Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Diocesan policy reflects commitment to integrity, including zero tolerance of sexual abuse

the Inland Register

(From the Nov. 10, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

Since June 2002, when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Spokane Diocese has implemented a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of minors by clergy. No priest or deacon is permitted to remain in public ministry if there are reasonable grounds to believe he sexually abused a minor at any time, and he cannot be transferred for ministry into, out of, or within the diocese.

The Spokane Diocese’s Review Board (see page 14) oversees the diocese’s investigation of allegations of clergy sexual abuse of minors.

The policies of the Diocese of Spokane regarding allegations of sexual misconduct by church personnel including priests, deacons, seminarians, employees and volunteers, begin with the priority concern for the safety of children and vulnerable adults; they address the pastoral care of victims and their families, and assure the immediate evaluation and just treatment of alleged offenders. These policies reassure the Christian faithful of the integrity of those who minister in the Church. If this trust is ever violated, there will be prompt action to restore justice and bring about reconciliation.

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