May 12, 2006

In the wake of scandal, church teaches kids about abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
Salem News

By Stacie N. Galang
Staff writer

In the aftermath of the priest sex scandal, the Archdiocese of Boston wants parents and children informed about preventing abuse.

By the end of the year, the church is asking every parish religious education program and every Catholic elementary school in the state to bring its abuse-prevention program "Talk About Touching" to children and their parents.

"This is the good that comes out of the disaster," said Ellen Fitzgerald, director of religious education at St. Ann Catholic Church in South Peabody, one of 155 parishes in the archdiocese working to put the program in place for its after-school religious education classes. "It's extra work we wish we didn't have to do, but the reality is the value of it. If some little child is saved from something, it's all worth it. "

For churches like St. Ann, the time is now, said Anthony Rizzuto, director of the archdiocese's Office of Child Advocacy, Implementation and Oversight. He said all of the state's Catholic schools and 50 percent of parishes have already implemented the program.

Posted by kshaw at May 12, 2006 06:48 AM