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      Statement Regarding Reporting of Sexual Abuse to Law Enforcement

      Date: Thursday, October 17, 2013

      We join in solidarity with the St. Paul Police Department, and all civil authorities, in continuing to encourage anyone who suspects abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult within Church ministry—or any setting including the home or school—to first contact law enforcement. Any act of abuse against a minor or vulnerable adult is reprehensible and morally repugnant and we will not tolerate it.

      Since 2002 we have implemented a long list of policy and procedural reforms to clarify guidelines and strengthen enforcement. Some of the actions we have taken include completing more than 3,000 adult safe environment training sessions for approximately 70,000 adults; conducting 105,000 background checks on clergy, staff and volunteers; and providing over 100,000 children with age-appropriate lessons to help keep them safe.

      As a further demonstration of our commitment to handling these matters aggressively and consistently, an independent, lay task force has been formed and they will conduct a full review of our policies and practices. Their findings will be made public when final.

      We are deeply sorry for any harm that has come from clergy misconduct. Eliminating any form of abuse is the highest priority for the Archdiocese. Our record is not perfect, but we have made great progress, and we are determined to do whatever is necessary to eliminate this problem.

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