CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has issued a revised version of its Decree on Child Protection, effective July 1. T
he Decree sets forth protective policies, procedures, and recommendations that apply to all Archdiocesan parishes, schools, agencies, and institutions.
The original Decree on Child Abuse was promulgated by Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk in March, 1993. It was revised as the Decree on Child Protection in 1998 and was updated again in 2003 and 2008 in line with Archdiocese policy that the Decree be updated every five years in the light of experience.
Four meetings will be held throughout the Archdiocese in July to introduce parish and school staff members and others to the revised Decree.
"All the members of our local Church are called to be vigilant that this Decree is fully implemented," said the Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati.
"Over the past several years, I have personally witnessed the hurt and anger that is involved in child abuse. To victims and their families I extend my sincere apology and ask forgiveness on behalf of the Archdiocese for the harm inflicted by any agents of the Archdiocese."
Archbishop Schnurr urges anyone who was abused as a child by a priest or any other representative of the Archdiocese, or knows someone who was, to report the abuse immediately to the secular legal authorities and to the Coordinator of Ministry to Survivors of Abuse, Ms. Sandy Kaiser, at (513) 263-6623 or 1 (800) 686-2724 ext. 6623.
The 2013 changes to the Decree were not as extensive as in some previous years. They include:
- The addition of definitions for the terms "child pornography" and "civil authorities" in the glossary at the beginning of the Decree.
- A new definition of the term "regular volunteer" because the old one was often misunderstood or unclear.
- A new title, Coordinator of Ministry to Survivors of Abuse, has replaced the term Victims Assistance Coordinator to more accurately describe the position.
- The long-held policy of requiring at least two adults to be present with children participating in a Church-sponsored activity was refined to be more specific.
- The policy regarding the transportation of children was also made more specific.
The complete text of the revised Decree is online at www.CatholicCincinnati.org. Click on "Protecting Our Children."