‘Spotlight’ an opportunity to acknowledge responsibility, appreciate advances in protecting children

“Spotlight,” a movie on the Boston Globe articles on child sexual abuse in the church, is currently showing in theaters across the Diocese of Jackson. The drama from Open Roads Films depicts the work of the investigative team that first publicly exposed the scandal. It was directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy and features several notable actors and actresses: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci and John Slattery.
In 2002, the crime and sin of child sexual abuse was brought out in the open for all to see. In bringing light to this crisis, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was approved. A nationwide network of victim assistance and safe environment training was created to implement the requirements of the Charter.
Individually and together the church acknowledges the mistakes of the past. We acknowledge our responsibility and role in the suffering this has caused and we continue to ask forgiveness.
Twelve years later the church at large and the Diocese of Jackson in particular remains committed to the principles of that Charter and we ask for your continued help, support and prayers as we: promote healing and reconciliation with victims/survivors of sexual abuse, respond effectively to allegations of sexual abuse, become accountable for our procedures, and protect the faithful in the future.
The Diocese of Jackson constantly evaluates its office of Child Protection, making improvements whenever possible. A new program to train clergy, parish leaders and volunteers is being introduced in January. Read more about it in the next issue of Mississippi Catholic.
We humbly invite anyone who may have experienced abuse to please come forward. Our victims’ assistance coordinator, Valarie McClelland, can be reached at 601-326-3728. And if anyone is currently being abused, please contact the police.