Published January 8, 2004
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in June 2002 at its meeting in Dallas.
The Charter established the Office of Child and Youth Protection. The OCYP is responsible for assisting dioceses and eparchies (dioceses of the Eastern Catholic Churches) in implementing the Charter and ensuring the consistent application of guidelines and procedures to prevent sexual abuse of minors and properly deal with allegations of misconduct.
In order to measure how effectively each diocese/eparchy adheres to the Charter, the OCYP developed and managed an appropriate compliance audit mechanism in accord with Article 8 of the Charter.
What does the audit do?
The Compliance Audit assesses how the Catholic dioceses/eparchies throughout the United States fared in their efforts to integrate the Charter’s standards into their diocesan administration. Thus the audit considered only the actions taken by dioceses/eparchies since the adoption of the Charter in June 2002. It does not assess the activities adopted by dioceses/eparchies to protect children and young people prior to June 2002.
How the Auditors Reported
Dioceses/eparchies could receive the following three descriptors/measures:
Instructions: When circumstances indicated that a particular article of the Charter had not yet been implemented, an instruction was issued. Within the instructions were directives for the diocese/eparchy to complete specified actions by a certain date to remedy the situation and be compliant with a particular article of the Charter.
Recommendations: When there was incomplete implementation of a particular article of the Charter or where significant improvement would be realized through an additional or changed procedure, a recommendation was made. As with instructions, each recommendation required notification to the Gavin Group of actions taken.
Commendations: Commendations were provided to highlight innovative procedures and exceptional transparency and openness about the problem of sexual abuse.
Dioceses/eparchies were not rated or compared to one another.