A Letter from the Provincial Minister
October 8, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Holy Name Province recognizes that clergy sexual abuse is a very disturbing historical problem within the Church. Twenty years ago, the Church instituted a comprehensive set of reforms called the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Since that time, Holy Name has worked hard to combat this problem by strengthening safe environments for children under our care.
In addition, as members of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), Holy Name adopted CMSM’s system of accountability and transparency – which utilizes an accreditation model that requires verification by an independent team of specialists from the independent agency Praesidium Inc. that Standards for Accreditation have been met by the Province. In order to receive this coveted accreditation, Holy Name has to demonstrate its compliance with twenty national standards that address the Province’s response to victims, prevention of future occurrences, and supervision of those members credibly accused of child sexual abuse.
Towards this end, Praesidium specialists review, among other things, Holy Name’s personnel files and safe environment policies, conduct site visits, and interview members of the Province. Accreditation is granted upon a showing by Holy Name that all standards were met. Holy Name is proud to report that it has been repeatedly accredited for its adherence to the high bar of standards for child protection policies and procedures.
In keeping with our ongoing efforts to ensure safe environments, Holy Name recently hired Anchin, Block and Anchin LLP to conduct an independent third-party review of our friar files. Led by Mr. Brian Sanvidge – a Certified Inspector General with more than 30 years of experience in forensic investigations, as well as integrity and fraud monitoring – an independent forensic review team examined the files of every Holy Name friar dating back to 1950.
As a result of Anchin’s independent review, findings and recommendations, Holy Name has published on its website a list of the names of friars against whom credible child sexual abuse claims and misconduct have been made. Although most of the names were already made public at the time the allegations were reported, this list reinforces Holy Name Province’s commitment to transparency and accountability – as this is the first time that the names of all Holy Name friars with credible allegations of child sexual abuse and misconduct against them are chronicled and publicly posted in a single document.
We have sent the published list to the bishops of archdioceses and dioceses where the friars had been stationed in ministry – whether for lengthy periods of time, or helping at a parish on weekends.
It is our humble view that Holy Name has successfully addressed the scourge of sexual abuse of minors and is now a model for training, safe environment policies and procedures, preventive practices and education, oversight, and outreach to abuse survivors.
If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by a friar of Holy Name Province, immediately report it to your local law enforcement authorities and contact the Province’s Survivor Assistant at 1-800-770-8013. Calls and the information provided will be kept confidential to the extent civil law allows.
In closing, we are hopeful that publishing this list will bring a measure of healing, peace, comfort and conciliation to abuse survivors and their families. We also ask that you join us in prayer for all abuse survivors, and that all Holy Name friars will be examples of the gentleness and caring of St. Francis of Assisi and our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. Know, too, that you and your loved ones are always in our prayers.
God bless you,
Fr. Kevin Mullen, OFM
Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province