The Director of the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment is responsible for ensuring that archdiocesan offices, as well as parishes and Catholic schools, comply with civil law, the policies of the archdiocese, and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons to protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults, hold abusers accountable and respond to victim/survivors of abuse with care and concern.
The Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment will:
- Reach out with compassion and understanding to those abused by clergy with a message of hope and healing, an offer of assistance to obtain services such as counseling and spiritual care, and a repentant request for forgiveness for the harm done to victims/survivors, their families, and their faith communities.
- Immediately report to law enforcement all allegations it receives of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult made against a member of the clergy, or any other Church personnel or volunteer acting on behalf of the Church, regardless of when the abuse occurred.
- Continue to encourage anyone with knowledge of sexual abuse to report to law enforcement and/or child/adult protection officials immediately.
- Cooperate fully with civil authorities in the investigation of allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult.
- Promptly implement the process for removal from ministry of any member of the clergy against whom a credible claim of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult has been made.
- Ensure that priests, deacons, and candidates for ordination, as well as religious and lay employees and volunteers in local parishes, Catholic schools, and archdiocesan offices abide by archdiocesan policy and meet all screening requirements, including: undergoing regular background checks, attending training regarding awareness and prevention of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, and adhering to the archdiocesan Code of Conduct.
- Ensure that all children active in parish faith formation and youth ministry programs and in Catholic schools continue to be provided age-appropriate personal safety instruction, while recognizing that parents are the primary educators of their children.
The Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment oversees the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth and the Promotion of Ministerial Standards program, investigates allegations of abuse and misconduct, and supports the work of the Ministerial Review Board. In addition, the office works in partnership with Canvas Health to provide victim/survivor assistance services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Disclosures regarding clergy sexual abuse of minors, transcripts of depositions of archdiocesan leaders regarding handling of past allegations of clergy sexual abuse, as well as the Report and Recommendations of the Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task Force, may also be found on this website.