Saturday, March 16, 2002

Pamphlet sets rules for prevention, response




By Jim Hannah, jhannah@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Archdiocese of Cincinnati published a pamphlet titled “Decree on Child Protection” four years ago addressing the problem of sex abuse in the church.

        The 47-page pamphlet deals with prevention and details how the archdiocese is to respond to any allegations of sex abuse.

        The decree calls for screening of church workers and volunteers and erects barriers of protection around children, said archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco.

        Employees working with children must sign a statement that they have never been convicted of a sex crime involving a minor, and a criminal check must be done.

        Employees and volunteers are required to attend an orientation on the policy. A short version is on the archdiocese Web site, www.catholiccincinnati.org, and the public can send for a full copy.

        Attorneys for the archdiocese maintain a private registry of people suspected, but not necessarily convicted, of child abuse and check it against people applying for work or volunteering.

        Beginning March 2003, the new volunteers must undergo criminal background checks.

        Other provisions call for at least two adults at any activity involving children and bar children from staying overnight in a rectory. The decree calls for individuals to report suspected or actual child abuse to social services or police. It says infractions which might not violate the law should be reported to the archdiocese.

        It establishes a board to review active cases. Files are to be secret and destroyed every 10 years, with only a summary kept.

Related stories:
Prosecutors ask what church hid
Catholics have little sympathy for abuse
Covington diocese has written guidelines
Sex abuse cases not new locally

       



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