Below is the text of Bishop Fabbro's letter (dated October 7, 2016) presenting the Diocese of London's current Safe Environment Policy. To access a PDF of the policy, click the link above.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
By virtue of this letter, I promulgate this third edition of A Safe Environment Policy for the Diocese of London, and order its publication and distribution throughout our diocese in print, and on our diocesan web-site.
Since becoming bishop of this diocese, it has been my goal to protect people against sexual abuse, to provide a way for dealing with allegations of abuse quickly and effectively and to prevent it from happening again. In a formal way, on 6 August 2006 at St. Ursula’s Church in Chatham, I apologized to survivors and their families for the failure of the Church to protect them from this horrendous crime. As Bishop of London, I pledged to do my utmost to end the scourge of clergy sexual abuse in our diocese. This policy has helped to work toward that goal, and made us all accountable in the task of providing the safest possible place for all to be welcomed in our parishes and institutions.
The current version of the Policy builds on the work of previous iterations, going back to 1989. It has been developed to include not only priests but all clergy and lay ecclesial ministers, our countless volunteers, and staff in all our parishes and institutions. It is based on thorough consultation with our Safe Environment Advisory Committee and external experts who have generously given of their time to review and further this important work. I am grateful to all for their contributions.
I am heartened by the support of our diocesan community as we continue the work of protecting our children and other vulnerable people. Together, we send a clear message that sexual abuse will not be tolerated, and that all – especially the young and the vulnerable – are precious is God’s eyes. May God pour out the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon our diocesan family, so that we may be guided and strengthened in this task.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London