April 29, 2019
The Misconduct Advisory Team (M.A.T.) of the Diocese of Charlottetown, is an advisory board comprised of priests, religious sisters and lay men and women with a variety of professional experiences, including: a teacher, nurse, social workers, Civil lawyer and Canon lawyer with many years’ experience in Pastoral ministry and in the helping professions. Our role is to deal with reports of sexual abuse and make recommendations to the Bishop of the Diocese regarding a just response.
All reports of sexual misconduct will be dealt with compassionately, responsibly and with transparency and accountability. Be assured that those coming forward will be listened to with respect and compassion in an open and non-judgmental manner.
Since the sex abuse scandal came to light in the early 1980’s, the Church has learned many lessons and the new publication, PROTECTING MINORS FROM SEXUAL ABUSE, published in October of 2018, makes a number of concrete recommendations. First and foremost is the need for a “PASTORAL” encounter with victims of clergy sexual abuse. Retelling their story of abuse and its after-effects can be a traumatic experience for victims. Every effort is to be made to express remorse that what the victim experienced should never have happened and to ensure that they do not feel responsible for someone else’s actions.
When an allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor under the age of 18 years is received, the police and/or Child protective services must be informed. Along with conducting their own separate investigation, Church officials will cooperate fully with civil authorities in their investigation.
The Misconduct Advisory Team deals with Church (Canon) Law and can make a number of recommendations to the Bishop of the Diocese. It can recommend termination of employment of a lay person, the removal of a priest’s faculties to preach, to say Mass or to hear Confessions and even the dismissal from the clerical state. Accusations against a priest or other member of the clergy must be forwarded to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for their recommendations and instructions as well. Sexual abuse not only affects the victim but also their family, their Parish, their community and the entire Church. The Misconduct Advisory Team works to ensure that all affected by sexual abuse are dealt with compassionately and efficiently.
The Diocese of Charlottetown now has a dedicated phone line for those wishing to make a report of sexual abuse against a member of the clergy, a parish or Diocesan employee or volunteer. This phone line is confidential, and all calls will, if possible, be responded to within 24 hours. The phone number is: (902) 892-1252.
For the Document “Diocesan Response to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct” Click on the following link or Download: