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PARENTS: SHUT UP,SIT DOWN, AND GIVE US YOUR KIDS
Mary Ann Kreitzer of Les Femmes ( www.lesfemmes.org) explains:
The letter below is from the Child of Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The USCCB has absolutely not one iota of authority in Canon Law. It cannot tell the bishops what to do or sanction them for what they don't do. The only power the USSCCB has is what the bishops allow them to usurp. Unfortunately most of the bishops are going along with this -- which just proves they learned NOTHING from the sex abuse scandals!
"Protection" is a good name for this office. Remember the "protection rackets" run by the mafia? This is the protection racket for the bishops, developed by lawyers and bureaucrats, NOT TO PROTECT CHILDREN, but primarily to protect dioceses from liability. I'm sure many of these folks mean well. That won't help your kids when they are violated by these horrible programs.
Please read the letter below. My comments are in red. After you read it make a call to Frau Kettelkamp. Let her know you want children protected from the bishops so-called safe-environment programs which most certainly violate the innocence of children and groom them for abusers who are smart enough to work around them. ("What did you learn about safe touches in school today. Can you tell me what an unsafe touch is? Hmm...I don't quite get it. Can you show me? Let's play a game -- good touch/bad touch. I'll touch and you tell me if it's a good touch or a bad touch. Then you touch me and I'll tell you.") Abusers trick kids. A six year old vs. a 35 year old is not a fair playing field.
Please don't fall for this claptrap. Your kids are too important.
Sit down! Shut Up! And Give Us YOUR KIDS!
(N.B. Text of the original letter is in black, commentary is in red.)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Office of Child and Youth Protection
3211 Fourth Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20017-1194
September 9, 2005
To: All Bishops
From: Teresa M. Kettelkamp, Executive Director
Subject: Office of Child and Youth Protection and Audit Update
As many of you already know, the audits ascertaining compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People are underway. As of the end of August, approximately 24 audits will have been completed: 3 full audits, 5 focused audits and 16 self audits.
There are two audit-related issues that have come to the attention of the Office of Child and Youth Protection which I thought would interest all the Bishops; and thus, I would like to share with you. The first issue involves the safe environment training of children and the opting-out of this training. The second issue concerns Required Actions.
• Under the Charter, arch/dioceses/eparchies must do all of the following:
The Charter has no authority. It is NOT Canon Law. It is NOT Church doctrine. The Protection Office does not OVERSEE the bishops. No diocese MUST do anything because this bureaucratic functionary tells them to.
• Establish age-appropriate safe environment training for children.
Who decides what is "age appropriate" for children. They develop at different rates. They have individual levels of sensitivity. Parents know children best.
• Once established, this training must be offered to the children.
All of these programs talk about "good touch/bad touch," "safe touch/unsafe touch," "welcome touch/unwelcome touch." These concepts all arose out of Planned Parenthood and their offshoots. All of them stress that THE CHILD DECIDES what touch is acceptable. Some even use the term "choice" and "It's my body." These come from the pro-abortion movement. These programs groom children in moral relativism. Small children are not capable of making these determinations. It is unfair to the child.
• The arch/diocese/eparchy must provide the training.
What makes employees of the diocese more capable than parents of this instruction? There is an assumption here that chancery bureaucrats and educators are more capable than parents. Where is the proof?
• There must be documentation for accountability purposes to ensure training has taken place.
This is key. It's all about documentation to protect the diocese from liability.
Some arch/dioceses/eparchies have been using a form of safe environment training for children that is not acceptable. In accord with the guidance of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and after consulting Bishop Skylstad, I offer the following clarification. An arch/diocese/eparchy’s safe environment program cannot consist of only providing a pamphlet or brochure to a child and/or parent, and asks that it be reviewed with the child. This is not considered “training” as required for compliance with Article 12 of the Charter, even if a parent certification is made.
The assumption here is that parents are unfit to teach their own children!
Arch/diocesan/eparchial training must be offered. This will ensure that every child receives the same quality and content of instruction by a trained adult as a regular part of a school curriculum or classroom work.
Trained adult? Who trains them? Why are they more trustworthy than parents? Because they were fingerprinted? Many teachers in Catholic schools are contraceptors and dissenters. Why are they more fit to teach children -- because they've been trained in values clarification and psycho-babble?
Therefore, any such training programs for children which are totally left to the parents and are not conducted as a regular part of a school or religious education program, curriculum or classroom work and overseen by the arch/diocese/eparchy will not satisfy the requirements of Article 12 of the Charter. This will result in the issuing of a Required Action to the arch/diocese/eparchy to provide safe environment training to children as required under Article 12. Not to do so will be considered noncompliance.
Parents can't be trusted. Your local Church bureaucrat, however, is here to help you. Of course the bureaucrats at VIRTUS originally planned to use Talking About Touching (TAT) as their classroom program. TAT included drawings of adults abusing children. One showed a man with his hand on a little boy's crotches. If this isn't child abuse what is? It also increases the risk that the child will imitate what he sees with smaller children. And we should trust these folks?
All children must receive arch/diocesan/eparchial safe environment training. There's little enough teaching time in a one-hour a week CCD class. Is this really what religion teachers should be doing?
The only exception to this requirement is for the public school religion students who receive safe environment training as part of their regular public school curriculum. If, after reviewing the public school curriculum an arch/diocese/eparchy finds that it meets the standards of the arch/diocese/eparchy, the arch/diocese/eparchy may choose not to provide additional safe environment training to the public school religion students. If, however, arch/diocesan/eparchical personnel believe that the public school curriculum is not sufficient, or in need of some supplementation, the arch/diocese/eparchy diocese should to so.
A parent can refuse to allow their child to participate in the arch/diocesan/eparchial, but this must be done on a case-by-case basis, and four conditions must be met. (This shows such incredible hubris I can only shake my head.) These conditions are:
1) Arch/diocesan/eparchial training must be offered to the child.
2) Arch/diocesan/eparchial safe environment materials must be provided to the parents for the safe environment training of their child.
3) The parent must specifically state in writing: (1) that safe environment training was offered to their child; (2) that they refused to allow their children to participate in this training; and (3) that they have received safe environment training materials for their child. (This is all about documenting the situation for the diocesan lawyer. If anything ever happens to your child, hey, you refused the training!)
4) This document must be maintained by the arch/diocese/eparchy to ensure full accountability concerning the safe environment training of every child.
The only group for which training is optional is the parents. Though parents are encouraged to attend safe environment training and a program must be established for them, they are not required to attend. The only audited item along the lines of safe environment training for parents would be whether or not a safe environment program has been established for parents; not whether they attend.
Some have argued that since the parents are the primary educators of their children, they should decide whether an how their children should receive such sensitive information. Both I and the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People agree that parents are to be the primary educators of their children and have the right to refuse the safe environment training by the Church.
However, in such cases the Church needs to help parents who may be inclined to opt-out of the training offered by the Church to appreciate the wider communal and social dimensions of this issue. While they may be attentive to the needs of their own children, they need to look at the greater good of all children cared for and educated by the Church. 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. (Translation: you are an irresponsible parent if you opted your child out.) Moreover, there is the tragic reality that child and sexual abuse oftentimes takes place in the home.
Studies show that the safest environment for a child is an intact biological or adoptive home. It is the breakdown of the family facilitated by dissent from Church teachings that has decimated the Catholic family. The answer isn't safe environment programs but once again teaching the faith and taking steps to build up the family.
The full cooperation of all the parents in the training offered by the Church sends a strong message that all adults are responsible for the safety of our children and that we as adults are committed to seeing that every child receives age-appropriate information for their protection.
The clear implication here is that these programs will make children able to protect themselves. It shifts the burden from the bishops addressing the abusers -- Remember they provided protection and covered up for them -- to children being responsible to assess a situation while their in the middle of it and know when to "just say no." These programs are confusing and frightening to young children and treats them like little adults.
I also take this occasion to dispel an unfortunate misunderstanding and characterization of safe environment training. Since its mandate was the result of the clergy sexual abuse crisis, some have incorrectly concluded that this training is sex education training; it is not.
Yes it is! They are teaching sex education! They are about sex abuse and they talk about touching "private parts" or parts covered by a bathing suit or whatever other euphemisms are used. Some programs are explicit and some of the adjunct materials recommended to teachers include picture books where children are taught to use correct words. They practice saying aloud "penis, penis, penis." I'm not making this up. I have a copy of The Touching Book. It is filled with pictures of naked kids and adults. One picture shows a nude grandfather washing his grandson's hair in the shower. The child's mouth is at the level of the grandfather's genitals. Tell me this is accidental!
The mandate for safe environment training which includes age appropriate materials pertaining to personal safety including information about improper touching, relationships, and how to deal with uncomfortable situations. It clearly emphasizes reporting such incidents to parents, teachers, and others in authority. Oftentimes, once the parent views the arch/diocese’s/eparchy’s safe environment training and/or it is explained that the training is not sex education, their concerns are eliminated. (In other words - lulling parents into a false sense of security!) Additional information on safe environment training can be found on the USCCB.org web site under OCYP.
The second audit-related issue concerns the issuance of Required Actions. In past years, the Office of Child and Youth Protection identified in the annual Report those arch/dioceses/eparchies who were issued Required Actions even if the arch/diocese/eparchy remediated the Required Action by the due date and/or end of the audit year. I plan to do that a little differently this year. Required Actions, if necessary, will be issued after an audit as they have been in the past. But, if the Required Action is remediated by the set deadline or before the end of the calendar year, the arch/diocese/eparchy will only be identified in the OCYP Annual Report as complaint (sic). No mention of the prior Required Action will be made in the Annual Report. By the same token, if the arch/diocese/eparchy does not remediate the Required! Action, it will be cited in the report as noncompliant and reference will be made to the Required Action that was issued.
If there are any questions regarding these two issues, please do not hesitate to contact me. My direct number at the USCCB is: (202) 541-5418. One of my key responsibilities is to ensure Charter compliance, and I will work with any arch/diocese/eparchy at any time to assist them in this regard.
Finally, since I am not the only new person with the Office of Child and Youth Protection I thought it would be helpful to provide you with a listing of the current staff, and their direct phone numbers. Current staff members include:
Teresa Kettelkamp, Executive Director
202-541-5418 (direct line)
Please call and politely tell her what you think of this condescending document and the bishops' program to "help" parents. The sex abuse scandals were caused by homosexual priests and bishops abusing children and covering up. Touching programs are just another form of child abuse masquerading as a solution.
Sheila Kelly, Deputy Director
Danna Palmer, Executive Assistant
202-541-5413 (main line for the office)
Gladys Smith, Staff Assistant
202-541-3094 (direct line)
Fax number for the office: 202-541-5410
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