PORTLAND, Maine — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People following an audit, the diocese announced Friday.
The charter calls for an effective response from the diocese to any report of sexual abuse by church personnel, background checks on all diocesan employees and volunteers who work regularly with minors, special sexual abuse prevention training and other mandates for the protection of children.
The on-site audit in September by Stone Bridge Business Partners of Rochester, NY., reviewed the period from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, according to the press release. It found that all diocesan employees and active clergy have had background checks. Auditors also reviewed the implementation of the “Think First/Stay Safe Prevention Program” for children in Catholic schools and those that participate in religious education offered through their parishes, as well as the implementation of the “Protecting God’s Children Program” for all those working and volunteering in the diocese.
“I congratulate Bishop [Richard J.] Malone, who has left a strong legacy of ensuring a safer environment for our children through his tireless efforts to prevent future abuse in the diocese,” Bishop Robert P. Deeley said in the release. “As the twelfth bishop of Portland, I will continue to focus our attention on making sure that our children are protected, and that we always remain vigilant by reviewing the safeguards and policies that are in place.”
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was approved by the U.S. Catholic Bishops in June 2002, revised in June 2011 and is reviewed every two years.
Bishop Deeley encouraged anyone who may have information about any case of sexual abuse of a minor by a church representative to contact civil authorities and Michael Magalski, director of the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Diocese of Portland, at 321-7836 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.