The Charter to Protect Children and Young People enacted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002, and the subsequent Church norms approved by the Vatican, give every diocese the mandate to establish prevention and training programs assisting everyone to recognize and deal effectively with the problem of child sexual abuse. The mission of the Diocese of Scranton is to create safe environments for children by establishing policies and programs that clearly set standards of behavior regarding contact with minors. Charter compliance is accomplished by:
- Background Checks – Insuring a thorough background screening is completed for all clergy, paid employees and volunteers that have direct contact and routine interaction with children. Routine interaction is defined as regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.
- Adult and Youth Training – Providing training in recognizing and reporting any suspicions or knowledge of child abuse to appropriate civil and Church authorities.
- Code of Pastoral Conduct – Holding all clergy, all employees and all volunteers accountable to a Christ-centered, pastoral code of conduct
- Victim Assistance – Continuing a firm commitment to pastoral care of survivors of sexual abuse
Every diocese in the U.S. undergoes an annual audit to determine if it is complying with the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Diocese of Scranton has been in compliance with all audits since inception of the review process. Please refer to the following link for the USCCB to review a copy of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said, “We offer our support, compassion and assistance to help survivors of sexual abuse achieve healing. We remain vigilant and firmly committed to doing everything we can to prevent abuse within our Church, parishes, school communities, and Diocesan run facilities.”