(Brighton, Mass.) April 10, 2007...The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that The Gavin Group, an independent firm retained by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has completed a full, independent audit of the Archdiocese's compliance with the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Charter), the child protection policy adopted by the Bishops in 2002. The Boston Archdiocese was one of eleven U.S. dioceses to participate in a full review of its policies and practices. As part of the audit, The Gavin Group also selected thirty (30) parishes of the Archdiocese and conducted on-site audits in these locations.
As of the conclusion of the audit period, June 30, 2006, the Archdiocese had achieved compliance in 12 of the 13 audited Articles of the Charter. By December 31, 2006, remedial action taken by the Archdiocese brought it into compliance with the Charter in all categories. The audit evaluated the Archdiocese's efforts to satisfy requirements relating to effective reporting and responses to allegations of sexual abuse, promoting healing and reconciliation with survivors and those harmed by clergy sexual abuse, ensuring that Archdiocesan and religious priests, deacons, educators, volunteers and other personnel are properly screened through CORI background evaluations and to conduct safe environment training for children and adults who work with children.
A component of the 2006 Archdiocesan audit included a parish-level audit that tested the extent to which the requirements of the Charter, as reflected in the Archdiocese's policies, were received and implemented. Eight (8) of the audited parishes still have not fully satisfied one component of Article 12 of the Charter, which requires implementation of safe environment programs for children in religious education programs and training adults who work with children. Of the eight parishes, one (1) parish has not fully completed safe environment training for its adult volunteers and seven (7) parishes have not implemented the training of children in their religious education programs. The Archdiocese, through its Office of Child Advocacy, Implementation and Oversight, is conducting an outreach program to support parishes as they work to complete the training programs.
"Our continuing efforts to protect children have resulted in significant progress," said Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley. "While much has been achieved, I recognize that work must continue to be done in order to maintain safe environments in both our churches and schools. Protecting our children and preventing sexual abuse remains paramount and we will continue to work diligently as we strive to ensure our children's safety."
To date, Archdiocesan parishes and schools report that more than 177,000 children have been trained in the various aspects of safe environments, personal safety and abuse prevention and that more than 164,000 Archdiocesan clergy, employees, volunteers who work with children, and parents also have received safe environment training and materials.