Credible Accusations

Statement from the Provincial Team of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ

Susan Whitten, a deceased former member of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, has been accused of the sexual abuse of a minor. Whitten left the Poor Handmaid Congregation over 50 years ago when she was dispensed from her vows in 1967. Whitten’s last assignment prior to her dispensation was at Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, IN.

A member of Bishop Dwenger’s class of 1967 has accused Whitten of engaging in an inappropriate relationship. Out of respect for the privacy of the individual who made this credible allegation, the Poor Handmaids will not say anything further regarding the allegation or the response to it.

The Poor Handmaids are saddened to hear of this abuse. The safety and well-being of all children, including all those served by the ministry of the Poor Handmaids, is of the highest importance to us. Abuse of any kind is appalling. The mission of the Poor Handmaids affirms our desire to respect and value each person we serve and to search for justice. Poor Handmaids are committed to responding to any allegation of abuse pastorally, with compassion and sensitivity to all those who may be affected. The Sisters’ prayers go out to the individual who brought this allegation.