October 14, 2005

Questions Surrounding “Safe Environment”

The Wanderer


Teresa Kettlekamp, the USCCB bureaucrat and former Illinois police officer, has collided with a critic she cannot ignore — a real bishop.
Kettlekamp, the USCCB’s enforcer of “Safe Environment” sex-abuse education programs for children, recently delivered a mandate to all bishops requiring that they not allow parents to teach their own children with regard to sex-abuse education in any but the most extreme circumstances.
She justified this dubious diktat as follows: “It is a sad fact today that some parents are unable or unwilling to provide the educational support essential for the safety of their children.”
And: “Moreover, there is the tragic reality that child and sexual abuse oftentimes takes place in the home.”
The Kettlekamp memo did not ask bishops for their views, or invite the kind of “nuanced dialogue” that USCCB officials relish when “dialoguing” with anti-Catholics. Instead, the memo threatens that bishops who side with parents and refuse to comply with Kettlekamp’s mandate will be declared “noncompliant” by program auditors from her USCCB office.
The secular assault on families from USCCB and chancery “experts” has been so unrelenting that many American bishops have been reluctant to criticize it, even though they might harbor suspicions that sex-abuse “safety” education would do major harm, and little good, to the families under their care.
But Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Ore., undeterred, lays his cards face-up on the table in a recent editorial published in a diocesan newspaper: “I bring up [this topic] only with great reluctance,” he writes, “for I do not want to give any appearance whatsoever of being soft on my desire to assure the complete safety and protection of children.”

Posted by kshaw at October 14, 2005 06:35 PM