February 18, 2005

Church checking backgrounds to prevent future abuse of children

Telegram & Gazette

The Associated Press

BOSTON— The Archdiocese of Boston has begun running annual criminal background checks on more than 60,000 priests, employees and volunteers to prevent recurrence of the sexual abuse that rocked the church in 2002.

The church has trained up to 40,000 children and 60,000 adults to spot and respond to abuse, and has signed up some 2,000 volunteers serve on parish child-abuse protection teams. The church has also printed some 90,000 pamphlets about responding to abuse and whom to contact, the Boston Globe reported.

Three archdiocesan officials described the church's abuse prevention efforts to the Globe before Friday's scheduled release of the second annual audit of child abuse programs in all the nation's 195 Catholic dioceses.

Church officials released to the Globe an executive summary of the audit results. It lists no areas of concern for Boston.

"This audit and the ongoing work by individuals and the church as a whole demonstrate that this issue remains a great priority for us," said the Rev. John J. Connolly, who oversees abuse-related office at the archdiocese.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 04:16 AM