Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 20, 1971 when parishioners settled on a site for the new St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Oxford.
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Statement from Archbishop Leonard P. Blair (November 20, 2015)

The new film “Spotlight” recounts a deeply painful and pivotal chapter in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States, when in 2002 the Boston Globe investigated and reported on sexual abuse by clergy and the failures of Bishops in the face of such reprehensible acts.

We recognize the important role of the journalists who brought this issue to light. It prompted a call-to-action, leading to major Church reforms and meaningful change. We also acknowledge the scores of people at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and others who worked diligently with the Bishops to create the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, published in June 2002.

Since the inception of the Charter 14 years ago, the Archdiocese of Hartford has remained true to its principles. The Archdiocese has developed and upheld a culture of “zero tolerance” of sexual abuse, with clearly defined legal and pastoral consequences for offenders should abuse of any form take place.

Our overriding goal is to create a safe, protective environment for children, young people and others who might be vulnerable. This goal is supported by mandatory background checks for all personnel who come in contact with a minor or vulnerable adult. To ensure that the Charter and its conduct codes are followed, we willingly comply with an annual audit overseen by an independent, unbiased entity. Additionally, we require sexual abuse awareness training for all Archdiocesan employees, as well as those who teach Catholic school or a parish religious formation program. We thank the many clergy, lay faithful, religious and professionals involved in developing and implementing training. The Archdiocese of Hartford welcomes Pope Francis’ Papal Commission, which the Holy Father created in 2014 to advise him on additional reform measures.

The Catholic Church has asked, and continues to ask, for forgiveness from those whose sacred trust was violated through the crime of sexual abuse of minors, and who have endured emotional and physical pain because adequate safeguards were not in place or not enforced. The Church is profoundly sorry for the damage that was wrought on young people and their families.

More information about the protocols and programs run by the Archdiocese of Hartford to protect the faithful and promote healing and reconciliation may be found through the Office of Safe Environment.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.