Safe Environment/Child Protection
Angelica Ybarra, CMSE Coordinator
Lillian Cardiel, CMSE Instructor
A Commitment to Healing, Prevention and Empowering our Faithful through Education
The Office for Child and Youth Protection provides the focus for a consistent, ongoing and comprehensive approach to creating a secure environment for young people throughout the Church in the United States. Safe environment programs are in place to assist parents and children—and those who work with children—in preventing harm to young people.
Through these steps and many others, we remain committed to the safety of our children and young people. These include the training of Safe Environment Coordinators who then provide safe environment classes to their individual parishes for employees and volunteers.
This office also provides continuing education and resources for parents and those in service to continue to educate on the subject of abuse, the prevention of abuse and the methods for reporting.
The Office for Child and Youth Protection also oversees the implementation of Safe Environment education for our children who are in our Catholic schools or who are enrolled in religious education classes. The intense public scrutiny of the minority of the ordained who have betrayed their calling has caused the vast majority of faithful priests and deacons to experience enormous vulnerability to being misunderstood in their ministry and even to the possibility of false accusations. We share with them a firm commitment to renewing the image of the vocation to Holy Orders so that it will continue to be perceived as a life of service to others after the example of Christ our Lord. We, who have been given the responsibility of shepherding God’s people, will, with His help and in full collaboration with all the faithful, continue to work to restore the bonds of trust that unite us. Words alone cannot accomplish this goal.
It will begin with the actions we take in our General Assembly, and at home in our diocese. We know that after such profound hurt, healing and reconciliation are beyond human capacity alone. It is God’s grace and mercy that will lead us forward, trusting Christ’s promise: “for God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26). In working toward fulfilling this responsibility, we have relied first of all on Almighty God to sustain us in faith, and in the discernment of the right course to take. As such, this office is committed to seeking continual educational resources for clergy and staff in maintaining safe environments, establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries and educating on the societal problem of abuse in our community.
Along with those victims who have come forward for assistance, the entire Catholic community in this country has suffered because of the atrocious act of abuse. This office provides victim services encompassing pastoral and spiritual assistance, referral information for outside services and contacts to various agencies as needed. In serving the Diocese of Corpus Christi, we are available to you to answer your questions and your need for assistance.