St. Patrick’s Seminary and University (STPSU) is fully committed to providing a safe environment for its students, faculty, staff, and guests. We are also committed to forming priests who understand the great harm caused by the sin of the abuse of children in the Church and are committed to preventing abuse in the future. We are also dedicated to forming men who take their promise of clerical celibacy seriously and understand the serious sin and harm that can be caused even by consensual sexual activity between a priest and a member of the faithful.
With regard to sexual abuse, STPSU follows the directives of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and its Essential Norms and the policies and procedures of the Archdiocese of San Francisco as well as the applicable laws of the State of California. STPSU has also developed its own policy regarding sexual abuse, which is found in numerous documents of the seminary – available on request.
The seminary fully participates in the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s Safe Environment Program for the protection of child and youth and the training of the standards of conduct for clergy and other persons in positions of trust. If anyone has reason to believe, or might suspect, there is or has been criminal abuse involving clergy, employees, volunteers, seminarians, or children at STPSU, those suspicions or allegations are to be reported first to civil authorities and then immediately to the Rector or Vice-Rector if needed and to the Archdiocese via its assigned Victim Assistance Coordinator. For employees and faculty, they are trained on the seminary’s sexual harassment policies during their new hire on-boarding process. For the seminarians, the topic is discussed in town hall settings by the Rector, Dean of Men, and/or members of the spiritual direction faculty.
All seminarians have a faculty advisor who is tasked with helping the student with any issues. If there is any indication of sexual harassment, the student and faculty may escalate to the Rector and/or the Dean of Men to be addressed. Seminarians can also go directly to the Rector or Dean of Men if necessary. If the seminarian does not feel comfortable with escalating the issue within the seminary, then he may escalate to the Vocational Director or Bishop of his local diocese or to the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
In addition, the Archdiocese of San Francisco maintains a Survivor Help Line. This is a secure line and is monitored/answered by survivors, who are not part of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. We strive to have a competent person or persons to coordinate assistance for the immediate care of persons who report having been sexually abused. STPSU also employs a Psychological Counselor who is available to seminarians for consultation on a one-time or recurring basis. The Archdiocese of San Francisco has a set of resources available to provide support. This also includes an Independent Review Board that includes a psychologist, a physician, an attorney, a retired judge, a retired policeman, a survivor, and one pastor.