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REPORTING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: Anyone sexually abused as a minor or who knows about a case of sexual abuse of a minor should immediately report it to the civil authorities. When such sexual abuse has been committed by a cleric, religious, seminarian, diocesan or parish employee or a diocesan or parish volunteer it also should be reported to the Archbishop of Santa Fe through the Archdiocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, 505.831.8144.

Protection of Children and Youth

Guidelines of Implementation



Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People

Essential Norms for Diocesan Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors

by Priests or Deacons
A Statement of Episcopal Commitment Revised June 2018
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Estatuto para la protección de niños y jóvenes

Normas básicas para reglamentos diocesanos que traten de imputa-ciones de abuso sexual de meno-res cometido por sacerdotes o diá-conos. Declaración de compromi-so episcopal Revisado junio de 2018. Conferencia de los Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos


What does the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People require parishes to do?


The parishes are critical to the implementation of the Charter. It is there that most of the abuse occurred, and it is there that most of the prevention can be done. Parishes need to train all clergy, employees, and volunteers with regular contact with children. This is so we can be reasonably sure that people who should not be around children are not around children. All parish employees and volunteers need to have their background checks evaluated for suitability. We would not hire someone found guilty of embezzlement to do our accounting; in the same way, we would not want someone who has committed crimes against children to be in any of our programs. All dioceses have policies and procedures in place that parishes are to follow. Contact your Safe Environment Coordinator to find out how it is done in your diocese.

I do not know who my volunteers are. How are we supposed to know that? We are too big a parish

Child sexual abusers seek out ways to be around children. They are often very socially gifted, charming people. Adults need to protect children from these people. The only way we can do that is by knowing who is around our children. The simplest way to get a handle on volunteers is to start compiling a list in a spreadsheet or other document. List the names of people as they volunteer, whether or not they have been trained, and when or if they have had a background check. The Charter requires that all volunteers who have regular contact with children be trained and have their background evaluated for suitability. Keep working on the list until you are satisfied that all volunteers are on it. When parents realize this is to protect their children they usually become very supportive.


What is a Code of Conduct for employees and volunteers?

A Code of Conduct identifies acceptable behavior that is legal, professional and responsible. It must include clear standards of ministerial behavior and appropriate boundaries for clergy, for any other paid personnel, and for volunteers in positions of trust who have regular contact with children and young people.

Is one Code of Conduct for everyone sufficient?

A diocese/eparchy can have one code of conduct for everyone or may have different codes for volunteers and employees as long as each one covers clear standards of behavior and appropriate boundaries.

Is there a Code of Conduct for children and youth?

There can be a code of conduct for children and youth that includes behaving appropriately and respecting the rights of others.

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