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Letter to the Faithful on the Protection of Minors and Young People

22 January 2018

Dear Friends in Christ,

Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is with profound respect for the dignity of each and every human person that today I promulgate a newly revised Policy for the Protection of Minors and Young People for the Diocese of Toledo. This policy, with its accompanying Standards for Behavior and Boundaries and Guidelines for the Prevention of Abuse of Vulnerable Adults, is presented with firm resolve and trust in God that the pastoral care for all people of our local church will provide an even safer environment in our parishes, schools and affiliated organizations.

This revised policy underscores the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in October 2017: “we must work to protect the dignity of minors, gently yet firmly opposing with all our might the throwaway culture … that is everywhere apparent, to the detriment especially of the weak and most vulnerable …. ”

“Sexual abuse,” as stated by Pope Francis, “is a horrible sin, completely opposed to and in contradiction to what Christ and the Church teach us.” To those who have suffered such a grave offense by clergy or other church personnel, I offer my deepest apology, begging forgiveness for past sins, and, together with the whole Church, continue to promise our ongoing prayerful support for healing, grace, and peace.

The Church’s commitment to constantly provide the safest environment for the young and most vulnerable among us is evidenced in this new policy, which reflects extensive revisions of the diocesan policy promulgated in 2012, adding greater detail, clarity, and transparency. It also maintains what -Pope Francis has so frequently stated during his pontificate: “the Church irrevocably and at all levels intends to apply the ‘zero tolerance’ principle against the sexual abuse of minors.”

With the request of your prayers and gratitude for your faithful reception of and assistance in implementing this critical pastoral policy, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,

Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas

Bishop of Toledo

If you have any knowledge of abuse that has been committed by a cleric or by any personnel or volunteer of the Catholic Church, you are urged to report the abuse to your local police department, Child Protection Services, and to contact Mr. Frank DiLallo, Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at (419) 214-4880; or to write to Mr. DiLallo at 1933 Spielbusch Avenue; Toledo, Ohio 43604

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