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Safe Environment Policies

Click here to access Holy Name Province’s “Ministerial Policies to Ensure a Safe Environment.” 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The policies and procedures of Holy Name Province contained in this handbook are intended to serve as a practical and effective response to the sexual abuse crisis of our times. We hope they will deter any such abuse in the future, provide a comprehensive and swift response to all reports of abuse, and result in the strong and just response that all abuse survivors deserve.

These policies and procedures indicate the deep commitment, full transparency and accountability, and strenuous efforts of Holy Name Province to ensure the safety of everyone who falls under our pastoral mission – but especially minor-age children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Our policies and procedures are the words on these pages put into action. They outline standards of conduct for ministry with minors, policies for reporting misconduct with minors and the investigation of claims, policies for ethical ministry with vulnerable adults, Compliance Board procedures, social media guidelines, and other aspects of ministerial conduct that ensure nothing less than safe environments for the most vulnerable populations.

Our commitment to accountability for all instances of sexual abuse and to pastoral care for abuse survivors has been guided by the zero tolerance policy that Holy Name Province implemented nearly two decades ago. Our investigative process and response to survivors are conducted with compassion, impartiality, fairness and integrity — no matter when the reported abuse occurred, or if the accused is an active, retired, deceased or former friar.

Our chain of accountability consists of an Assistance Coordinator, a team of independent investigators that includes legal and former law enforcement officials expert in matters of sex abuse and misconduct, a Compliance Board made up of lay professionals and clergy, and an independent compliance monitor (which specializes in sexual abuse prevention in the private sector corporations and religious orders) that reviews our polices and procedures. Holy Name Province’s polices and practices, which include mandatory training for existing friars (and those entering the Province) have received accreditation from this independent monitoring firm during every review period.

Holy Name Province addresses every claim with the utmost respect and compassion, investigations are comprehensive and independent, and swift action is taken to permanently remove a friar from all ministries when abuse claims are found to be credible. These are not just words. They have been our actions.

Policies that safeguard children and vulnerable adults are as effective as the commitment of those charged with implementing these practices. As Provincial Minister of the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province, and with the support of my Provincial Leadership Council, we are steadfast in protecting children and vulnerable adults against sexual abuse, misconduct and unlawful behavior of any kind. Where abuse has occurred, we are committed to pathways of spiritual, emotional and psychological healing for abuse survivors and their families. Our policies and practices are effective because we stand by them, and because we vigorously apply them and follow the guidance of our independent legal, law enforcement, and compliance partners.

If you have information about alleged sexual abuse by a friar of Holy Name Province against a minor or vulnerable adult, I encourage you to report it by calling our Assistance Coordinator at 646-473-0265, or by writing to: Holy Name Province Assistance Coordinator 129 West 31st Street / 2nd Floor New York, NY 10001.

Please join me in praying that through the power of the Holy Spirit remorse for these atrocities can be converted into healing and reconciliation for abuse survivors and their loved ones. And please say an extra prayer for all of our good, holy and faithful friars.

Fraternally,

Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M.
Provincial Minister, Holy Name Province
November 2018