HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Diocese of Harrisburg has once again been found in compliance with the U.S. Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” The Diocese has passed independent audits of its child protection procedures every year since the policy was adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002.
The audit was completed by StoneBridge Business Partners, a Rochester, NY firm contracted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to conduct compliance audits of the nation’s 195 Dioceses. The Diocese of Harrisburg provided all the requested information to the auditors, which they confirmed to be complete in their final report. This annual audit evaluates each diocese’s efforts to ensure the protection of children, including criminal background checks and educational awareness programs on recognizing and preventing abuse.
Among the information the Diocese of Harrisburg reported to the auditors: 17,811 students currently enrolled in Catholic schools in the Diocese or in parish religious education programs in the Diocese have received Safe Environment training. A total of 156 priests who are in active ministry, along with 35 permanent deacons and 63 seminarians and candidates for the Diaconate have also received that training. More than 883 educators and administrators in Diocesan schools, 2,064 employees of the Diocese or its parishes across fifteen counties and 10,641 volunteers at schools, parishes and Diocesan facilities have also received training on how to keep children safe. Except for the students, all of these individuals have also undergone background checks.
In light of the positive compliance audit, Bishop Ronald Gainer stated, “Independent auditors have once again found the Diocese of Harrisburg in compliance with the Church’s rigorous standards, which demonstrates the Diocese’s priority in protecting children. I am grateful to the clergy, consecrated religious, and lay adults who work each day to make our parishes, schools, institutions, and programs a safe environment in which to experience the presence of Christ.”
The Diocese of Harrisburg’s Safe Environment Office ensures that Charter standards are continually met. For more information on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Safe Environment Program, visit www.youthprotectionhbg.com.
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