COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Officials of St. John’s Abbey and St John’s University have voted to establish a sexual-trauma institute to promote healing of victims abused by clergy and to prevent such abuse.
The monastery and the men’s university have been directly affected by sexual misconduct in the Catholic church. Five monks have been accused in six lawsuits of abusing young men. Three of the suits have been settled out of court.
The idea for an institute arose in August, when about two dozen theologians, therapists and others from across the nation met at St. John’s and said the abbey should take a leadership position in combating sexual misconduct by clergy.
Those experts have been invited to participate on an advisory committee to help develop the institute.
Abbot Timothy Kelly said through Glen Beltt, director of media relations, that the institute would be running in three to five years. He anticipates it will become a permanent institution, with a director on the St. John’s campus.
Although plans are not final, the institute might:
* Bring in sexual-abuse victims for treatment and counseling;
* Work with Catholic dioceses to train sexual-abuse victims’ advocates;
* Work with other organizations to bring victims to St. John’s for counseling;
* Serve as a resource center.
Sex-trauma institute to be established
National Catholic Reporter Publish
October 29, 1993