January 04, 2005

2 dioceses in Arizona pass anti-abuse audit

The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 4, 2005 12:00 AM

The Dioceses of Phoenix and Tucson have continued to comply with U.S. bishops' efforts to reduce the sexual abuse of children and teens by priests and other church employees and volunteers.

The Phoenix Diocese received word that it had passed its annual compliance audit late last week. Tucson learned of its compliance before Christmas.

Auditors hired by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were in Arizona in early December. Their goal was to monitor compliance with the bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, put into place in June 2002. advertisement

The charter requires that bishops nationwide institute a series of programs aimed at addressing the sexual abuse crisis that has afflicted the church, particularly in 2001 and 2002. Among the programs are widespread training for church employees and volunteers, background checks, and care for abuse victims and parishes. It also requires dioceses to report allegations to civil authorities.

In Phoenix, auditors last year found the diocese needed to improve its training programs and background checks. A follow-up audit determined the diocese had made adequate progress in those areas.

Kathleen McChesney, executive director of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, called the Phoenix results "quite impressive."

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2005 03:30 AM