A Statement from the President
September 20, 2013
Father Chet Artysiewicz
President, Glenmary Home Missioners
A jury today has found Glenmary Father Bob Poandl, 72, guilty of one count of transporting a minor across state lines in 1991 with intent to engage in sexual activity. The 12-person jury delivered the verdict this afternoon. Sentencing will occur at a later date.
My heart breaks for all those who have been impacted by this tragic situation. This has been a long, painful experience. I respect and accept the decision of the 12 jurors. I and all the members of Glenmary Home Missioners have continually prayed that a just resolution would be reached.
Sexual abuse is a heinous crime. Eleven years ago, the U.S. bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms for dealing with clerics accused of child abuse. Since then, dioceses and religious orders—including Glenmary—have worked diligently to make sure the mistakes of the past are not repeated. My predecessors have laid the foundation for Glenmary's efforts in this area, and I have continued to uphold and build on that foundation since assuming the presidency in 2011.
Glenmary has had a policy on sexual misconduct in place since 1988. The policy was revised in 2004 to reflect the current national standards for those who work with children. We have had a Review Board—which consists of a clinical psychologist, social workers, a counselor, a victim of sexual abuse, a member of the Glenmary community and a lawyer—in place since 2005. This board examines any accusation I receive of sexual misconduct with a minor by a Glenmary priest or brother and then makes recommendations to the Glenmary Executive Council.
We have also maintained our accreditation with Praesidium, a national leader in abuse risk management, since 2006. This accreditation—which was just renewed this year—means Glenmary's policies and procedures regarding sexual abuse prevention have been found, by an independent team of specialists, to meet or exceed all abuse prevention and response standards set forth by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. These standards were created based on the U.S. bishops' Essential Norms.
I and Glenmary remain committed to doing all we can to make sure children and young people are safeguarded and that any report of sexual abuse, boundary violation or misconduct is addressed thoroughly and immediately. We remain vigilant to ensure that Glenmary missions and ministries are safe environments for all.
While the jury has rendered its verdict, I realize this does not mark the end of the pain involved in this situation. Today, more than ever, I pray that God's love and compassion will lead to healing for all involved, especially for the victim and his family.