Coordinator named for survivors ministry

Staff report

CINCINNATI — Brian Spears, LPCC-S, LICDC, has been appointed the new coordinator of Ministry to Survivors of Abuse by Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.

This ministry involves reaching out in healing and reconciliation to those who have been victimized by sexual abuse as minors by anyone serving the church as a cleric, employee or volunteer, and a commitment to the pastoral and spiritual care of those who have been abused consistent with the Archdiocese’s Decree on Child Protection.

“I’m pleased to be part of this important ministry to help survivors of abuse in their healing process,” Spears said. “This support means that they don’t have to feel so alone in their journey of recovery. That has had a significantly positive effect for many survivors over the years.”

A native Cincinnatian, Spears graduated from Cincinnati Bible Seminary with an MA degree in Clinical Counseling in 2010. His previous clinical work includes three years at the Clermont Recovery Center and seven years at Counseling Alliance, a private practice agency. He is also a counselor to clients through Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio at the Citylink Center located at 800 Bank St., Cincinnati.

Spears will arrange support services for survivors of abuse, such as counseling and spiritual guidance as agreed upon by the individual and the Archdiocese. As part of this, Spears will maintain a list of qualified therapists for referral if the survivor does not already have a counselor. He also will maintain contact with the survivors to determine where they are in the healing process and whether additional assistance is needed. This ministry is available to all survivors of sexual abuse by Archdiocesan representatives, whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years ago.

“Brian brings strong credentials and a wealth of relevant experience to his role as the coordinator of Ministry to Survivors of Abuse,” said the Rev. Steve Angi, Chancellor of the Archdiocese. “His ability to listen and empathize makes him a perfect fit.”

The Archdiocese urges anyone who is being abused or has been abused by an employee or volunteer of the Archdiocese, or is aware of abuse currently taking place, to contact Brian Spears at 513-263-6623, or 800-686-2724, ext. 6623, as well as secular legal authorities. This is a confidential, dedicated line to accept calls related to child abuse by employees or volunteers.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 44th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with more than 450,000 Catholics, and has the sixth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

Staff report