By Kathleen Hennrikus and James Bennett, Globe Staff, 1/7/2004
In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
established a charter that addressed allegations of sexual abuse
by Catholic clergy. An audit conducted last year checked the
progress of the 191 dioceses in the United States and offered
detailed instructions, recommendations, and commendations on
reaching compliance with the Bishop's charter.
Praise for past actions
BOSTONEstablished: 1808 Parishes: 357 Dates of audit: Oct. 27-31, 2003
Appoint a qualified person to oversee archdiocese's efforts at compliance.
Continue reaching out to victims and survivors discovered through civil litigation.
Further clarify the responsibilities of the Lay Review Board and the Implementation
and Oversight Committee.
Educate public on procedure for filing sexual abuse complaints.
Continue creating a system to record abuse allegations that have been reported to
the attorney general.
Continue education of church personnel on Code of Ministerial Behavior.
Continue background checks for volunteers who have regular contact with minors.
Established an outreach program
Aggressive efforts gave 200,000 in the archdiocese safe environment training.
CINCINNATIEstablished: 1821 Parishes: 237 Dates of audit: June 30-July 3 and Nov. 10-11, 2003
Review existing policy on anonymous reports of sexual abuse involving minors.
Participate in research on the "nature and scope" of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.
Improve communication with review board, response teams, and other resources.
Consider delegating chancellor's antiabuse duties, including the creation
of a separate victims' advocate position to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
LOS ANGELESEstablished: 1936 Parishes: 288 Dates of audit: June 23-27, 2003
Create formal procedures for reporting and recording allegations of the sexual abuse
of minors to local authorities.
Update and disseminate current prevention policy on sexual abuse by clergy.
Revise the pamphlet on the sexual abuse prevention policy.
Work with district attorney to develop a method for reporting allegations of abuse
and cooperating in ensuing investigations.
Adopted a written sexual abuse prevention policy before the charter.
Created a sexual abuse advisory board in 1994.
NEW YORK CITYEstablished: 1808 Parishes: 413 Dates of audit: Aug. 25-29, 2003
Continue changing sexual conduct policy to make it consistent with the charter.
Adopt and implement codes of conduct for clergy and other church personnel
who have regular contact with children and young people.
Continue work on starting a safe environment program.
Develop written procedures for investigating abuse claims and a formal method to
more effectively advise accused abusers of their rights.
Fully implement background checks for all employees who have regular contact
Source: Report on the Implementation of the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People"