Sexual misconduct of any kind by a Brother of Saint John is not acceptable.
The Congregation is prepared to act swiftly, to investigate accusations thoroughly, to take appropriate actions, and to help victims and their families. In addition, the Brothers have established preventative measures to try to avoid this type of behavior from happening such as psychological evaluation prior to Brothers entering, safe environment practices, and training for the Brothers.
What Constitutes Inappropriate Behavior?
Inappropriate behavior is not only with minors. The Brothers especially would like to be notified if any of the following inappropriate behaviors have been undertaken by a Brother of Saint John. Of course, any behavior by a Brother that made you or someone you know uncomfortable may also be reported and investigated.
- Unwanted sexualized conduct in an employment, ministry, volunteer, or other setting
- Sexual advances or propositions by a Brother
- Sexually charged words to describe or degrade an individual and his/her body or body parts
- The offer for or actual special treatment in exchange for sexual behavior or actions
- Inappropriate jokes, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments, description of fantasies, etc.
- Sexual contact between a Brother and someone he was serving
- Inappropriately long touching, hugs, or physical contact
- Kissing on the lips when not appropriate or culturally acceptable
- Showing or giving sexually suggestive gifts or items such as nude photos/pornography, lingerie, or body parts
Reporting Suspicious Activity
The Brothers of Saint John insist that the Brothers maintain appropriate behavior and boundaries both in their personal and their ministerial lives. If you or someone you know experienced something unusual, uncomfortable, of violating at any time with a Brother, we invite you to come forward in confidence to discuss this with the Brothers of Saint John. Not only do the Brothers want victims to receive the appropriate healing, but they are very much interested in preventing this type of behavior from occurring to anyone else.
Currently, Fr. John-Luke is serving as the head of the committee on reporting. He can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 309-573-2489. Of course, you may reach out to any Brother of Saint John or the local law enforcement to discuss such matters as well.
The reporting of abuse is gaining much needed attention in the Church. As such, the processes that Dioceses and Congregations have been undertaking are being re-considered. The Brothers of Saint John are no different. Our Congregation is engaging with professionals to improve the reporting process and the services offered to victims and their families. The Congregation stands ready to comply with all laws, standards, and best practices including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Therefore, the brothers have an interdisciplinary board, the investigative committee, to advise on such matters.
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Every accusation is investigated. The Brothers undertake this process with the utmost care for the victim by engaging both the internal resources of the Congregation as well as third-party resources and law-enforcement personnel when appropriate.
The Vicar General of the Brothers of Saint John (in France) and the Vicar for the Americas are committed to treating each and every accusation as a serious matter. As previously mentioned, the investigative committee includes not only Brothers from the Congregation, but also independent investigators and lay personnel who ensure that these matters are handled with the appropriate level of care and are not ignored. The nature of this investigative body ensures that if a Brother were to be found guilty of sexual abuse, the appropriate civil and canonical actions would follow.