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Basilian Fathers Remain Committed to Protecting Children and Vulnerable Persons Through Praesidium Accreditation

October 11, 2022

The Basilian Fathers are pleased to announce the completion of the Praesidium accreditation process, the highest level of safety protocols to protect children and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse, for a five year term.

“The abuse of children or vulnerable persons at any time is a serious matter, but all the more so when it is done by a person of authority and trust such as a priest. Praesidium grants accreditation to organizations stating that they are child safe after a very thorough audit, based on a set of standards, is conducted of the whole institution,” said Father David Katulski, CSB, Case Manager for the Basilian Fathers.

“Praesidium Accreditation publicly demonstrates an organization’s commitment to safety and adherence to the highest standards in abuse prevention. An organization’s consumers and communities deserve the highest level of safety and abuse protection, and Praesidium accreditation creates a pathway to align the organization’s mission and values with best practices in abuse prevention,” said Christy Schiller, Vice President of Consulting at Praesidium.

For 25 years, the Basilian Fathers have been audited and accredited by Praesidium, an independent team of child safety specialists.

“Praesidium accreditation for Catholic religious institutes does not represent a first step or an initial handling of abuse prevention measures, but rather an evolution in a long-standing effort for those institutes to clarify their responsibilities, implement best practices, evaluate the extent to which they are meeting defined standards, and communicate to others the steps they are taking to create a safe environment for the people they serve. We have been the accrediting body for Catholic men’s institutes since 2004 and continue to work closely with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men to provide the resources and support for institutes to achieve accreditation,” said Schiller.

As part of this accreditation process, the Congregation has proven that it fully complies with each of Praesidium’s 20 standards. The standards were most recently updated in August of 2020 and outline how the Congregation will respond to allegations of sexual abuse; prevent future incidents; and hold each member accountable for themselves and each other.

“This accreditation means that the entire Congregation is aware of our need to work together to be informed about matters of improper conduct with children or vulnerable persons. All active members must fulfill at least one hour of training/education in matters of child safety and prevention every year. The ongoing training ensures all those involved in ministry are up-to-date with the knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to abuse. Members of the Congregation are aware of the policies and procedures of the Congregation with regard to matters of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable persons. The accreditation verifies that we are doing all we can to assure child safe environments,” said Father Katulski.

Through this accreditation process, the Congregation needed to demonstrate that it responds pastorally and compassionately to any person who comes forward with an accusation of sexual abuse and the person responsible for handling accusations has received the proper education and training to handle these cases.

Also stringent screening processes will ensure candidates with a history of abusing or violating boundaries of minors are not permitted to continue on in their formation. It also provides candidates with a system of support and accountability early on in their formation and that will last throughout their priestly ministry.

The Congregation will continue to work with the (arch)dioceses where its priests minister including Toronto, London, Vancouver, Edmonton, Galveston-Houston, Rochester, and Detroit to protect children, minors, and other vulnerable persons in their care.

To learn more, please view the Congregation of St. Basil’s Child Protection Policy or view the Praesidium accreditation process.

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