Child Protection Policy
The Congregation of St. Basil
As a Roman Catholic religious congregation of priests and students for the priesthood, the Basilian Fathers currently minister in high schools, universities, and parishes in Canada, United States, Mexico, Colombia and France.
The Basilian Commitment
The Basilian Fathers have taken as their motto, “Goodness Discipline and Knowledge.” We are committed to ensuring the well-being of all people whom we serve.
We are dedicated to preventing sexual abuse. Through our ministerial policies and on-going formation we assist all our members in being vigilant so as to provide a safe environment for all persons in our care.
Since 1997 the Basilian Fathers have been audited and accredited by PRAESIDIUM, an independent team of child safety specialists that has—in cooperation with the U.S. Conference of Major Superiors of Men in the United States—worked out a standard of care program for Catholic men’s religious congregations in the United States. We pledge our active cooperation with civil authorities. All allegations of child sex abuse will be reported immediately to the police and/or child protection agencies as required by the local civil jurisdictions.
Basilians have a special responsibility to victims and their families who have suffered abuse by one of our members. We make available professional and pastoral support to assist in their healing.
What we believe about sexual misconduct
Sexual misconduct is a serious violation of justice and charity causing grave harm. When perpetrated by priests, this scandalous behavior alienates victims and their families from the message of Jesus Christ and his Church. We must do all we can to preventing the trauma of sexual abuse in our communities.
What is sexual misconduct in a ministerial relationship?
A ministerial relationship is one in which a person receives pastoral care from a Basilian priest or seminarian. In this context, sexual misconduct is a general term that includes any behavior that compromises or violates our vow of celibate chastity. There are various actions that can lead to or in themselves constitute sexual misconduct. Some examples:
a wide variety of inappropriate behaviors intended to establish a special trust between an adult and minor which then sets the stage for sexual abuse whether or not it actually occurs;
sexual activity in any form by an adult with a minor or vulnerable adult;
behavior that contravenes professional or ministerial standards concerning appropriate interpersonal contact—whether physical, emotional, or psychological;
behavior whereby a priest or minister takes advantage of the power imbalance between himself and the person being served for his own gratification. This may include inappropriate physical contact and various kinds of emotional manipulation;
unwanted sexual conduct or language directed at an adult including inappropriate use of social media, jokes, advances, or requests creating an offensive environment for work or ministry.
How the Basilian Fathers respond to complaints of sexual misconduct
In any circumstance of sexual misconduct, the victim always has a primary claim upon the consideration of the Basilian Fathers.
We respond to all allegations of sexual misconduct with great care. To that end, we have established “Policies and Procedures” which members are obliged to follow. To receive a complete copy of these policies and procedures, please email Father Dennis Noelke, CSB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through our Vicar General, the Basilian Fathers will respond swiftly and confidentially to investigate any accusation of sexual misconduct. His name and contact information are found below.
The Basilian Fathers have the expert counsel and advice of the Basilian Review Board. This independent and interdisciplinary board of professionals advises the Congregation of St Basil on all matters related to sexual misconduct of its members.
Preventing sexual misconduct
In addition to establishing procedures for responding to sexual misconduct, the Basilian Fathers have undertaken measures to prevent future incidents of abuse. These include mandatory psychological evaluation of novices and seminarians in their formation and continuing education programs for Basilian priests about chaste personal and professional conduct. We conform to the standards of the U.S. Conference of Major Superiors of Men and the independent evaluators at Praesidium.
Where to turn for help
If you or someone you know believes that a Basilian may have violated the trust as outlined above, we urge you to contact our Vicar General. You will be treated with the strictest sensitivity and confidentiality. As well, if the victim is a child or vulnerable adult, please contact the police and/or child family services in your jurisdiction.
Fr. David Katulski, CSB
95 St. Joseph St.
Toronto ON M5S 3C2