The Policy of the Diocese of Charleston Concerning Allegations of Sexual Misconduct or abuse of A Minor by Church Personnel

In an effort “To Promote Healing and Reconciliation with Victims/Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors,” the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People decreed that “dioceses are to have policies and procedures in place to respond promptly to any allegation where there is reason to believe that sexual abuse of a minor has occurred.”

The current policy outlining diocesan efforts to create safe environments for the children in our care was adopted August 11, 2003. The policy is written to work in concert with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Although it was developed in 2003, using the Charter as a guideline, the Diocese of Charleston has had functioning policies in place regarding both our response to allegations of abuse, as well as our attempts to create the safest environments possible, since May 1994.

In May 1994, the policy committed to the following goals:

  • The protection of the community
  • The observance of civil law
  • Shared responsibility
  • Full disclosure of allegations
  • Respect for the individuals involved

Our current policy has evolved from those starting points to become a document that fully reflects the spirit and the mandates of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. It addresses:

  • Background Screening
  • Education
  • Our Pastoral Response
  • Our Obligation to Report
  • Role of the Victim Assistance Coordinator
  • Our response to an Allegation of Abuse
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Confidentiality

It is the policy of the Diocese of Charleston that every employee and every volunteer who is deemed to have access to children will read and sign the Acknowledgement Form. Reading and understanding the policy will reinforce for you the diocesan commitment to ending child sexual abuse in our community. It will also engage you personally by defining your role, and by outlining what the dioceses expects of you regarding its role of creating the safest environment possible for the children in its care.