March 22, 2006

Portland Diocese fails to meet goals

SOUTH PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

By JOHN RICHARDSON, Portland Press Herald Writer

SOUTH PORTLAND Maine's Catholic Church is falling short on two fronts in its battle to rid the institution of sexual abuse problems, according to an annual audit of the diocese. The examination found the diocese needs to step up background checks on volunteers and employees and increase efforts to teach children how to protect themselves against sexual predators.

In announcing the findings Tuesday, Bishop Richard Malone called the failures "disheartening" and pledged to address the problems within the next two months.

"There is no higher priority for me than the protection of our children, and I consider this situation entirely unacceptable," Malone said. "It weakens our effort to prevent future abuse, our commitment to victims of past sexual abuse and our credibility in the community."

Posted by kshaw at March 22, 2006 07:10 AM