March 10, 2005

Fresno diocese complies with policy on youths

Fresno Bee

By Doug Hoagland / The Fresno Bee

(Updated Thursday, March 10, 2005, 6:05 AM)

A national Catholic group charged with addressing the clergy sexual abuse crisis says the Diocese of Fresno is complying after all with a new nationwide policy to protect children.

But only a month ago, the Office of Child & Youth Protection was reporting a different story.

The group reported in February that the Fresno diocese was one of four in the United States that wasn't fully meeting compliance requirements. But after further review and talks with Fresno officials, the group said the diocese's main problem was getting key information in on time.

The issue was, and continues to be, the Fresno diocese's competence in relaying information about clergy and volunteers working with children to the Office of Child & Youth Protection in Washington.

The diocese did not make information about clergy and volunteers available in "a useful or satisfactory way" before a Dec. 31 deadline, said Sheila Kelly, interim director of the office. Added Kelly: "If the information that they had, had been provided to the auditors by December 31, they would have been found to be in compliance."

Posted by kshaw at March 10, 2005 05:39 PM