The Victim Assistance Office has an abiding concern for the healing and reconciliation of those who have been sexually assaulted, harassed or exploited as a minor by any priest, deacon, member of a religious community, diocesan lay employee, or volunteer, whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years in the past. The Diocesan Assistance Coordinator provides pastoral care, support and resources to our victims/survivors to promote their psychological, emotional and spiritual healing.
The Safe Environment Office is responsible for implementation of the screening, training, and protocols/codes of conduct mandated by the Charter. Compliance scope includes all clergy, all religious, all employees and any volunteer whose work brings them into contact with those under the age of 18.
The Diocese of Syracuse embraces this right to safety and is dedicated to promoting the protection of children and young people. The program continues to strengthen due to our passion for the safety of our children, a passion and commitment shared by you, me, our bishop, our clergy and diocesan leadership, our employees, our volunteers. We must recognize this responsibility to our children, accept it, embrace it.
From the USCCB regarding the Holy Father's meeting with victims of sexual abuse:
On September 27, 2015, Pope Francis met with five adults who experienced sexual abuse as a minor by clergy, family members or teachers. Each was accompanied by a family member or support person. The group was accompanied by Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston and chairman of the commission set up by the Pope for the protection of minors, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Bishop Fitzgerald, head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese's commission for the protection of minors. The Pope spoke with visitors, listened to their stories, greeted them individually and prayer with them. He told them that he shared in their suffering, and he had pain and shame in particular the case of injury caused by clergy or church workers. He renewed the committment of the Church to the effort that all victims are heard and treated with justice, that the guilty be punished and the crimes of abuse be combated with an effective prevention activity in the Church and in society. The Pope thanked the victims for their essential contribution to the restore the truth and begin the journey of healing. The meeting lasted about a half an hour and ended with the blessing of the Holy Father.
Click here to read the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
From the Vatican: "Abuse of Minors: The Church's Response"
The Diocese of Syracuse unconditionally believes in the dignity of all people and places a special emphasis on the safety of children and young people. All of our youth have the right to be safe and protected from harm in all environments – home, school, religious institutions, neighborhoods, and communities. Each of us, as part of the Syracuse Diocese, is entrusted to protect child and young people and dedicated to restore by bringing the healing ministry of the diocese to bear wherever possible.
In keeping with our commitment the diocesan Child & Youth Protection Office is comprised of two distinct but closely related offices: Office of Victim Assistance and the Safe Environment Office . These offices are accountable for integrating the approved standards of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (USCCB 2002) with our Catholic values and teachings, canon laws, and policies.
240 East Onondaga Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
Tel: (315) 470-1421
Fax: (315) 478-4619