D047 Compassionate Care of Victims of Sexual Abuse by Clergy

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church calls upon all members of dioceses, congregations, institutions, and all affiliated organizations, individually and in community, to acknowledge that:

• reporting clergy misconduct is a courageous and sacrificial act, demonstrating love for and trust in the church;

• such reporting is an act of service to the church;

• a victim has a right to expect our faith communities to respond with the love and compassion of Christ.

Resolved, That persons who have been subjected to clergy misconduct often suffer significant psychological, spiritual and emotional injuries, as well as injuries to relationships of family and community. The Church’s response to these peresons should include a range of resources and assistance from highly qualified professional providers; and be it further

Resolved, That guided by current resources of The Episcopal Church and in consultation with local professional providers, each diocese is encouraged to assemble an array of service providers with appropriate skills for meaningful responses to the needs of the reporters of clergy misconduct and those affected by clergy misconduct, which resources shall include trauma-informed approaches; and be it further

Resolved, That Canon IV.8.1 be amended to read as follows:

CANON 8: Of Pastoral Response

Sec. 1. The Bishop Diocesan shall provide for appropriate pastoral response whenever any report is made to the Intake Officer. Such pastoral response shall embody respect, care, and concern for affected persons and Communities. The response shall be designed so as to promote healing, repentance, forgiveness, restitution, justice, amendment of life and reconciliation among all involved or affected. If the report involves an allegation of Sexual Misconduct, the Bishop Diocesan is encouraged to provide for a pastoral response that will include the provision of assistance by a mental health professional with appropriate skills for meaningful response to affected persons. That the recommendations shall reflect a trauma-informed approach (i.e., an approach based on the knowledge and understanding of trauma and its far-reaching implications) to the care of reporting victims, both through the canonical reporting process, as well as in their home parish; and be it further

Resolved, That the work of the Task Force will in no way offer a negative impact on current Title IV processes, procedures or confidentiality requirements for Complainants and Respondents; and be it further

Resolved, That the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consider a budget allocation of $50,000 for the implementation of this resolution.

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