Update on Child Protection
October 27, 2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
As Provincial of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, I write to you to acknowledge the horror of the recent revelations of child sexual abuse in the Church and the betrayal of trust that they represent. Unfortunately, our Province has not been exempt from this scourge. In the past, friars from our Province have harmed innocent children. On behalf of the Province, I ask your forgiveness for the sins of those individual friars and for any time the Province failed to act effectively to protect innocent children.
I assure you that no friar of our Province with a credible allegation of child sexual abuse lodged against him is in public ministry anywhere. The most contemporary allegations against friars of the Province concern events in 1999 and 2001. The friars in those two cases were subject to criminal prosecution and permanently removed from public ministry. All other known allegations concern events before 1990. The Province has undertaken significant efforts to ensure the safety of children and is committed to offering help and counselling to assist the healing of those who have been hurt. These efforts are summarized in an attachment to this letter.
However, there is always the need for continued vigilance and improvement. In consultation with my Council and upon the recommendation of the Province’s Child Protection Review Board, I have determined that the Province of St. Joseph will release the names of all friars who have been permanently removed from public ministry because of a credible allegation of child sexual abuse as well as those friars for whom an allegation of child sexual abuse was established after their death or departure from the Province. Our hope is that the release of these names will offer consolation to those who have been harmed and encourage others to come forward to receive help. The names will be posted on our Provincial website on November 8th.
During November, I have asked all of our friars to pray in a special way for the healing of victims, for the continued protection of children, and for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the meeting of U.S. Bishops in Baltimore on November 12-14. I invite you to join us in these intentions.
Sincerely in Christ,
Very Rev. Kenneth R. Letoile, O.P.