The Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus recognizes that sexual abuse by a member of a religious community constitutes a profound violation of trust in human relationships and can cause devastating pain and damage for the abused and their families, the local communities involved, and the Church at large. We will strive to accompany with compassion those who have been hurt by sexual abuse. We will also respond pastorally to those accused of this misconduct.
Consistent with the principles of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, June 2002) and Improving Pastoral Care and Accountability in Response to the Tragedy of Sexual Abuse (Conference of the Major Superiors of Men, August 2002); compliant with the directives of the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, approved by the Congregation for Bishops, December, 2002); and in accordance with canon law and the law of the Society of Jesus, the Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus will seek to respond promptly and pastorally to the person bringing the allegation, and promptly to investigate and respond to the allegation. In all circumstances we will always strive toward protection, healing, and reconciliation. To this end, we commit ourselves to:
Assure that the provincial and local superior of a credibly accused Jesuit have received appropriate confidential information. This includes out-going provincials and local superiors reviewing personnel matters with their successors, provincials providing appropriate background information to local superiors when a new assignment is made, and regular review by the provincial and local superiors of personnel and ministry assignments.
Provide all our members with the necessary information and training to ensure adherence to this policy, including reception and explanation of the policy and opportunity for clarification; explanation of the obligations for reporting abuse, the province's investigatory process, and potential civil, ministerial, and ecclesial penalties; and training for appropriate behavior in ministry, including proper ministerial boundaries.