In line with an agreement reached with the global settlement of 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Jan. 31 released personnel files of priests who sexually abused children while they were serving in the archdiocese. A statement from Archbishop José Gomez accompanied the release of files; the statement was read at parishes in the archdiocese Feb. 2 and 3, and may be viewed at www.la-archdiocese.org. Within its website posting of the files (see http://clergyfiles.la-archdiocese.org/), the archdiocese also posted the following letter:“The 2013 public release of the files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement, concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our Local Church. In the 2004 Report to the People of God and elsewhere, the Archdiocese acknowledged and apologized for failing to treat victims of abuse with compassion, as well as for employing what we now know to be inadequate standards for treatment and supervision of priests who were found to have abused children and young people. “The 2004 Report to the People of God provided a framework for understanding how the Archdiocese dealt with allegations of clergy sexual abuse over several decades. It also included the names of priests publicly accused of abuse, as well as those who were found to have committed abuse. Though the additional information provided with the release of the personnel files fits within the overall framework of the 2004 Report, and are themselves frequently decades-old, many will find the specific details contained within them to be troubling and upsetting.“While the files being produced have the names of persons who experienced abuse and third parties redacted and obscured, some may recognize their stories in the letters and memos in these files. We understand that this experience may be a difficult one. Through years of outreach to persons who experienced abuse, we have learned that feelings and reactions to these stories vary according to the individual. Please be assured that the Office of Victims Assistance Ministry is available to help. “Sad and shameful as the past history of sexual abuse is, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles can point to more than a decade of modern child protection efforts that are among the most effective in the nation at preventing abuse and dealing with allegations of abuse:“—Each of our 287 parishes and schools has a Safeguard the Children Committee, and all adults who supervise children are required to undergo VIRTUS abuse prevention training, and must submit to background checks and screening.“—Catholic school students and children in religious education programs undergo age-appropriate abuse prevention instruction.“—Priests, deacons, school faculty and administrators, and other staff members in our parishes and schools are mandated reporters, and regularly receive training in how to report suspicions of child abuse or endangerment to civil authorities.“Additionally, the Archdiocese continues to reach out to victims of abuse and their families through our Office of Victims Assistance Ministry.“The Archdiocese again apologizes to all who were harmed in the past by clergy sexual abuse. We continue to pray earnestly that you and your families find emotional and spiritual healing. We also reiterate our firm commitment to remaining vigilant against any and all threats to our children and young people.”Child safety efforts in the Archdiocese of Los AngelesThe Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ website (www.la-archdiocese.org) offers the following resources to learn more about child safety efforts:—Child Protection Efforts: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has implemented rigorous policies and procedures to provide a safe environment in our parishes and parish schools for all children and young people. These include: —Zero Tolerance.—Guidelines for Adults Working or Volunteering with Minors.—Boundary Guidelines for Junior High and High School Youth Working or Volunteering with Children or Youth.—Megan's Law Compliance Procedures (http://meganslaw.ca.gov/).For information on these and other policies, visit http://www.la-archdiocese.org/org/protecting/safeguard/Pages/education.aspx.—Mandated Reporters: Priest, deacons, school faculty and administrators and other staff members in our parishes and schools have been designated as mandated reporters under California law. When one of these persons receives information leading to a "reasonable suspicion" that a child is being abused or neglected, he or she must make a report to the appropriate child protection or law enforcement agency. The Archdiocesan Victims Assistance Ministry also provides assistance in responding to an allegation of suspected child abuse. Contact: http://www.la-archdiocese.org/org/protecting/vam/Pages/report.aspx. Additionally, anyone may make a report of suspected sexual misconduct at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ sexual misconduct reporting line: 1-800-355-2545.—Victims’ Assistance: The Office of Victims Assistance Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was established in 2002 to deal with allegations of past or current sexual abuse by clergy, religious or any lay person working or volunteering for the Archdiocese. The office is charged with creating a safe and compassionate environment for victims to come forward while ensuring that civil authorities are notified and victims provided with counseling and other assistance in the healing process. Contact: (213) 637-7650 or http://www.la-archdiocese.org/org/protecting/vam/Pages/default.aspx.—Background Checks and Training: The Archdiocese requires that all clergy, paid parish/school personnel and volunteers who work regularly in a supervisory role with children or youth be fingerprinted. Fingerprinting is performed in multiple locations in all five regions of the Archdiocese. Contact: http://www.la-archdiocese.org/org/protecting/Pages/policies/fingerprinting.aspx.—Abuse Prevention Programs: VIRTUS¬Æ "Protecting God's Children" is a three-hour training for adults which teaches the five basic steps of child sexual abuse prevention. This program is mandated for all adults who work with or around children or youth on a regular basis. More than 150,000 clergy, staff, volunteers and parents have attended the program. Contact: (213) 637-7227 or http://virtusonline.org/virtus.