Department of Communications
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street NE · Washington, DC 20017
202-541-3200 · 202-541-3173 fax · www.usccb.org/comm
Sexual Abuse Scandal(Source: USCCB Office of Child and Youth Protection)
A 17 Article Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was adopted by American bishops in 2002. Charter booklet includes the following :
Charter – 17 Articles
Essential Norms (Law for the Church)
Statement of Episcopal Commitment
There are four major components of the Charter:
TO PROMOTE Healing and Reconciliation with Victims/Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors
TO GUARANTEE Effective Response to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minor
TO ENSURE Accountability of Our Procedures
TO PROTECT the Faithful in the Future (Safe Environment Training)
Annual audits have been approved by the bishops to ensure compliance with the Charter articles.
One hundred and ninety diocese/eparchies of 195 participated in the 2007 audit process; 178 were found to be in full compliance with every Article of the Charter. Twelve dioceses/eparchies were compliant with every Article with the exception of one or two articles; some of which came into compliance by the end of 2007.
Establishment of an Office for Child and Youth Protection
Establishment of a National Review Board
Data from the 2007 audit shows that 3273 victims and family members have received outreach from the Church during that audit period.
Key among other things, this document mandates its implementation and the training of individuals who teach, train or otherwise work with children and young people in the Catholic Church: To date, 98% of those personnel for whom training is required have been trained.
Background evaluations have been conducted for 1.75 (98.97%) million people who work with children in the Church.
In addition to each arch/diocese/eparchy having a Victim Assistance Coordinator, diocesan review boards have been formed in each diocese , safe environment programs put into place, annual audits on abuse implemented and policies and procedures developed for the reporting and prompt handling of allegations involving the clergy abuse of minors. Furthermore, more careful screening of priesthood candidates has been adopted at seminaries.