April 21, 2006

Diocese: Screening accomplished

Concord Monitor

Monitor staff

April 21. 2006 8:00AM

The state's Roman Catholic diocese announced yesterday that all priests and most church employees and volunteers who work with children have been screened and trained to protect children from sexual abuse. Church officials released internal statistics less than a month after a state audit found major deficiencies in the diocese's attempts to honor the terms of its 2002 agreement with the attorney general's office.

That agreement spared the church unprecedented criminal charges of child endangerment despite decades of protecting sexually abusive priests.

Every clergy member, employee and volunteer who works with children had been checked against the state's online sex-offender registry as of April 5, diocese officials said. The church had also completed criminal-records checks on all 237 active priests and deacons, on 95 percent of parish, school and camp employees, and on 75 percent of school and parish volunteers.

In addition, all clergy members, 95 percent of employees and 83 percent of volunteers had completed the diocese's "Protecting God's Children" training, a seminar on how to prevent, identify and report abuse or suspected abuse.

Posted by kshaw at April 21, 2006 08:13 AM