge to Heal

When a child becomes the victim of sexual abuse, it’s always a tragedy and a serious tragedy. But even more so when it involves the Church. It’s more tragic because that person, first of all, represents the Church and, for the young child, represents God. And so many times, we know, psychologically, the child cannot make the difference between seeing that coming from God and the Church… And we must be honest that sometimes the accusation that these cases have not been handled in a way that has been effective—in a way that has been just, must be admitted. —Archbishop Gregory Aymond

The reality of child sexual abuse is devastating for many. As described by Archbishop Gregory Aymond, the Catholic Church has not always responded in the way it should have to cases of abuse.

The Catholic Church’s proactive response in 2002 was the approval of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter). Since then, there is substantial, tangible and consistent evidence that the Church has worked diligently to be a better protector of children. Efforts include, but are not limited to the fact that each diocese throughout the country now has a safe environment program to protect children, an avenue for healing and reconciliation for survivors, a streamlined process to swiftly respond to allegations, transparency in cooperating with civil authorities and measures to discipline offenders.

In order to achieve the above, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago has a Safe Environment Program that implements Training, Screening, Background Checks and other procedures that are designed to reduce the risk of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults. Every parish, school and Diocesan agency has the program and each is responsible for program implementation and continuation.

Please click on the below link to go to the Safe Environment materials.

  1. Safe Environment Handbook 2016 Safe Environment Handbook 2016 (998 KB)  [Last Updated:11-Dec-2016 09:44 AM]

  2. Pastoral Code of Conduct - Sept 2016(PDF) Pastoral Code of Conduct - Sept 2016(PDF) (390 KB)  [Last Updated:11-Dec-2016 09:43 AM]

  3. Code of Conduct for Church Personnel Code of Conduct for Church Personnel (1787 KB)  [Last Updated:07-Jan-2017 08:11 AM]

  4. Duties of Local Site Administrator (PDF) Duties of Local Site Administrator (PDF) (44 KB)  [Last Updated:02-May-2016 08:08 PM]

  5. Safe Environment Brochure 2016 (PDF) Safe Environment Brochure 2016 (PDF) (588 KB)  [Last Updated:11-Dec-2016 09:45 AM]

  6. www.virtus.org for Safe Environment Training

  7. Virtus Registration Instructions (PDF) Virtus Registration Instructions (PDF) (194 KB)  [Last Updated:02-May-2016 08:09 PM]

  8. www.eappsdab.com for criminal background check

  9. Background Check Instructions (PDF) Background Check Instructions (PDF) (72 KB)  [Last Updated:02-May-2016 08:06 PM]

  10. Application Form for Minors Serving As Volunteers Application Form for Minors Serving As Volunteers (0 KB)  [Last Updated:02-May-2016 07:50 PM]

  11. www.stthomasdiocese.org/child-safety Safe Environment Program at St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago

For more information please contact the Church Office or Safe Environment Coordinator via SafeEnvironment@syromalabarchurchdallas.org

SAFE Articles (PDF)

SAFE: Monitoring Programs to Keep Children Safe SAFE: Monitoring Programs to Keep Children Safe (85 KB)  [Last Updated:09-Feb-2017 11:54 AM]

SAFE: Pokémon Go and Social Networking SAFE: Pokémon Go and Social Networking (14 KB)  [Last Updated:05-Jan-2017 11:47 PM]

SAFE: Protecting God's Children: Step Four-Be Aware of Child and Youth Behavior SAFE: Protecting God's Children: Step Four-Be Aware of Child and Youth Behavior (119 KB)  [Last Updated:02-Jun-2016 07:45 PM]

SAFE: Teaching Touching Safety SAFE: Teaching Touching Safety (773 KB)  [Last Updated:07-Nov-2016 08:16 PM]

SAFE: The Importance of Mobile Device App Awareness SAFE: The Importance of Mobile Device App Awareness (220 KB)  [Last Updated:03-Sep-2016 04:05 PM]