Our faith teaches us that we are called to treat every person we encounter as a beloved child of God, no matter who they are, where they come from or how they come to us. That is especially true when it comes to protecting and safeguarding young people on the Cathedral Close.
Our commitment to providing a safe and secure environment for our students, acolytes and choristers is one of our most important tasks, and one that we take seriously and prayerfully. There can be no higher priority than protecting the most vulnerable of God’s children entrusted to our care.
We find ourselves in a moment in which schools, churches, universities and others are reckoning with painful cases of abuse, assault or harassment from years past. Of all the institutions in our public life, the church must be held to the highest standards of accountability, protection and justice, particularly when it involves situations involving children or minors.
You may have seen a letter from the Cathedral, St. Albans School, National Cathedral School and Beauvoir about a new comprehensive and independent investigation of any reports of past cases of sexual misconduct between adults and children here on the Cathedral Close. I want to reiterate that this investigation was not prompted by any concern or information about any current employees or students. You should also know that all four institutions are committed to maintaining—and expanding where necessary—best-in-the-nation standards for child protection.
As a Cathedral that is grounded in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ, we chose to join this investigation because it is the right thing to do. Our responsibility is not only to protect children, but also to be what Isaiah called “the repairers of the breach.” Through this investigation, we aim to offer healing to anyone who was hurt, and to try and repair any breach of trust that was broken.
As a Cathedral and a Close community, we are guided in this endeavor by the words of the Prophet Micah: “Do justice. Love mercy. And walk humbly with your God.” In caring for the children among us, we must ensure that justice is served in all cases. We must treat our children with tender mercy and compassion. And we must humbly seek God’s guidance and grace as we work to ensure that all children are protected and cared for.
On behalf of the Cathedral community, I ask your prayers for wisdom, perseverance and diligence in the work God has given us to do.
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith
Dean, Washington National Cathedral
RELATED: Supporting Efforts to Protect Our Children by Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde