Protecting our Children
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The Diocese of Sacramento pledges its commitment to solid and enduring programs and policies that:
Protect children and young people
Heal the hearts and hopes of all affected
Foster ongoing vigilance in education
In this way, we reach out with pastoral intention and compassion to aid in the spiritual and emotional care of all God’s children.
Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
The Diocese holds the protection of children and young people as one of its highest priorities. Diocesan policies dating back to 1987, along with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in June 2002 provide guidance as we give ongoing attention to several areas.
Through the Charter, the bishops’ goals are:
- To promote healing and reconciliation with victims/survivors of child sexual abuse
- To guarantee an effective response to allegations of sexual abuse of minors
- To ensure accountability of our procedures
- To protect the faithful in the future
To promote healing and reconciliation with victims/survivors of child sexual abuse
The Diocese appointed a Pastoral Care Coordinator to work with victim/survivors in order to provide opportunities for pastoral care (counseling, spiritual direction, etc.) as may be required to work toward healing.
The Diocese introduced support groups for anyone who has been sexually abused by clergy, religious authority figures and other church workers of any religious denomination.
To guarantee an effective response to allegations of sexual abuse of minors
The Diocese established a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse. Any clergy, staff member or volunteer guilty of harming a minor will be removed from their job or ministry immediately.
The Diocese also established a toll-free number (866-777-9133) and hired full-time staff to help victim/survivors get the help they need.
To ensure accountability of our procedures
The Diocese implemented enhanced screening of seminarians including extra testing, criminal background checks and fingerprinting. Criminal background checks and fingerprinting also are in place for employees and volunteers who have regular contact with children.
The Diocese held mandatory training workshops on child abuse prevention for clergy, lay workers and volunteers who work with children. There are also mandatory workshops on the Diocesan Sexual Misconduct Policy and the Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct for clergy and lay workers. This effort is ongoing.
To protect the faithful in the future
The Diocese is currently introducing personal safety education programs at parishes for all parents and children, as well as the Code of Pastoral Conduct (Spanish) for clergy, pastoral ministers, spiritual directors, administrators, staff and volunteers.
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