2nd of Easter – Thomas & Safe Environments (1)

Jesus & Thomas

At Gesu this weekend, we remembered “Safe Environment Week” a week earlier than the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. (Parish schedules and all that.) And on this Sunday we contemplate Thomas, often called the Doubter. This week I wish to reflect on some ways they fit together.

And the first is this:  What we all have in common with abusers is the deep need to use others for our purposes – self-esteem, filling emptiness, avoiding impotence, seeking security, etc.  We all need a safe environment for us to even begin to speak about what our woundedness drives us to do.

Now, observing this week highlights the US Bishop’s commitment to protecting children from sexual, physical, and verbal abuse.  Obviously, it ‘lowlights’ our failure to do that for a long time.  We need to remember actively the victims of clergy abuse and work for and pray for their healing.

Here’s what Archbishop Listecki wrote, a bunch of it anyway:

WHEREAS, Safe Environment Week is for every parish and school, as well as the entire faith community to focus, at the same time, on the importance of keeping our children and youth safe;

WHEREAS, child abuse and neglect are societal problems whose prevention depend on involvement among people throughout the faith community;

WHEREAS, the theme for this year’s Safe Environment Week is “Serve with Love.” As a faith community, together we focus on the importance of God’s protecting love that surrounds each and every one of His children;

WHEREAS, when we fully live the words of Pope Francis when he says “only those who serve with love are able to protect,” we ensure an environment in which all are God’s children are safe;

WHEREAS, we acknowledge that we must work together as a community to increase awareness about child abuse and neglect and work to promote the social and emotional wellbeing of children, youth and families in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment…

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