July 03, 2005

Cleveland diocese issues code of conduct for priests, employees

Beacon Journal

Associated Press

CLEVELAND - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has issued a code of conduct for its priests, employees and volunteers who work with children.

Church workers may not sleep in the same room with minors, be the only adult in a locker room used by youngsters or even take a child to a movie or ballgame by themselves.

The new standards were issued by Bishop Anthony M. Pilla and took effect Friday. They set ethical boundaries for the more than 50,000 volunteers and church employees, from priests and deacons to baseball coaches.

"It's part of our commitment to integrity in ministry and to challenge the society we live in to do the same," said the Rev. Lawrence Jurcak, a diocesan vicar.

The scandal over priests sexually abusing minors has prompted dioceses around the country to develop new guidelines for ministry.

The U.S. bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People requires a code of conduct and ethics for all church workers who have regular contact with children.

Posted by kshaw at July 3, 2005 08:16 AM