January 08, 2005

Dioceses pass new audits on sex abuse

Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

New audits of the Camden Diocese and Archdiocese of Philadelphia found that both meet national bishops' standards for protecting youngsters from sexual abuse, the dioceses said yesterday.

Outside investigators based their findings on visits in the fall to both dioceses as part of a second round of annual audits of the nation's 195 dioceses.

The auditors concluded that Camden and Philadelphia had begun or implemented all the measures required of dioceses by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Both got similar reports a year ago, although Philadelphia first had to address three concerns that the auditors had raised.

The audits were commissioned by the USCCB's Office for the Protection of Children and Young People and conducted by the Gavin Group of suburban Boston.

Kathleen McChesney, director of the office, cautioned yesterday that a grade of "compliant" did not necessarily mean a diocese had completed all that is required under the charter the bishops adopted at Dallas in 2002.

"A diocese can be 'in compliance' if it's selected and developed certain programs, even if it hasn't yet implemented them," she said.

Posted by kshaw at January 8, 2005 04:36 AM