Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock issued a statement regarding the acknowledged scandals within the Catholic Church. This statement is published on the website of the Diocese of Little Rock and can be accessed HERE. The abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and religious is a tragedy that fills me with great sadness. Child sexual abuse is a criminal act that must not be tolerated.
Inspired by Bishop Taylor’s example, I would like to share with you the child protection policies and procedures that Subiaco Academy has implemented and currently adheres to. Subiaco Academy has had written sexual abuse policies in place for monks, employees, and students since 1991 that can be accessed on this page. These policies have been updated on occasion.
The child protection efforts of Subiaco Academy include:
• All employees and monks must undergo background checks, participate in training, and be certified as part of the Diocese of Little Rock’s safe environment program, which is called CMG Connect.
• Through the Circle of Grace program, all of Subiaco Academy’s students receive age appropriate classroom training regarding the dangers of abuse. This program is led by the Religious Studies Department teaching staff.
• Fr. Patrick Boland serves as the Subiaco Site Coordinator for the CMG Connect and Circle of Grace programs. He ensures that all certifications and background checks are up to date.
• Subiaco Academy has installed exterior security locks on all school buildings and dorms. A chip equipped ID card is required for entrance. Employees and students are given specific ID cards which grant access only to the school buildings an individual is authorized to enter. For example, only staff that work in the school have access to the school buildings and staff ID cards do not provide them access to school dorms (except dorm deans and key administrative personnel). Cameras are also utilized in common areas for additional security and oversight.
• All offices have a window or a door with a window in them to provide clear visibility from the outside for private meetings with students. This provides for both privacy in conversation and visibility for safety.
• Confessions provided for the students are done in the main confessional of the church. This means that the confessing student communicates through a panel to a priest in a separate room. Occasionally, confessions can also be done in a public area, away from other people on campus. Student confessions never occur in any private closed room.
We share the concerns of Bishop Taylor and continue to pray for the victims. Again, we take the safety and welfare of our students very seriously and will work tirelessly to ensure their well-being. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Thank you and God bless.