From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA General Board Addresses Abuse of Children

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Sun, 23 Jun 2002 02:33:06 -0400

American Baptist News Service (6/22/02)--The American Baptist Churches USA
General Board, meeting here today, unanimously affirmed a "Declaration on an
Issue of Importance: Children and the Misconduct of Those They Trust." 

The document states: 

"We are reminded by Christ that whatever we do to the least of our brothers
and sisters, we do unto Christ.

"As followers of Christ who seek to share the good news of God's kingdom, we
know the damage that is done when our actions do not reflect the words we
teach and preach to our children. This is especially true when we misuse the
trust granted us because of our faith and our calling, and destroy the hopes
and lives of others.  Revelations of abuse and misconduct by clergy and
other religious leaders only remind us of our common responsibility to
reflect the One we worship through our words, our actions, and our lives.

"We are angered and saddened over damage done to children.  We are
overwhelmed by the consequences of sinful behavior left unchecked. We are
heartened by the responsiveness of the church and encourage every effort to
address the concerns of victims with justice, compassion, and healing.

"And yet we are not powerless. Christ who renews us each day is the same one
who gives us hope for the coming of God's kingdom and God's grace for all

"Therefore, we call on all American Baptists:

* to protect and care for the least among us, especially the children;

* to be courageous in holding accountable with care and concern those who
are responsible for guiding others in matters of faith-parents, clergy,
teachers, etc.; and 

* to pray for all who have been damaged, disillusioned or are despairing
because of the misconduct of those they trusted, that healing and wholeness
may be found."


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (610)768-2077; fax:

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