The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is grateful that the Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task Force (Task Force) has submitted its Report and Recommendations to Protect Children from Clergy Sexual Abuse to the archdiocese. The Task Force recommendations include specific actions to be taken and will require norms, structures, and procedures to be developed for their implementation. The Vicar for Ministerial Standards, Fr. Reginald Whitt, O.P., will see to the implementation of the recommendations, which Archbishop John Nienstedt has pledged to accept. The Task Force urges prompt action and the archbishop concurs that action should be timely. The archdiocese will provide periodic updates on the status of implementation.
“I thank the Task Force members for their clear, thoughtful and precise efforts,” said Archbishop Nienstedt, offering his gratitude to Task Force members. “Their report reflects their obvious dedication to this work, as well as the comprehensive nature of the results. It will guide us in fulfilling our important goals which I have stated before and repeat now: the protection of children, the healing of victims, and the restoration of trust of the faithful and of our clergy who are serving our communities with honor. We look forward to working in collaboration with Fr. Whitt to implement these recommendations.”
The independent Task Force began its work last October. Its members were chosen by Fr. Whitt, a Dominican priest and law professor at the University of St. Thomas. The Task Force operated independently of both Fr. Whitt and Archbishop Nienstedt. The Task Force had full authority and all the resources needed to complete its work. The Task Force completed its work on March 31 and gave its Report and Recommendations to Fr. Whitt on April 3, who suggested some minor terminological corrections. Following consultation with the Task Force and their agreement to those corrections, Fr. Whitt submitted the Report and Recommendations to the archdiocese on the afternoon of April 11.