Protection of Youth
Betrayal of trust and abuse of power have caused enormous pain to children, their families, and communities. In 2002, the Catholic Bishops of the United States met in Dallas and developed the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that outlined a strict zero tolerance policy for anyone who might abuse a child. A monumental change in the way the Church would respond to allegations of sexual abuse of minors by its priests and other ministers took hold in the promulgation of what has come to be known as the Dallas Charter.
The Augustinians are dedicated to providing pastoral outreach and healing to survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their families. The Augustinian Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova retains a Victim Assistance Coordinator whose responsibility is to provide appropriate care to each victim/survivor who comes forth with an allegation of sexual abuse or misconduct. We hope that you find the following information helpful.
In all of the varied ministries undertaken by the Augustinians, the paramount concern for each Friar is always the safety, well-being and protection of all children and vulnerable adults. Whether it is the classroom, parish, hospital, or any ministerial setting, every Friar of the Province has been trained to understand the various facets of child sexual abuse prevention and each Friar has participated in ongoing education which further informs and reminds him of the importance of appropriate contact with minors and adults.
An allegation of sexual abuse will include an investigation as necessary; if the complaint is of the contemporaneous sexual abuse of a minor, the Victim Assistance Coordinator will immediately inform the local police or the office of the local district attorney; offer pastoral and emotional support, and the arrange for psychological counseling for the victim and his/her family as needed.
The religious who are members of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova follow the Province's "Policies for Maintaining Ethical Ministry with Minors."
If you would like a copy of the policy document, write to the Victim Assistance Coordinator (P.O. Box 340, Villanova, PA 19085-0340) and we will send one to you.
For more information, please click on the following links:
If you believe that you, or someone you know, have been abused by an Augustinian or a Province employee, you are urged to advise the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova by calling the Office of Victim Advocacy at 610-527-3330, Ext. 241, or in writing to the Victim Assistance Coordinator, The Augustinians, and P.O. Box 340, Villanova, Pa. 19085-0340.
You also should contact the appropriate law enforcement or child-protection agency in the location in which the incident took place.
Protección de Jóvenes
Mensaje del Prior Provincial
La Provincia Agustiniana de Santo Tomás de Villanueva está comprometida a servir a todas y cada una de las personas a las que servimos con un gran cuidado, respeto y amor. No toleraremos abuso o mala conducta de ninguna clase, y continuaremos sirviendo al pueblo de Dios en el Espíritu de San Agustín, tratando a cada niño o niña y a cada adulto vulnerable como si esa persona fuera la única persona en ser servida. Nos comprometemos a seguir las políticas y procedimientos que hemos establecido asegurando el bienestar y la protección de todas aquellas personas que tenemos el privilegio de servir.