Salesians deny moving priests accused of sexual abuse

.- The Salesians of Don Bosco issued a statement June 21, denying allegations that they have moved priests, accused of sexual abuse of minors, from one country to another.

The Dallas Morning News had published a report the day before, stating that the Salesians and other religious orders have transferred priests, accused of abuse, to new church communities to continue in ministry.

The statement, posted on the Salesian’s Web site, says the congregation "categorically denies such behavior and condemns every kind of abuse of minors."

The statement also outlines the course of action taken by the Salesian congregation in cases where its members are accused of sexual abuse.

The congregation said that it examines promptly any accusation of sexual abuse against minors to assess, above all, its credibility. If found to be true, the congregation “assures psychological and educational support for the victims and, if necessary, for their families.”

A Salesian priest or brother, who is found to be guilty of such abuse, is “immediately removed from every pastoral and educational responsibility, so that he may not have any contact with minors,” reads the statement. He is then entrusted to the care of experts, who will help him from the psychological and spiritual point of view, and he is “encouraged to collaborate actively with the law and recognize his own responsibility.”

The congregation pointed out that its ministry is to poor children and “the defence of minors, against abuse of all kinds, including sexual violence, child labor and military enslavement.”

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