Since the release in 2002 of operating policies and procedures required in The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (The Dallas Charter) by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Archdiocese of Detroit has been audited every year by an independent firm to ensure compliance.
Also each year, the USCCB issues its Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The 2020 report, released in October of 2021, provides findings and recommendations on subjects such as the number of allegations reported, safe environment programs, and financial costs.
In 2002, the Archdiocese of Detroit reconstituted its Review Board. (An earlier version of the Review Board was established in 1988, when the archdiocese became one of the first dioceses to implement a policy on the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.) This lay-led board considers all allegations of sexual abuse involving minors or vulnerable adults against priests, deacons, and church personnel, and advises the archbishop on its findings.
The Review Board is comprised of members with diverse expertise, including:
- Legal professionals
- Parents Healthcare professionals
- Canon Law experts
As a road map, the Archdiocese of Detroit follows the policies developed nationally by the USCCB and those developed locally within the archdiocese:
Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (USCCB)
Sexual Abuse of Minors Policy (Archdiocese of Detroit)
2018 Report on Clerical Sexual Abuse (Archdiocese of Detroit)
Prevention is the most important next step in addressing sexual abuse by clergy or other Church representatives. The Archdiocese of Detroit employs a number of key protocols to ensure children are not abused in our community now or in the future. For example, every person connected to the Archdiocese of Detroit, whether clergy, employee or volunteer, is required to submit to certain protocols before working with or around a child. These protocols include:
Mandatory training called Protecting God’s Children
Archdiocesan policy on Criminal History Background Checks
Adherence to codes of conduct for religious and lay employees and volunteers
Implementation of an archdiocesan Safe Environment Policy