March 30, 2006

Diocese abuse prevention passes audit


Thursday, March 30, 2006
By Charles Honey
Press Religion Editor

GRAND RAPIDS -- Four years after the sexual abuse scandal rocked Catholic Churches in West Michigan and elsewhere, more than 28,000 local church personnel, volunteers and young people have been trained to prevent more children from being molested, according to a report released today.

An annual audit of U.S. dioceses shows the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese spent $35,000 on abuse-prevention programs last year, a $10,000 increase from 2004.

However, the diocese also shelled out $52,500 on counseling for abuse victims and related legal fees, according to the report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Another $35,000 was spent on counseling and support for clergy who have been dismissed for abuse.

For the third consecutive year, the audit found the 11-county diocese in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by U.S. bishops. The report said no new abuse allegations were made against local priests last year.

Posted by kshaw at March 30, 2006 04:06 PM