Independent Audit of Safe Environment
Audit Finds Diocese of Portland in Full Compliance
An independent audit of safe environment procedures has found the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, which includes all 141 churches in Maine, in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The audit, which reviewed the period of July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, was conducted by StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was approved by the U.S. Catholic Bishops in June 2002 and revised in both June 2011 and June 2018. The mandates include permanently removing clergy who have sexually abused minors; reaching out to victims and their families with compassion; reporting allegations of sexual abuse of minors to civil authorities; investigating complaints of abuse in a thorough manner; implementing safe environment programs, which include abuse prevention training and awareness for all personnel and volunteers; and completing background checks on all personnel.
Over the last two decades, the Diocese of Portland has committed to raising awareness of the harm of sexual abuse, promoting the ways in which it can be prevented, and protecting young people as they come to learn of God and his love for them. Since the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002, the Diocese of Portland has worked diligently to ensure a safe environment for all young people. Since 2002, over 16,000 Catholic Church employees, volunteers, priests, and educators in Maine who work with children have been trained in a safe environment program.
“This review is a testament to the diocesan and parish leaders, clergy, employees, and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to ensure the Church in Maine is a safe environment for our young people and all who wish to grow their faith,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “With the controls we have put in place and continuing vigilance, we can gratefully say that our diocese’s procedures have created a safer Church here.”
As always, Bishop Deeley encourages 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 207-321-7836 or at [email protected].