Archdiocese of Seattle launches ‘Protect and Heal’ website in response to clergy abuse crisis

  • Written by Northwest Catholic
  • Published in Local

SEATTLE – In its continued commitment to transparency, the Archdiocese of Seattle has launched a website addressing the clergy sex-abuse crisis. As Archbishop J. Peter Sartain says in a video message on the site, the new “Protect and Heal” site is a vehicle to “communicate sincerely and openly” about the crisis.

“I’d like to express the depth of contrition, sorrow and sadness we bishops feel because some of God’s beloved — your beloved — entrusted to our care were abused by the very ministers of God, bishops and priests and others, who should have been protecting them,” the archbishop said.

The site offers facts about the abuse crisis and the Archdiocese of Seattle’s response to it, including resources for victims. It gathers into one easily accessible site information that was previously located in various locations.

Key features include the Archdiocese of Seattle’s disclosure list of clergy and religious brothers and sisters who have been credibly accused of abusing minors (originally published in January of 2016); a timeline showing when reported abuse occurred; and information about the actions the archdiocese has taken over the past three decades to respond to the crisis, such as implementing a Safe Environment program of background checks and abuse-prevention trainings for employees, volunteers and students. The site also provides information about the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted in 2002; and the Archdiocesan Review Board, a group of mostly lay subject-matter experts that advises the archbishop on matters pertaining to clergy sexual abuse.

“I hope the information provided on this website conveys not only our deep sorrow for what has happened, but also highlights the steps being taken to prevent abuse and to protect all of God’s people,” said Archbishop Sartain.