Response to Sexual Abuse

Statement of Policies and Practices in Response to
Supervision and Support Plans Sexual Misconduct and Abuse
Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph

As brothers of St. Francis of Assisi, the friars of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph reverence all creatures, especially children who hold a special place in God’s affection.

For this reason the province supports the United States Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and has taken steps to comply with and implement its recommendations. The province’s Misconduct Policy and its practices covering effective responses to allegations, reconciliation, accountability, and the protection of children and youth in provincial ministries have been reviewed and updated.

The province affirms the monitoring, auditing, and public reporting functions built into the USCCB Charter implementation. In addition, we work with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) and Praesidium - a nationally recognized leader in risk reduction programs - to ensure that our policies, practices and procedures used to prevent and address sexual misconduct conform to the highest available standards. Our Province has been accredited by Praesidium since 2007.

The mission of the province’s Office of Pastoral Care and Conciliation (OPCC) is to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct, particularly the sexual abuse of minors, in ways that are effective, pastoral, compassionate, and accountable. The office has a full-time director who is assisted by a friar liaison. The director also coordinates the review board that is used by the province.

We know that there have been times when children and youth entrusted to our care have been harmed. We acknowledge that sexual abuse of a minor is a crime. We apologize to those who have been abused by one of our friars. A number of those friars are deceased, while others have left the Capuchin order. Others remain Capuchins, but are under supervision and support plans.

The St. Joseph province reaffirms the Gospel values of charity and respect for the dignity of every person; and we again acknowledge that those who profess a vowed life are not above the frailty and sinfulness that are part of the human condition. Therefore, we are committed to decisively responding to any instance in which our brothers have abused the trust that others have placed in them and us. We are committed to working hard to restore that trust as the wisdom, grace, and justice of God direct us to do.

If you wish to learn more, click here.