What Will You Do?

Saturday, 08 September 2018

This question has been asked of me a few times this past week and in the weeks and months before I have asked this question of myself. When I ask this question, I immediately think of what I could do to make reparation for the wounds and suffering of victims at the hands of my brother priests and the bishops who harbored them and moved them. I will address what you and I can do in this area in a later Pastor’s Corner.

Here I want to outline what would happen if a parent or adult came to me and filed a complaint about someone in our parish or school (priest or laity). Some parishioners have met with me and said, “We heard what you feel and what you think about these things, but what will you do?” A wonderful and fair question.

Process of Handling Allegations

I would contact the civil authorities (if the report was made by a parent of the child) first if a report of sexual abuse of a minor was reported to me. Then, I would contact the Bishop. The Diocese will also contact the civil authorities. A written report must also be made by me or the person receiving the report. The Diocesan procedures can be found .

The person accused and being investigated is immediately placed on administrative leave. This will remain in place until the civil and the Church investigation are complete. There will be no exceptions. We will cooperate completely with any and all efforts of the civil authorities.

The safety and protection of our children are of the utmost importance here at St. James Church and School. We are committed to providing our children and our families an environment that is healthy and holy so that we can grow and be nurtured as disciples of Jesus Christ. This is paramount. We cannot be vigilant enough when it comes to the protection of our children.

I hope that this is clear. We take any report of the sexual abuse of a minor here at St. James with the greatest seriousness. Be assured that we will do everything within our power to provide a safe environment for our children and for each of us. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to seeing you this next weekend at our Town Hall Meetings!

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Daniel F. Firmin

St James the Less Catholic Church

St. James the Less Catholic Church
8412 Whitefield Avenue
Savannah, Georgia 31406
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Office Hours: M–F | 9A – 5P


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