April 21, 2006

Church: Background checks nearly finished

Portsmouth Herald

By J.M. Hirsch
Associated Press

CONCORD - Three weeks after prosecutors faulted efforts by the state’s Roman Catholic diocese to protect children from sexual abuse, church officials say criminal background checks on anyone who works with children are nearly complete.

As of April 5, criminal and sex-offender registry checks had been performed on all 237 active priests and deacons in the Diocese of Manchester, the church said in a news release Thursday. All members of the clergy also had received sex-abuse prevention training.

Sex-offender registry checks also had been done on the diocese’s 1,466 employees and 6,861 volunteers who regularly work with children. Criminal background checks had been done on 95 percent of workers and three-quarters of volunteers, church officials said.

Nearly all workers and 83 percent of volunteers had received the training.

The church also announced it had created a new position within the diocese to oversee compliance with sex-abuse prevention policies.

Posted by kshaw at April 21, 2006 08:31 AM