April 25, 2005

A move based on faith



Three years ago, a convergence of events began that ended with Teresa Kettelkamp of Springfield becoming a central figure in the Catholic Church's enforcement of its new policy on sexual abuse of minors by priests.

The trail has its beginning in June 2002, when the U.S. bishops approved the Dallas Charter. The charter was drafted in response to public outrage over priest sex abuse scandals. The bishops made it mandatory for the 178 dioceses in the country to conform to church policies designed to protect children from abuse by clergy.

The charter also created the Office for Child and Youth Protection. That office assists dioceses and Eastern Rite eparchies across the country to adhere to the requirements of the charter.

A year following the bishops' Dallas meeting, Kettelkamp retired from the Illinois State Police after a 29-year career. The link between the two seemingly unrelated events - Kettelkamp's retirement and the Dallas Charter - was Kathleen McChesney.

McChesney is a former FBI agent who was the first executive director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection.

"I had met Kathleen," says Kettelkamp, "when I headed the forensics division for the state police. She headed the Chicago FBI office, and our biggest lab was in Chicago.”

Posted by kshaw at April 25, 2005 07:47 AM