Child Protection Audits Find Nearly All Dioceses Compliant

April 10, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The 2011 Annual Reporton the implementation of the Charter forProtection of Children and Young People reports that nearly all dioceses inthe country are totally compliant with the 17-point Charter.

Italso notes that, as in previous years, the Diocese of Baker, Oregon, andLincoln, Nebraska, and six eparchies (Eastern rite dioceses) refused toparticipate in the audits and therefore are found non-compliant.

Thefull report can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/2011-annual-report.pdf

The report notes that mostallegations reported today are of incidents from previous decades. For example,68 percent of allegations made in 2011, were of incidents from 1960-1984, and themost common time period for allegations was 1975-1979. It also found most ofthe accused have died or been removed from ministry and many had been accusedpreviously.

Three percent (or 21) of theallegations noted in the 2011 report came from current minors.

“Of the 21 allegations made byminors, seven were considered credible by law enforcement; three weredetermined to be false, five were determined to be boundary violations, andthree are still under investigation,” the report said. The credibility of threeallegations could not be determined.

In the same period, “683 adults whowere victims/survivors of abuse in the past came forward to report onallegations for the first time.”

Theaudits were undertaken by StoneBridge Business Partners, which began Charter audits for the United StatesConference of Catholic Bishops with the 2011 audits. One-third of the dioceseshad on-site visits, and 24 of them included visits to parishes. Of thesedioceses, StoneBridge found only one non-compliant with any article. TheDiocese of Shreveport, Louisiana, was found non-complaint with Article 2, whichconcerns diocesan review boards, because its review board had not met in twoyears. StoneBridge noted that the diocese had “not experienced any Charter-relatedviolations in at least four years” and that it immediately convened its reviewboard when StoneBridge highlighted the failing.

StoneBridge also issued numerous managementletters, which recommended areas where dioceses and parishes might improve. Theareas covered by most management letters concerned record keeping of backgroundchecks on adults working with minors and safe environment training forchildren, staff and volunteers.

Theannual report also includes statistical data gathered by the GeorgetownUniversity-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). CARA noted costs related to the crisis decreasedin such areas as settlements, therapy, and support for offenders, and increasedin attorney fees. Total cost to dioceses in 2010 was almost $124 million; in2011 it was almost $109 million. Total costs to dioceses and religious orders combinedfell from $150 million in 2010 to about $144 million in 2011.

CardinalTimothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference ofCatholic Bishops (USCCB), said the church still had to remain watchful.

“While the report supports theconclusion of both studies done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice –that the majority of allegations are way in the past – the church must continueto be vigilant. The church must do all she can never to let abuse happen again.And we must all continue to work with full resolve toward the healing andreconciliation of the victims/survivors.”

AlJ. Notzon, III, chairman of the all-lay National Review Board for theprotection of Children and Young People, in a letter to Cardinal Dolan highlighted“the importance of good record-keeping regarding background checks andparticipation in safe environment training.”

“I also highlight the greatsignificance of involving parishes in the audit process,” he said. “The parishis where our children learn and live their young, growing faith. Parishparticipation in the audit process thus ‘makes the Church real’ for individual parishesand, most importantly, for the participating families and children.”

Inother findings

The 683 adults who were victims/survivors andcame forward for the first time this year were offered help with healing, and453 people accepted support.Another1,750 people who reported abuse in the past continued to receive support.

Of those clerics accused of past sexual abuse ofminors, 253 were deceased, 58 had already been laicized, and 281 had priorallegations and were already removed.

Across the country, 1.8 million volunteers inCatholic parishes and schools are trained to protect children. An additional249,000 other employees are likewise trained.

Nationwide over 4.8 million Catholic childrenwere taught to recognize a grooming process, say no, and to tell parents andother trusted adults about such behavior. All audited dioceses/eparchies havesafe environment training for children.

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Keywords: Charter for the Protection of Children and YoungPeople, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Al J. Notzon, II, dioceses, Lincoln, Nebraska,Baker, Oregon, parishes, child abuse, USCCB, U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, CARA, StoneBridge,

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MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Sr. Mary Ann WalshO: 202-541-3200M: 301-325-7935Email