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

When a child becomes the victim of sexual abuse, it is always a tragedy and a serious tragedy. But even more so when it involves the Church. It is 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.

Other Links:

  1. for Safe Environment Training

  2. Safe Environment Program at St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago

  3. Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal.

For more information please contact the Church Office or Safe Environment Coordinator via