February 28, 2005

McChesney leaves bishops' child protection office citing advances

Catholic News Service

By Agostino Bono
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- With child sex abuse prevention programs in place throughout the U.S. church, the next task is to test their effectiveness, said Kathleen McChesney, who spent two years helping dioceses and Eastern-rite eparchies establish the measures.

McChesney, who resigned at the end of February as executive director of the U.S. bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, said that child sex abuse can never be totally eliminated in the church or society, but effective, constantly updated programs can dramatically reduce the cases.

The issue before the church now is "developing mechanisms to determine the effectiveness of what has taken place and the quality of what has been put into place," she said in a Feb. 22 interview with Catholic News Service.

McChesney was hired in November 2002 as the first head of the child and youth protection office set up to help dioceses and eparchies apply prevention policies and to monitor their implementation. The office was established by the bishops in their 2002 "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," which spelled out their child sex abuse prevention policies.

Posted by kshaw at February 28, 2005 04:56 PM