Audit finds that diocese meets all standards - Catholic Courier

Audit finds that diocese meets all standards

According to a summary of the Gavin Group’s 2004 audit findings on the Diocese of Rochester, the diocese has met standards of the U.S. bishops’ charter in all the following areas:

Healing and reconciliation:

* Has a policy in place for prevention of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

* Provides outreach for victims/survivors and their families.

* Has offered to meet with victims/survivors who have reported allegations since the last audit.

* Provides outreach for faith communities in which sexual abuse occurred.

* Has a mechanism in place for prompt response to a credible allegation.

* Has two victim-assistance coordinators, Barbara Pedeville and Father Robert Ring.

* Has had a review board in place since 1993.

* Has printed and publicized procedures for making complaints of abuse.

Effective response:

* Has reported all allegations of sexual abuse of a minor since the last audit.

* Has an effective liaison with civil authorities.

* Cooperates with authorities about reporting when the person is no longer a minor.

* Advises victims/survivors of their right to report allegations to civil authorities.

* Complies with all applicable canon law.

* Permanently removes a priest or deacon against whom an offense is proven.

* Offers professional assistance to offending priests or deacons.

* Has clear, well-publicized standards of behavior for church personnel.

* Maintains a policy of openness and transparency on issues regarding sexual abuse of children.

Protecting the faithful in the future:

* Has fully implemented a “safe environment” program that includes educational programs for children; parents and guardians; ministers; diocesan and parish employees; educators; and volunteers.

* Has clear, well-publicized standards of conduct for these people.

* Conducts background checks for all diocesan and parish personnel who have regular contact with children.

* Provides adequate screening and evaluation in determining the fitness of candidates for ordination.

* Has not transferred any priest or deacon to another assignment, or to another diocese for residence, if that person has had a credible allegation of sexual abuse made against him since the last audit.

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