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Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Legally Killing The Innocent

One of the things I loathed about being in youth ministry is the legal eagles' demands on what I do. I get so PO'd when they deem that they can dictate what I can do and what I can't do with the kids.

I realize that there are wack jobs out there. However, the list of rules that I was expected to adhere to assumed that I was a reckless driver who put kids in danger and was a molester on top of that. Unfortunatly, the person in charge of Faith Formation (who always wanted to be my boss, glad he wasn't) was a rule oriented person and having a sibling working for the Diocese meant that he was quite concerned with following these rules.

As part of this, I came across Dom's article about Safe Environment for kids. It seems to put the responsibility to greatly on the children and if the parents do not allow their children to be part of the program they will not be covered legally.

Let's not forget that the primary educators of children are the parents. Not the Dioceses/Archdiocese.

If you are required to use programs such as Talk About Touching there are some real issues here. I will be upfront here and say that I've not reviewed the material, but investigative and intelligent writer Dom has and I'd trust his judgement, one that has been echoed by many. This program was reviewed by a parish in Boston:

As the parents were given their first exposure to the curriculum through an introductory video, some of them were shocked at what it contained. The video opened with the tableaux of a young child of about 5 years old asking his mother, “Mommy, what is sex?” And the mother responds, “Sex is when two people get undressed and rub their private parts together.”

If all of the programs are that provacative why in the freakin' world does the USCCB think that they can mandate that children see this kind of crap?

From Dom, who quotes Teresa M. Kettlekamp, directer of the USCCB’s OCYC :
“… any such training programs for children which are totally left to the parents and are not conducted as a regular part of a school or religious education program, curriculum or classroom work and overseen by the arch/diocese/eparchy will not satisfy the requirements of Article 12 of the Charter. This will result in the issuing of a Required Action to the arch/diocese/eparchy to provide safe environment training to children as required under Article 12. Not to do so will be considered noncompliance."

What is wrong with this picture?
I'm going to copy the info Dom' has on his site. If you have received this same info please let me know what you think of it. Since I'm no longer with a parish, I don't get it, but I'm interested to know what others' reactions are.

Contact info:
Teresa Kettelkamp, Executive Director
My direct number at the USCCB is: (202) 541-5418 and my cell phone number is: (217) 725-3535
202-541-5418 (direct line)

Sheila Kelly, Deputy Director

Danna Palmer, Executive Assistant
202-541-5413 (main line for the office)

Gladys Smith, Staff Assistant
202-541-3094 (direct line)
Fax number for the office: 202-541-5410
Charter information:

Thanks Dom, for the head's up and information.


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