Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Virtus - My take

I have just completed "Virtus" training for our diocese as is required for anyone who works or volunteers - in any way shape or form- with children in the diocese.

The Virtus Website describes its self as :

VIRTUS is the brand name that identifies best practices programs designed to help prevent wrongdoing and promote "rightdoing" within religious organizations. The VIRTUS programs empower organizations and people to better control risk and improve the lives of all those who interact with the Church.

The three hour session I attended was titled "Protecting God's Children" The course was given in a parish hall with snacks and drinks provided for us. The program I attended was given by a very nice speaker whom seemed well read and informed on the subject. The Session consisted of a DVD video, a workbook, and pamphlets to back up the workbook.

The Video was split up into two parts Part 1: A Time to Protect God's Children and Part 2: A Plan to Protect God's Children. The video Starts off with Bishop Emeritus Raymond Boland of the Kansas City - Saint Joseph Diocese speaking on child sexual abuse and we hear from Bishop Boland throughout the Video series. After the Video sessions we were to break into small groups and discuss what we had seen, The video portrayed 4 Victims of Child Sexual abuse and 2 Men who admitted to abusing children. The story's were very explicit and very heartbreaking to hear that any CHILD had to go through these tragic experiences. The two men that were abusers showed very little outward emotional regret or remorse for their actions, and at some points even seemed excited to share their story's of Child Sexual abuse.

So where am I going with all of this?

The Virtus Session and program seems to me to give good information to parents and laity within our Catholic communities, it appears to bring awareness and a proactive approach to this awful Sexual abuse scandal that Satan has brought against Holy Mother Church, but I feel this may be too little too late.

The workbooks contained material and questions about the videos that would be typical of a 5th grade class, The discussions were not very in depth and no ordained clergy was found to show commitment to this program from the very area where the Media and others have placed focus. One Parishioner asked the program leader, "Why Don't we hear this preached during the Homily", she Did not have an answer but the person who should have the answer was not there to give it.

Satan is working very hard to attack The Catholic Church on this front and it seems very few on this side of the fence are willing to do more than the bare minimum.


JrJayhawk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JrJayhawk said...

I am glad to hear you are sharing your time and getting more active in the church. Being a 5th Grade PSR teacher myself for the last 8 years in my own parish I have been in the VIRTUS program for the past 3. I will say that in our parish our priest Fr. Tom did the program along with me and he did preach a Homily or two on the subject of protecting our kids. SO it does vary from parish to parish. Good program and I hope it bares protection from hear on out. As for the past? Well that is still up to each of the local Bishops and what they do or don't do. They alone will be judged for their actions and/or inaction’s. I must for now since I am not the Pope leave it up to our Lord.

Anonymous said...

There are forces at work that you can't understand and you don't like them so you just boil it down to Satan. The only difference, it would seem, between Roman Fascists and Christian Fundamentalists would be that every Roman Fascist listens to the same nutjob.

Anonymous said...

Somones Bitter

COUGH COUGH *anonymous*

Lets leave shifty comments on a blog with no solid Commentary

Sounds good to me

thetimman said...

Christopher, I disagree as to both the benefit and the morality of the virtus program. It takes a problem that was almost exclusively the problem of homosexual priests becoming inappropriately involved with pubescent teenage boys, and instead creates the image that parents are the problem and that children should be the first line of defense.

The essential problem is that it treats the problem as one of psychology instead of morality. There is plenty of coverage of "safe" and "unsafe" and very little of "right" and "wrong". Where is the Catholic teaching component? Nowhere. Why? Because you wouldn't need a three hour seminar to impart the message, "Molesting children is horribly immoral." In fact, I think it could be done in one minute or less.

The whole program is loosely based on a previous planned parenthood-derived program; it focuses on psychology and insinuates that parents are the problem. As a person who was forced to endure this drivel, I believe it is a highly insulting, and highly offensive, lawsuit liability defense mechanism.