“The sexual abuse of young people is by every standard wrong and rightly considered a crime by society; it is also an appalling sin in the eyes of God” (Pope John Paul II, Address to the Cardinals of the United States and Conference Officers, April 23, 2002). The bishops of the United States, in November 2002, adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. They have recently approved the seventh revision/update and I have approved it for use here at the Diocese of Crookston. The protection of children and young people is of highest priority for the Church. Here in the Diocese of Crookston, our Safe Environment Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People and Code of Conduct For Church Leaders continues to give direction to our continuing efforts and work. It makes clear and unequivocal our enduring commitment to the safety of our children, the vulnerable, and all our young people.

All people must be safe from sexual abuse when they are at home, away from home, in school, in church – everywhere. May our faithful adherence to our Policy and Code help both young and old be secure in the knowledge that they are loved and cherished by our God and by the Church. Knowing this, may we live together in faith, trust, love and joy. And may what we do as the Church truly help rid our society of the scourge of sexual abuse.

+Most Reverend Michael J. Hoeppner,
Bishop of Crookston