So here is why it became necessary to lock the west doors at the parish center:
Many months ago, I was tasked by the Archbishop to ensure that the parish of St. Bernadette is compliant with safe-environment policies that conform to our Diocesan Insurance provider. Our Insurance provider has warned the Archdiocese that, unless all parishes comply with a safe-environment policy as approved by them, they will cease to cover the parishes and the Archdiocese. They are currently conducting audits at the parish level to ensure that their requirements are being met.
Now when I arrived here a year and a half ago, of the many things I knew I had to quickly deal with was that the parish of St. Bernadette was nearly 10 years behind in conforming to this mandatory requirement. Eight years ago, I had led the parish of St. Timothy toward the development and completion of its safe-environment compliance. So I am familiar with what is needed to make that happen.
Early on, with the parish team, we determined that the entrance where the washrooms are located creates an extreme-danger for our children and vulnerable adults while the community is at worship. This area is completely unsupervised and isolated and it creates an easy opportunity for predators of the vulnerable who seek to use the parish washrooms.
Furthermore, this entrance is easy access for any person who may have nefarious intentions of harming members of the Assembly by entering the building unchallenged … perhaps with a weapon. It is unchallenged, easy and leisurely access for strangers to the working sacristy and to the parish halls.
This extreme vulnerability, most especially to our children and vulnerable people, has finally just been confirmed by an expert consultant who has advised us to shut down this access immediately to avert, insofar as humanly possible, the high potential for a tragedy.