The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was established by the USCCB in June 2002. It is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. It is revised continually to reflect the ongoing commitment of the bishops and includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People begins with an apology from the bishops.
“Since 2002, the Church in the United States has experienced a crisis without precedent in our times. The sexual abuse of children and young people by some deacons, priests, and bishops, and the ways in which these crimes and sins were addressed, have caused enormous pain, anger, and confusion. As bishops, we have acknowledged our mistakes and our roles in that suffering, and we apologize and take responsibility again for too often failing victims and the Catholic people in the past. From the depths of our hearts, we bishops express great sorrow and profound regret for what the Catholic people have endured.”
For more information, please see: Page 3 of the Charter Booklet.
The Charter directs action in all the following matters:
The Charter calls for annual audits of dioceses/eparchies to ascertain compliance with the Charter by the bishop and his diocese/eparchy. Annual Audits have been conducted since 2003. Of the 195 dioceses/eparchies 188 participated in the 2014 audit. Results of the audits are published and a copy is sent to the Holy See.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
The CYP is part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and is located at the national headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Secretariat’s work is monitored by the National Review Board, which was also established by the bishops at the 2002 Dallas meeting. According to the Charter, the mandate of the CYP is threefold:
To assist each (arch)diocese/eparchy in the United States in implementing safe environment programs to ensure safety and security for all children as they participate in church and religious activities
To develop a mechanism to ensure compliance of the bishops with the responsibilities set forth in the Charter
To prepare a public annual report describing the compliance of each (arch)diocese/eparchy with the provisions of the Charter
Below you can find the current and past compliance letters granted to the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee:
Compliance Letter 2015-2016
The National Review Board and the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are pleased to announce the publication of the 2015 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
From the 2015 audit, we can say the Catholic Church in the United States has:
Trained 98% of our two million volunteers, employees, educators, clergy, and candidates in parishes in how to create safe environments and prevent child sexual abuse.
Prepared more than 4.3 million children to recognize abuse and protect themselves.
Ran background checks on close to two million volunteers and employees, 51,977 clerics.
Bishop Parkes' Letter of Promulgation