U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Release 2017 Annual Report on the Protection of Children and Young People

Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Release 2017 Annual Report on the Protection of Children and Young People

WASHINGTON—The
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for the Protection of Children
and Young People has released their 2017 Annual Report – Findings and
Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of
Children and Young People.

The
2017 report for audit year July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017, states that 654 adults
came forward with 695 allegations. Compared to 2015 and 2016, the number of
allegations has decreased significantly due to fewer bankruptcy proceedings and statute of limitations changes. Also, it notes that 1,702 victim/survivors
received ongoing support. All dioceses and eparchies that received an
allegation of sexual abuse during the 2017 audit year reported them to the
appropriate civil authorities.

The
report also notes the ongoing work of the Church in continuing the call to
ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. In 2017, over 2.5 million
background checks were conducted on Church clerics, employees, and
volunteers. Over 2.5 million adults and 4.1 million children have also
been trained on how to identify the warning signs of abuse and how to report
those signs.

Twenty-four
new allegations came from minors. As of
June 30, 2017, six were substantiated and the clergy were removed from
ministry.  These allegations came from
three different dioceses.  Four of the
six allegations were against the same priest.  Eight allegations were unsubstantiated as of
June 30, 2017.  Three were categorized as
“unable to be proven” and investigations were still in process for five of the
allegations as of June 30, 2017.  

Regarding
Charter Compliance, the report noted the following:

Two eparchies and one diocese
did not participate in the audit this year.191 dioceses were found
compliant with the Charter.All diocese/eparchies
participating in the 133 data collection audits were found compliant with
the data collection process.Of the sixty-one
dioceses/eparchies participating in the on-site audits, all were found
compliant except for three eparchies.All three eparchies were found
non-compliant with Article 2 for the 2017 audit period.One eparchy was also found non-compliant
with Articles 12 and 13.

The
Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People continues to
emphasize that the audit and the maintaining zero-tolerance policies are two
important tools in the Church’s broader program of creating a culture of
protection and healing that exceeds the requirements of the Charter.

This
is the fifteenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,
making a promise to protect and a pledge to heal.

The
full Annual Report can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/2017-Report.pdf

Keywords:
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on the Protection of
Children and Young People, 2017 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations,
children, young people, vulnerable adults, dioceses/eparchies, sexual abuse,
religious orders, Charter compliance, Charter for the Protection of Children
and Young People, safety, protection, healing.

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