Protecting Our Children
Diocesan Child Protection Policy
Faced with the crisis of child sexual abuse by clerics that dramatically came to light in 2002, the Church in the United States set up an aggressive safe environment program that is the envy of other organizations that work with children. From 2003 through 2007, when the last audit of how the Catholic Church’s safe environment effort was completed, we can say the Catholic Church in the United States:
• Trained more than 1.8 million clergy, employees, and volunteers in parishes on how to create safe environments and prevent child sexual abuse.
• Prepared more than 5.7 million children to recognize abuse and protect themselves.
• Ran background checks on more the 1,535,000 volunteers and employees, 164,000 educators, 51,000 clerics and 4,955 candidates for ordination.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat produces an annual public report—on the progress made in implementing and maintaining the standards in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People—following an annual audit process. The report is public and includes the names of dioceses that the audit shows are not in compliance with the provisions and expectations of the Charter.
The Catholic Church has made great strides in correcting the environment that provided an opportunity for the sexual abuse scandal. The movie Doubt, like the play, does an excellent job of portraying the complexities surrounding the issues. Whether or not you think Father Flynn is guilty, there is no doubt that sexual abuse of minors did happen, and there is no doubt of the commitment of the bishops that it will never happen again.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has created a flyer “So There Is NO Doubt” to give dioceses/eparchies the information they would need should the movie Doubt create an open dialogue of the clergy sexual abuse scandal and what the Church has done to address it. Please feel free to download and copy the print version of the flyer at http://www.usccb.org/ocyp/.
In our own Diocese of Rockville Centre here on Long Island, all employees and all volunteers must submit to a background check and attend a training session called VIRTUS. This training is designed to make all of us aware of how pedophiles select and attack the most vulnerable, and to inform all parish leaders on Long Island about making their programs and environments safe for all our children.To see the comprehensive plan our Diocese has in place to protect our children and young people, including the volunteer and employee code of conduct and the Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, visit http://www.drvc.org/efforts-to-protect-children-and-young-people/diocesan-efforts-to-protect-children-and-young-people.html.
What should I do if I suspect a child is being abused?
If you or someone you know has experienced an incident of sexual abuse by clergy, employee or volunteer of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, please contact law enforcement and the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People. The office maintains a special phone for these situations: 516-594-9063.
For further information please contact:
Eileen F. Puglisi
Director for the Office of Protection of Children & Young People
phone: (516) 678-5800, ext. 573
fax: (516) 887-1584 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
phone: (516) 678-5800, ext. 507
Diocesan links: http://www.drvc.org/reporting-an-allegation-of-child-abuse/how-to-report-suspected-abuse.html