Dear UCYM Community,
We have fielded a couple of inquiries from community members this afternoon following the release of the report from the Attorney General office's investigation of allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy in the six Illinois Catholic diocese over a period of nearly 90 years. The report (named the Report) addresses both how dioceses responded to such allegations in the past and current policies that help ensure the safety of children and support the healing of survivors.
These documents always hit me hard because children are our most precious gift. We, as Church, are called to teach, love, and protect God's children, but instead there are those who would do otherwise. To say it is heartbreaking is an understatement. It gives me pause and allows me to remember why I take on the extra work of being a safe environment administrator for multiple organizations besides UCYM. It gives me pause and calls me to pray for a conversion of heart for those who, especially in power, would use that power and their influence for evil against our children. It give me pause and calls me to prayer and a prayer that brings tears to my eyes as I know it brings tears to God's eyes when things like this happen.
I pray for our clergy, especially those who champion protection of children. I know so many and I want to say thank you and encourage you to always go the extra mile where it counts. I pray for survivors of abuse and that they remember God's love, despite the betrayal from those who are meant to represent Jesus' ministry. I pray for parents and caregivers of survivors and abusers. I pray for our Church, that we continue to be a safe spiritual home for all.
Please be assured of my unwavering commitment to the mandates and policies of the Archdiocese and steps we take here at UCYM to keep our children safe. I remain committed as does my administration and team. Please check our website (link below) to see what steps we take to keep our children safe.
If you need to talk to someone, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Oblate James Holzhauer-Chuckas, ObSB