Letter Encouraging Bishop Kelley Alumni To Report Any Abuse

Thursday, October 6th 2016, 6:20 pm
By: News On 6

Bishop Kelley alumni have been getting a letter from the school, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, encouraging them to come forward if they were ever abused or know someone who was abused.

The letter is specifically concerned about abuse by a worker for the school or someone within the Catholic Church.

"What prompted us to do this was the change in policy and making sure that everyone actually knows that we have a victim-centered approach," said Diocese of Tulsa Chancellor, Harrison Garlick.

Garlick said, in June, the newly appointed Bishop of Tulsa, David Konderla, started new policies.

"This type of approach is probably more proactive than we see in other places," Garlick said.

The new policies are in line with national Catholic Church guidelines.

Garlick said, "They have a very victim-centered approach and a very proactive approach."

The Bishop first sent a letter to the Tulsa Diocese, asking that the policies be widely spread.

Reverend Brian O'Brien sent a separate letter to thousands of Bishop Kelley alumni, saying they are seeking "constant improvement" and the school is committed to "protecting" and "bringing healing" to those abused.

"If you've ever been sexually abused, whether it's inside the church or not, we're here for pastoral support,” Garlick said. “We're here to help you out however we can."

O'Brien said in a statement, "With the new policies and procedures promulgated by Bishop Konderla when he arrived in the Diocese of Tulsa, we wanted to be proactive with our alumni and let them know that we're doing all we can to provide a safe environment for our students."

Attached to the Bishop Kelley letter was one written by Garlick, saying "regardless of when the abuse occurred" or if it is related to the Catholic Church, they want victims to come forward for help.

Garlick said, "A lot of times, when people have been abused, they never come out, they never tell anyone."

The Catholic Diocese of Tulsa has set up an anonymous hotline people can call for help at 918-307-4970, or, you can contact Garlick at his direct line, 918-307-4918. You can also find more information here.