The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
“Let there no doubt or confusion on anyone’s part: For us, your bishops, our obligation to protect children and young people and to prevent sexual abuse flows from the mission and example given to us by Jesus Christ himself, in whose name we serve.”
In addressing the crisis experienced by the Church in the United States in 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops met to decide how best to deal with the scandal that had erupted in the Church with the allegations of Child Sexual Abuse.
Two crucial decisions came from the Bishops at that conference:
- They accepted their culpability in some of the past mistakes that were made,
- They wanted to assure everyone that this kind of situation would never be allowed to happen again,
And so was born the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter is a promise from the Catholic Bishops in America that they would do all in their power to assure parents and the community at large, that even though mistakes were made, the future of the Church in America would embrace the safety of its children as a focal point of its mission.
The Charter implements the mandates, which if followed, will protect the children in our care. The Charter contains 17 Articles, when embraced, will seriously curb the possibility of child sexual abuse happening in our parishes and schools.
With 17 Articles, the focus of the Charter is:
- To Promote Healing and Reconciliation with Victims/Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors
- To Guarantee an Effective Response to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors
- To Ensure the Accountability of Our Procedures
- To Protect the Faithful in the future