Safe Environment Program for adults
All priests (locally based or visiting, or member of a religious order) and deacons; all diocesan and parish staff; all school personnel; and all volunteers (such as catechists) who interact with minors or potentially interact with them must 1. Undergo a criminal background check and 2. Participate in a comprehensive Safe Environment training program.
Safe Environment Training
All adults working in the diocese are required to complete our online Safe Environment training and renew this training every five years. Catholic Mutual Group currently provides this training and it consists of video segments, questions, and a review of diocesan policies. Topics include “grooming” of potential victims, boundaries, signs of sexual abuse, reporting, etc.
Seminarians must comply with all Safe Environment requirements. Part of their formation also involves psychological tests reviewed by a board that includes lay experts.
Additionally, all clergy and adults who minister with children must also agree to abide by a “Code of Ethical Standards for Church Ministers” that clearly states what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
All clergy, religious brothers and sisters, staff and volunteers who work with children at parishes and schools are subject to a criminal background check that is continuously updated against local, state and federal databases. Seminarians receive further screening prior to ordination.
Clergy and school personnel have their criminal records reviewed continuously, through Livescan. Reports of these records are monitored by the appropriate department or office. In addition, international and temporarily assigned priests must have a “Letter of Suitability” to serve in the diocese.
The criminal records of all other diocesan employees and volunteers are monitored on a quarterly basis.
All reports of criminal activity are thoroughly investigated. If the alleged activity involves sexual abuse of minors, the individual is immediately suspended.