Amid heightened awareness about child safety, local parishes have changed
VERONA — On the rare occasion when the Rev. William Vernon hugs a child at St. Andrew Catholic Church, almost everything about the interaction has been carefully considered.
Since 2001, when a flurry of high-profile lawsuits against the Catholic Church reignited a child abuse scandal, Vernon has made it his personal policy not to initiate hugs with children. He encourages handshakes, high-fives and fist bumps instead.
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By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
Educate Yourself -- Learn the Facts
It May Just Save a Child's Life!!