The Diocese of Scranton has once again been found in compliance with the U.S. Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

The Diocese has passed independent audits of its child protection procedures every year since the policy was adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002.

For the audit, the Diocese submitted data to Stonebridge Business Partners, a Rochester, N.Y. firm that is tasked with conducting compliance audits of the nation’s 195 dioceses.

The audit evaluates each diocese’s efforts to ensure the protection of children, including criminal background checks and educational awareness programs on recognizing and preventing abuse.

Among the information the Diocese of Scranton reported to the auditors: 13,120 students currently enrolled in Catholic schools in the Diocese or in parish religious education programs have received Safe Environment training.

A total of 237 priests who are in active ministry, along with 77 permanent deacons and 20 seminarians and candidates for the Diaconate have also received that training.

More than 420 educators and administrators in Diocesan schools, more than 1,750 employees of the Diocese or its parishes across 11 counties and 3,740 volunteers at schools, parishes and Diocesan facilities have also received valuable information to keep children safe.

Between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, the audit period, a total of 83 in-person training sessions of the VIRTUS Protecting God’s Children Program were held across the Diocese of Scranton.

More than 3,300 individuals also completed training on Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse in Pennsylvania.

The Diocese of Scranton’s Safe Environment Office ensures that Charter standards are continually met.

For more information on the Diocese of Scranton’s Safe Environment Program, visit