Primary Educators League

Assisting parents in the eternal vigil of protecting the freedom and holiness of their families.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Catholic Doctors Call for an End to Bishops’ “Safe Environments” Mandate

Last month, the long awaited report by the Catholic Medical Association concerning the U.S. Bishops mandated “safe environments” programs was published. The 55 page report entitled, “To Prevent and To Protect” challenges the “safety” experts and calls upon the U.S. bishops to end the “safe environments” mandate and take a serious review of Article 12 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The CMA concludes, "We therefore recommend that U.S. bishops rescind the safe-environment mandate as it applies to children and adolescents and discontinue all child-empowerment programs for preventing child abuse."

Across the country, parents have reacted negatively as many view the U.S. bishops' madate as usurping their role as primary educators for their children. According to Our Sunday Visitor, 5.7 million Catholic school children have received “safe environments” training either through their Catholic schools or their parish religious education programs. It is estimated that over 95% of all Catholic children from pre-school to high school are currently enrolled in one of these programs.

Dr. Lynne Bissonnette-Pitre, a physician-psychiatrist and lead author of the Catholic Medical Association’s report, “To Protect and to Prevent” is quoted as stating the following in Our Sunday Visitor about various "safe environments" programs, “it (safe environment programs) causes children to be very confused. You could have a child who is 6 years old hearing about sexual abuse. It's a deviant, perverted form of sexuality that has nothing to do with love and marriage and chastity and responsibility for others. It's very frightening for the child and causes them to have confusion as to who is a safe person and who isn't.

Several important news analysis articles have been published recently that are worth reading.

Mary Jo Anderson has been covering this story for the past several years. Don’t miss her latest article, “Grave questions about bishops’ child-abuse prevention programs.”

Mary Ann Sullivan, who writes for the National Catholic Register and has also been covering this story for many years, just published this article on Monday, “Doctors Recommend Reform of Bishops’ Sex Abuse Prevention Plans.”

Paul Likoudis, The Wanderer Press, provides more detail of the recommendations offered by the Catholic Medical Association. This three page story does an exceptional job of bulleting out the areas of concern raised by the CMA and highlights key recommendations.

Domenico Bettinelli, publisher of the Bettnet Blog, made this entry after the report was released. Bettinelli lives in Boston and has been reporting the clergy sex abuse scandal and it’s aftermath from the epicenter of where this story initially broke years ago.

If you’re interested to learn more about the Catholic Medical Assocation, see their web site. “To Prevent and To Protect,” is available for purchase directly from the CMA’s web site for $10.


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