Archbishop Jason Gordon said allegations of abuse at children’s homes grieve the heart of the Catholic Church and everything will be done to bring healing and justice.
“Every child is a gift from God and deserves love and protection from all forms of abuse”, stated a media release issued by the Archdiocese of Port of Spain in response to allegations in the report ‘Safeguarding children in community residences and child support centres in Trinidad and Tobago’ compiled by a Cabinet-appointed independent committee.
Archbishop Gordon acknowledged the report and said the Church took “seriously any and all allegations of this nature”. He said an investigation will be launched to verify the truth of the allegations.
Reference was made to page 10 of the report: “This report aims not to establish the truth of the allegations of abuse, but to acknowledge the allegations, examine the system that facilitates a failure to safeguard children in these spaces and provide recommendations for improvements.”
The Archdiocese’s investigative team will include independent and qualified experts in the fields of psychology, childcare/social work, law, and human resource management.
“The mandate of the Church is to preach and live the gospel, with concern for the total wellbeing of all persons, especially children, and we give the assurance that every step will be taken to determine the facts and act appropriately in accordance with our public duty,” Archbishop Gordon said.
The investigation will provide recommendations for the future.
He thanked the Cabinet-appointed team for their investigative work in producing the report.