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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Working to Prevent Sexual Abuse
Dr. Monica Applewhite meets with the heads of safe environment programs for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi.

Legionarios de Cristo y miembros del Regnum Christi que trabajan en conjunto en el desarrollo de ambientes seguros y de respuesta a situaciones de conflicto en este campo.
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 sexual abuse.

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
La Dra. Monica Applewhite trabaja desde 1994 en el campo de la detección, monitoreo y en las políticas de desarrollo para prevenir abusos sexuales.
The DRA. Monica Applewhite works since 1994 in the field of detection, monitoring and development policies to prevent sexual abuse.
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.

On 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.


To 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.

The 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.



Related links web site
New Gate Tours
Institute for the Psychological Sciences
Magdala Center
Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center
Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College

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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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