How the Province responds to an allegation of sexual misconduct
Allegations can come from a variety of sources. The Province of St. Joseph takes every allegation of sexual abuse seriously and will respond to those who report abuse with compassion and care. The Province will report every allegation of abuse to the law enforcement agency responsible to investigate the allegation/s, regardless of when the abuse may have occurred. The Province will follow the lead of law enforcement at all times.
If law enforcement declines to investigate an allegation or press charges in a case, the Province will proceed with an internal administrative investigation. This could include hiring an independent investigator. Once an initial investigation is concluded, all investigative materials will be submitted to the Provincial Review Board for review and their recommendation to the Provincial Minister.
During an internal administrative investigation, the Director of the Office of Pastoral Care and Conciliation will keep all parties updated on how things are going. The Director will provide support to anyone who makes a report of sexual abuse or misconduct and will keep him/her updated as the process unfolds and on the outcome of the investigation.
Audit of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph
In early 2012, the provincial minister, Fr. John Celichowski, OFM Cap., and the Provincial Council of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph commissioned a comprehensive independent audit of the province’s personnel files, policies and procedures and other documents and materials. The purpose of the audit was to have an independent group determine how many and which friars and employees of the province had sexually abused minors and vulnerable adults. Another purpose of the audit was to determine how the province had responded to reports of sexual abuse, what they did with friars who abused, and how they responded to and treated victims of the friars’ sexual abuses.