Commitments for 2021
The advances outlined in the 2020 Annual Report are part of a work in progress. They are steps on a broader path in search of truth, justice, and healing for victims of sexual abuse of minors by members of our Congregation. Here are some of the issues that the Congregation will give priority to during the second year of implementing the commitments made at the last General Chapter:
- Strengthen an active and more systematic outreach to victims with whom there is yet no contact.
- Establish a separate program for financial reparation and support for victims of sexual abuse by priests of the Congregation.
- Conduct pending canonical proceedings as directed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, setting up the appropriate tribunals and ensuring the participation of external canonists as judges and assessors.
- Examine with external experts possible evidence of concealment or grave negligence in relation to historical cases of abuse.
- Conclude the external accreditation processes of our safe environment protocols that are underway in several territories.
- Expand collaboration with external institutions and experts, as well as establish forums for consultation with survivors of sexual abuse for the continuous improvement of the Congregation’s work in this area.
- Address the issue of abuse of authority and conscience, as noted by the General Chapter: “We ask the General Government to analyze this complex reality and to propose appropriate measures in view of pastoral formation, the prevention of any type of abuse and the healing of those affected.”
The Congregation will report on the most significant developments in a timely manner and provide an international summary in the next annual report.
2020 General Chapter
The study conducted in 2019 by the “Commission on cases of past cases of abuse of minors and attention to the persons involved” on the phenomenon of abuse in the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ from its foundation in 1941 to 2019 generated a series of proposals and recommendations that were presented during the 2020 General Chapter, the highest governing body of the Congregation. These proposals sought to further consolidate the Congregation´s commitment against the abuse of minors through international safe environment policies as well as comprehensive care of victims. The Commission noted in the historical study how necessary and successful the standards of prevention, response and supervision have been put into practice on an international level since 2015. Among the pending issues, it stated the need to examine where there might have been cover-up, negligence or omissions on behalf of those in government.
2020 General Chapter Declarations and Commitments
The General Chapter produced two new historical documents that gather the fruits of its reflections, decisions and commitments with regards to confronting the abuse of minors by members of the Congregation as well as the care of victims.