Promise to Protect

We are committed to protecting children, youth and vulnerable adults in all parishes, Catholic schools, and other Church ministries.

The Mission of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth:

The mission of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth (OPCY) of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is to work with our community to help prevent the abuse of children, youth and vulnerable adults. We partner with parents, parish and Catholic school leaders and others to provide safe environments through raising awareness about the societal problem of sexual abuse, offering effective personal safety education and enforcing screening requirements.

OPCY is responsible for implementing the requirements of Article 6 (codes of conduct), Article 12 (prevention education for adults and minors), and Article 13 (background screening) of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, as well as all policies of this Archdiocese related to the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

The focus of the work of OPCY is prevention:

  • Clergy/Staff/Volunteer Requirements – Background checks, VIRTUS safe environment training and codes of conduct for clergy, employees, teachers, volunteers and other adults who interact with minors; and
  • Educating Children and Youth – Age-appropriate, Archdiocesan-approved personal safety instruction for minors in Catholic schools, faith formation and youth ministry programs.

Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops developed and approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People along with Essential Norms and Statement of Episcopal Commitment. The Charter was last revised in 2011. The Charter is available for you to download in pdf format. The Charter is also available in Spanish.

OPCY supports the implementation of The Charter and all policies of the archdiocese related to the protection of minors and vulnerable adults by:

  • Communicating and training on policies, procedures and best practices
  • Supporting staff in parishes, Catholic schools and other Catholic ministries as they implement safe environment policies and procedures
  • Ensuring the best available personal safety education programs are made available for adults, as well as children and youth
  • Monitoring compliance at all parishes and Catholic schools through annual audit reporting and parish and school visits

Questions or Concerns about Safe Environment Policies at a Parish or Catholic School?

Contact the parish or school, or contact us via email or call (651) 291-4429.

Resources and forms for parish and Catholic school leaders are available on archCONNECT

Concerns about the Safety of Minors or Vulnerable Adults at a Parish or Catholic School?

If you suspect abuse, your first call should be to law enforcement or child protection officials where the suspected abuse occurred. A list of regularly updated county child protection phone numbers is available on the Minnesota Department of Human Services website.

If a minor or vulnerable adult is in imminent danger, call 911.

Then, contact the person in charge where the suspected abuser works or volunteers. In a parish this is the pastor, in a Catholic school this is the school principal. If the suspected abuser is a priest, deacon, religious or lay leader, contact Victim/Survivor Assistance at (651) 291-4497.