Twenty Years Since the Dallas Charter: The Church as a Field Hospital

Lifting Up the Voices of Survivors through Frontline Workers

November 9, 2022
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, also known as the Dallas Charter, is a comprehensive set of procedures addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. Developed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and established in June 2002, the charter has impacted survivors, their families, and everyone in the Church for the last two decades. In light of these past 20 years, panelists were ask: What has happened since the Dallas Charter was promulgated in 2002, and what is the way forward for the next 20 years? What progress has been made, what has failed to happen, and what voices have been neglected or marginalized? What might the next 20 years look like with a focus on hope, healing, and restorative transformation processes?

This event featured voices of frontline workers who have served in the “field hospital,” a term Pope Francis has used to describe those who draw near to minister to the wounded, such as those who have ministered to survivors and their families since the beginning of the charter in 2002. It highlighted the voices of victim assistance coordinators, some of whom are still working for the Church and some of whom have retired or gone onto other careers. These voices provided a balanced yet critical perspective about what they saw, what they heard, and what they learned from walking with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families.

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