The following comes from an Aug. 4 story published in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Reversing his stance on a sensitive issue, Bishop Robert Vasa is allowing the Santa Rosa Diocese to continue offering child safety training in its schools and to participate in a nationwide audit that determines whether dioceses have provided the training intended to prevent child sex abuse.
Auditors working for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will visit the diocese for two days this month. They will examine records and interview the bishop, some priests and other church officials, including members of the review board that handles sex abuse complaints.
Santa Rosa was among the Catholic dioceses that passed last year’s audit for compliance with the child safety standards, including training for children and adults, adopted by the bishops conference in 2002.
The 165,000-member diocese, where the sex abuse scandal surfaced in 1994, has been found compliant with the standards since the first audit in 2003.
But Vasa, who took over as head of the diocese last July, had refused to provide children’s safety training or participate in the audit in his previous post as bishop of the Baker diocese in eastern Oregon.
The Baker diocese was cited for failing to provide the children’s training in 2005, and subsequently refused to participate in audits in 2006, 2008 and 2010, according to audit reports.
Vasa said last week his decision to let Santa Rosa’s child safety training program continue and to participate in the audit was “not a change of heart.”
The bishop said he still questions the efficacy of the program for Catholic school children, but wants to demonstrate the diocese’s commitment to their safety.
“I want to manifest that I have the best interests of the children at heart,” he said. “The audit seems to be the indicator of that fact.”
In the Baker diocese, Vasa said his decision to opt out of the audit was financial, based on the audit’s $10,000 cost and knowing the diocese would be found non-compliant for failing to offer child safety training.
“It was dollars and cents,” Vasa said. “It had nothing to do with an absence of care with our children.”
The Baker diocese offered training to parents and church volunteers, but not to children, and Vasa said he still believes parents are the best line of defense against child sex abuse.
In its report on the 2011 audit, the bishops conference said that safe environment training is “powerful” for adults and children. “This training provides, to children in particular, critical, life-forming messages about the skills necessary to protect themselves from the harm of child sexual abuse,” it said.
“That’s a great motive and intention,” Vasa said, regarding that statement. “Does it actually do it? I don’t know.”
To read entire story, click here.
Another one of Bishop Gregory useless and expensive secular programs that needs to be done away with. When will the USCCB be a part of the Roman Catholic Church? What sort of lies did he tell Pope John Paul to make himself look good, while poor Terri was being starved to death in Florida and he wouldn’t do a thing to help her. +JMJ+
i just this morning read a horrible report about the boy scouts of america and the huge problem of child abuse that group has gone thorugh.
anything we can do to protect children should be done, even if it DOES cost the diocese money and DOES involved more work.
the catholic church in the united states has become an excample for the rest of country in making children safer, so i really hope ALL bishops come on board and work together, rather than being “lone rangers” and not doing thier part.
max attempts two drive by shootings!
1. Aimed at the Boy Scouts because of their stand against the homosexual agenda.
2. Aimed directly against bishops like Bishop Bruskewitz and other bishops who realize that the problem has not been addressed. The problem is homosexuals in the priesthood. Do not fall for max’s sneaky attempt to call faithful bishops “Lone Rangers”. max has his own *Lone Ranger* agenda. Hi ‘ol (Lavender) Silver!
CATHERINE, how your mind works!
i read in the s.f. chronicle sunday about the problems the boys scouts had gone through with so many boys being molested, then read here about bishop vasa dealing with children being abused in the church setting.
by mentioning both realities, i am not attacking the church, nor the boy scouts, but the problem of PREDATORS, and how to keep children safer.
good heavens. you see a plot behind every pebble.
Quatsch, Quark, Unsinn = German words for baloney.
quark is actually a dairy product, often used in german pastries.
baloney is your approach to common sense posts.
It’s Hi Ho Silver. And I am sure that the female victims-the forgotten victims- of clergy abuse would agree with Max. A random survey of Catholic women found that almost 2% had experienced unwanted sexual attention from priests as minors. And in adult victims of clergy sexual abuse and exploitation, women outnumber men. Women suffer the added burden of being viewed as seducers of their abusers. The spiritual effects of being molested, raped or otherwised sexually abused by priests is greater with women. Their faith is shattered by the shock and disillusionment and their trust in God is destroyed. Many turn to spiritualities which invoke God as female or as having no gender. Depression, suicide attempts, crippling anxiety, inability to cope result from the violation. Those who are most religious, most devoutly Catholic are the most likely to be victimized.
destroying the innocense of young children (beginning in pre-school) makes not sense. All these programs manage to do is make the children reporters of crime…they are still victims…it does not prevent molestations from happening. Young children should not be given the burden of believing they have to defend themselves from predators. That is the job of thier parents and other adults. Many of the programs used in this country (even in the Catholic schools) were designed by Planned Parenthood. They go way too far in explicitly depicting sexual abuse…topics no child should feel responsible for. Adults need to step up for the sake of their children. It is the parents who can make the difference…children can report, they cannot defend themselves and should not be given a false sense of safety because they have bend indocrinated by over sexualized programs. Unfortunately, many parents are mistakenly lulled into believing that these programs “protect” their kids as well…what a disgrace that we have come to this.
ALICE thank you for this interesting post – i had never considered the problem from this angle.
in our rush to make children safe, you questiion whether we are tkaing away their innocence at too young an age, which is a very good question indeed.
wghen i was a child, we never worriedabout such stuff – i only wish the kids of today didn’t have to, either!
you bring up very good questions…
Alice, you say that it is the job of parents to prevent molestations from happening but most molestations are not at the hands of strangers or priests but happen in the home. A majority are molested by family members or family friends. A lot of those abused are girls who are molested by step-fathers and boyfriends of their mom’s. And sadly in many of these cases the moms look the other way and the child has nobody to turn to. Those that abuse the kids are those who are destroying the innocence of children not the people who are giving them the knowledge to help protect themselves from predators.
in short: The good Bishop was right the first time.
These child safety programs have the same purpose as TSA pat downs: give sodomites legal access to children.
no, JUERGENSEN, the purpose of such programs is to PREVENT access.
in our parish, our deacon and his wife lead the educatyional program for all parents in the ccd classes and in our parochial school, and they did a great job, which took a lot of time and work.
i hope and pray the work they did, and still do, will bear fruit and keep our kids safe…
You are wrong Juergensen. As a religion teacher I had to have a criminal background check, a child abuse background check and also take a course in child protection. I have to teach a child safety course to my class every year. The Church put this in place to protect children. Young people need to be aware of this in order to protect themselves. They need to know how to be safe in certain situations. They need to know that adults are not allowed to touch them in certain ways. Child safety programs are important. Bob One, much of what you say is correct but let’s give Bishop Vasa the benefit of the doubt as he is now complying with Church directives in regard to child safety.
Child abuse is throughout our society. Organizations that deal with children need to do everything they can to prevent the abuse. Adults who teach religious classes need to be instructed in what acceptable behavior is with children and the children need to be instructed to recognize abuse when they see it or are victims of it. Anything less is unacceptable. Under no circumstance should a child be alone with an adult at any time at a church function or in a classroom. All classrooms must have windows in the doors so that the room can be monitored. This is not new. The Scouts have had this training for twenty years or more. The Church was the last to take up the defense of children. To say that it is a wast of money is a red herring. A Bishop who does not provide this training to children and to the adults with whom they interact should be removed from office. Anyone who thinks that this sort of thing needs to be done only by the parents doesn’t know much about parenting in the 21st century. Daycare centers, for example must, by law, report any hint that a child has been abused at home or by some other person. A kid who comes to daycare with bruises will automatically set up an investigation and be reported to Child Protective Services. This is the law in our state at least. The fact that Bishop Vasa did not comply with this mandate is a deriliction of duty on his part and he should have been removed from office. Just because somone is a Bishop does not give him the right to ignore doing what is right for the kids under his care. Call the Papal Nuncio, and have him removed if does it again. It is time to stand up to the abuse allowed by the Bishops who think they are above the law.
a couple of years ago here in the archdiocese of san francisoc, bishop william justice told our priests during their annual study week there was a regulation about pu8tting windows into doors, so that people can feel safer when alone with an adult.
many of th epriests were not aware of the regulation!
it turns out that many pastors IMMEDIATELY had such windows installed, so that no one can be accused of anything bad when counseling an adult, teen, or child…because anyone walking by can see whoever’s in the room.
I hope and pray that Bishop Vasa does not find that he was mistaken and that he should have stuck to his guns!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Catherine,I didn’t read max’s post in that light at all. I took it to mean that there are still problems and have been, despite everything. It’s very discouraging that these ghouls can’t leave innocent children alone. I have always believed that pedophiles should be castrated, no ifs, ands or buts. Once proven guilty, punishment should be swift with no second chances. People have become so inured to such evil that they hardly care anymore. I truly believe if these slimey depraved parasites were dealt with consistently and firmly they’d suddenly find themselves able to resist their monstrous behavior. They are loathesome and vile and I truly can’t think of anything more despicable other than abortion.
Kenneth Fisher, I find it interesting that you have suggested, essentially, that only orthodox Catholics should comment on this site. And yet, you continue to give your opinions when you admit openly that you are not Catholic and attend services at a non-Catholic church. How should we interpret that?
My reply to your above comments would not be printable!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
What set me off was the fact that my grandson is a cub scout and just the thought that he might be endangered just struck my grandmothers instinct to lift cars, jump from high buildings in a single bound or break a brick with my bare hands to keep anything from happening to him. Sorry I sounded so bloodthirsty! I guess I must have zero tolerance where pedophiles are concerned. I’ve seen them lurking in parks etc and you can just feel their evil intent.
DANA i totally sympathize with your anger. my nephew was abused by some small town celebrity who ‘groomed’ young boys and then molested them in his home. my brother almost killed the perv when he learned what had happened to his son.
my earlier post was not an attack against the boy scouts (whom i see as a terrific organization), but my concern after reading the following in our local s.f. paper, the CHRONICLE:
“Internal documents from the Boy Scouts of America reveal more than 125 cases in which men suspected of molestation allegedly continued to abuse Scouts, despite a blacklist meant to protect boys from sexual predators.
“A Los Angeles Times review of more than 1,200 files from 1970 to 1991 found suspected abusers regularly remained in the organization after officials were presented with sexual misconduct allegations.
“Predators moved from troop to troop because of clerical errors, computer glitches or the Scouts’ failure to check the blacklist, known as the “perversion files,” the newspaper said…
Your frenzied efforts to take the focus off of the real reason for the Church scandals is not working.
what ARE you talking about, woman?!?
Catherine, the real reason for the Church scandal was priests and bishops who were not holy. The system protected predator priests in order to protect the reputations of the priests and the bishops. As long as the priests were “loyal” they were protected by most bishops. It was a systemic failure that was rooted in a clerical culture that viewed priests (even predatory priests) as better than the laity and as more important than the children and in some cases women who were abused and exploited. The victims were pretty much viewed as dispensable. For a long time the law looked the other way and allowed the Church to take care of their own. This has changed now and things are a lot more open. Most dioceses now have guidelines for protecting children.
You wrote, “It was a systematic failure that was rooted in clerical culture that viewed priests (even predatory priests) as better than the laity and as more important than the children).
Nice try Mark but it won’t work You should have stopped at your first sentence which was. “Priests and Bishops were not being holy” Why were they not being holy Mark? They were not being holy because they were being active homosexuals and it was protected at many levels for many years. It still is. You are doing it now. You can’t seem to help yourself. You are trying to deny the existence of that truth because you are an ongoing supporter and activist for the homosexual agenda.
The systemic failure that you are trying to sweep under the rug WAS and still IS called the pervasive chokehold called homosexuality in the priesthood.
Of course homosexual predators did not care about their victims. The majority of victims were homosexual predators living very sinful double lives.
This is why Pope Benedict XVI says that homosexuality is incompatible with the priesthood.
I need to make a correction to my above post. I left out two very important words. “The sentence should read, “The majority of victims *were abused” by homosexual predators living very sinful double lives.
Mark, Did you read today’s article, “I’d cleaned out enough apartments of men who’d died of AIDS. Mark did you agree with the Professor?
Kenneth, I apologize if I offended you. But, I understood some of your past comments to imply that you attend a “traditional latin mass” at a parish that is in schism with the Roman Catholic Church. If that is not the case, please let me know. Again, I apologize if I misread your previouse statements.
Oh,max,that is so terrible! I don’t blame your brother a bit. Was justice meted out to that devil dressed as lamb? I’ve been trying not to worry as I know most leaders are dads, but my grandson is in scout camp this week. If anyone knew I was worrying they’d all laugh at me. It’s such a comfort to share with Catholics that know the dark side of people. Heh heh. There’s a joke about the difference between Catholic and Jewish mothers but I can’t think of it, for which I’m sure youreval thankful!
DANA the perv got arrested and sent to prison, thank GOD.
Well, Catherine it seems that you missed the part about women being exploited by some priests. I don’t think it was homosexual priests that had girlfriends and mistresses. In truth more priests were involved with adult women than with children. Since this is not against the law it is not really publicized. Priests were probably less likely to abuse children than men in the general population but great damage was done by a small number of men who had many victims. These men should have been quickly removed but in many cases they were given chance after chance after chance.