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August 24, 2018 — In a letter released today, Jesuit
Superior General Father Arturo Sosa addressed all members of the Society of
Jesus and lay collaborators of the Society’s mission regarding the
recent Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse in the
Catholic Church. (Read the full text of the letter here.)

“Through the intercession of Our Lady of the Way, we ask the
Lord for ‘growing sorrow and shame’ in the face of the suffering caused by so
many abuses,” Fr. Sosa wrote in his letter,
which is also available in Spanish and French.
“We ask the Lord to accompany us in a real process of personal and
institutional conversion.”

Fr. Sosa emphasized the contrition and call to reform
expressed in Pope Francis’ “Letter
to the People of God,”
in which the Jesuit pope wrote that “We
showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”

“The extent and the gravity of all that has happened
requires coming to grips with this reality in a comprehensive and communal way,”
Pope Francis wrote. “While it is important and necessary on every journey of
conversion to acknowledge the truth of what has happened, in itself this is not
enough. Today we are challenged as the People of God to take on the pain of our
brothers and sisters wounded in their flesh and in their spirit.”

Responding to the pope’s call for change, Fr. Sosa wrote,
“The content of the letter from Pope Francis … confirms for us the mandate of
General Congregation 36 to continue working, at all levels of the Society, to
promote a consistent culture of protection and safety for minors and for adults
in situations of vulnerability. … Our way of proceeding links us in a special
way with the Holy Father for the greater service of the Church. For our part,
let us do everything possible to collaborate in healing this situation in the

In the United States, the policies and procedures
implemented by the Society of Jesus are accredited by Praesidium, Inc., a
national organization that works with religious and other institutions to
establish and maintain rigorous standards for protecting children and
vulnerable adults. In addition, each province conducts thorough background
checks of all Jesuits to identify any past behavior that might suggest future
misconduct. Each province has enhanced screening procedures for all applicants,
including criminal background checks.

In his letter, the Superior General also requested that
Jesuits promote in new ways “a culture of protection of minors and vulnerable

“We ask the Lord to accompany us in a real process of
personal and institutional conversion. We ask that he help us not to flag in
our efforts to promote a new culture of life in which all human beings find
protection, justice, and dignity.”

the full text of Fr. Sosa’s letter here.

Pope Francis’ “Letter to the People of God.”

Protecting Children:
The Society of Jesus

Read additional statements from the provinces of Canada and
the U.S. below:

Socius of the Jesuits of Canada, Fr. Gilles Mongeau, SJ, “The Scandal of
Sexual Abuse: A Moment of Radical Conversion for the Church
”/ “Le
scandale de l’abus sexuel: un moment de conversion radicale pour l’Église

from Fr. Brian G. Paulson, SJ, Provincial, USA Midwest Province Jesuits 

Statement from
Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, Provincial, USA West Province Jesuits 

from USA Maryland Province Jesuits

from Fr. Ronald A. Mercier, SJ, Provincial, USA Central and Southern Province

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