April 18, 2006

Churches cite compliance with child protection policies

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Eagle-Tribune

By Andy Smith
Staff writer

It might not have happened as quickly as he would have liked, but the Rev. Marcel Martel says Holy Angels in Plaistow, like other New Hampshire parishes, is training staff and conducting background checks to ensure that children are never endangered in church.

Local Catholics say the Manchester Diocese can still do more to ensure the safety of children, though most agree that significant progress has been made since 2002. That was when the diocese agreed to new child-protection policies and annual audits by the attorney general's office.

The reaction comes in the wake of the first audit done by the forensic practice unit of the auditing firm KPMG which criticized the diocese for failing to carry out background checks on all of its staff and volunteers.

Some priests, including Martel, believe the audit might already be outdated. It includes data collected as early as May 2005 and was released by Attorney General Kelly Ayotte on March 30.

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2006 10:52 AM