|Legionaries of Christ and members of the Regnum Christi work closely in the development of safe environments and responding to conflict situations in this field.|
Rome, March 18, 2011. From March 9 to 11, Dr.
Monica Applewhite, an expert in detecting, monitoring, and developing policy
to prevent sexual abuse, led a formation and coordination three
day seminar at the general directorate for the Legionary priests
and Regnum Christi members who are currently heading up the
safe environment programs in the various territories.
A Catholic lay
woman, Dr. Applewhite has been working in this field since
1994, and has coordinated prevention programs with the episcopal conferences,
conferences of major superiors of religious congregations, dioceses, religious congregations,
schools, and other institutions in the United States, Ireland, Australia,
and various Latin American countries. She has also personally interviewed
hundreds of sexual abuse victims and has drafted follow-up plans
for clergy and other individuals who have committed acts of
In her talks, she began by covering the history
of the phenomenon of the sexual abuse of minors, and
discussed the alarming dimensions it has taken on in our
time. Afterwards, she spoke about the abuses committed by some
priests and the way the Church has responded, especially in
the last decade. She commented that sexual abuse of minors
is not just a pastoral or moral problem, nor can
it simply be resolved with psychological treatment; in fact, many
offenders are repeat offenders. She also illustrated how a much
deeper understanding of the dynamics of the sexual abuse of
minors (based on the study of hundreds of documented cases)
has allowed researchers to reinforce prevention plans, offer effective help
for the victims’ recovery, and ensure supervision for past offenders.
|The DRA. Monica Applewhite works since 1994 in the field of detection, monitoring and development policies to prevent sexual abuse.|
the last day of the three-day seminar, the priests and
laymen heading up sexual abuse prevention efforts analyzed the implementation
plan for the various territories, learning from the experiences and
progress made the United States and Ireland. Finally, Dr. Applewhite
gave a summarized version of her talks to the members
of the general council of the Legion of Christ, sharing
her specific experience in her work with religious congregations.
learn more about the history of the phenomenon of sexual
abuse of minors, read Dr. Applewhite’s address to the
Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) in 2003.
National Catholic Register also published an interview with Dr.
Applewhite on her work in sexual abuse prevention, “Change in
Vatican Culture: A Sex Abuse Expert Sees Hope in Pope
Benedict,” published in 2010.