Glenmary council releases letter concerning abuse

Posted: 9/7/2018

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
John Stegeman
Manager of Communications/Marketing
Phone: 513-881-7442
Email address: jstegeman@glenmary.org 
 

CINCINNATI, Ohio — In response to renewed allegations of abuse and mismanagement by church leadership in the United States, Glenmary Home Missioners released a statement on Friday, September 7 addressed to its mission parishioners, supporters and friends.

 

In the statement, signed by Glenmary’s three-person Executive Council, Glenmary reiterated its commitment to child protection, but acknowledged and apologized for failures in the past.

 

The statement goes on to publicly outline Glenmary’s process for handling potential cases of child sexual abuse and urges anyone with information on possible abuses to contact Glenmary’s leadership, and the authorities.

 

The full text of the letter appears below.

 

Glenmary Home Missioners (aka the Home Missioners of America) are a Catholic society of priests and brothers who, along with coworkers, are dedicated to serving the spiritual and material needs of people living in mission counties throughout Appalachia and the South. Learn more at Glenmary.org.


Dear mission parishioners, supporters,
and friends,

By now you have likely seen headlines concerning abuse in the church, mismanagement by bishops, and even accusations against the Holy Father. At Glenmary we are also following these stories with keen interests, and heavy hearts.

No child should ever suffer abuse, but when a credible allegation of abuse is made, the only acceptable response is swift, focused on justice, and sensitive to the accuser. Glenmary is committed to that response should one of our missioners be accused of abuse.

There are no present cases of abuse under investigation against any Glenmarian, but you should know that our history is not spotless. In our 80 years we have failed at times in keeping abusers out of our ranks, and for that we are forever sorry. We are committed to never repeating the sins of the past.

To make this commitment concrete, Glenmary has the following procedures in place to protect children.

Should Glenmary receive an allegation of abuse against a missioner, the president of Glenmary would immediately notify relevant civil authorities, and fully cooperate with their investigation. The accused missioner would be instructed to return to Glenmary’s Cincinnati headquarters immediately and would be removed from ministry while the allegation’s credibility was investigated.

Glenmary would hire an independent firm to investigate as well, though this may be suspended during criminal proceedings to better facilitate cooperation with civil authorities. An independent review board which consists, in part, of survivors of clergy sexual abuse, would help guide Glenmary through this process. 

If allegations were to be substantiated, even if they were past the legal statute of limitations, the missioner would not be permitted to engage in public ministry any longer and would be placed under a safety plan designed to prevent future abuse.

Glenmary will never allow a credibly accused missioner to continue in public ministry.

Should abuse occur at the hands of a priest or brother, Glenmary offers continued independent counseling services to the victims. We recognize that abuse of any kind causes lifelong trauma, pain and damage for the abused and their families. Glenmary offers compassion, prayers and support to all survivors of abuse. These steps and others are part of Glenmary’s accreditation by Praesidium, a national youth protection organization.

Any financial obligations related to potential cases of abuse come from Glenmary’s self-generated income, and not from donor funds.

We write this to assure you, as best we can in troubled times, that the priests and brothers caring for your communities in the name of Glenmary are good, holy and mentally healthy men. Should we ever be given evidence to the contrary, we will act swiftly and decisively.

Anyone who believes he or she has been abused by a member of Glenmary Home Missioners is encouraged to contact both Glenmary President Father Chet Artysiewicz at 513-881-7448 and appropriate authorities. Glenmary promises full cooperation with the civil authorities in the reporting and investigation of such allegations.

Please keep Glenmarians, and the church at large, in your prayers and be assured of our prayers for you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 513-881-7448.

Sincerely,
Glenmary Executive Council
Father Chet Artysiewicz, president
Father Neil Pezzulo, first vice president
Brother Larry Johnson, second vice president