US Bishops issue annual child and youth protection report
By Vatican News
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced on Thursday that its Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released “Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”
The 2019 report for the year July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 shows that 4,220 adults came forward with 4,434 allegations of abuse. The figures are a marked increase compared to the previous year.
The statement says that the rise is due in part to new complaints that were added during trials, compensation programs and bankruptcy proceedings in progress.
The document also shows 37 allegations were made by current minors, of which 8 were substantiated, 7 were unsubstantiated, and 6 were unable to be proven. Twelve allegations are still under investigation, 3 others were referred to religious orders, and 1 was referred to another diocese.
During the same period, the findings reveal that American dioceses and eparchies helped and gave psychological support to 1,138 new victims and their families. Together with them, 1,851 victims and family members who reported abuse in previous audits continued to be assisted.
In 2019, more than 2.6 million background checks were conducted on clergy, staff and volunteers working for the Church. In addition, 2.6 million adults and 3.6 million children and youth were involved in information and awareness training programs to help recognize and report abuse.
The report also looks at how dioceses are implementing the measures in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, also known as the Dallas Charter, launched by the American bishops in 2002 in response to allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
Inspections carried out in 64 dioceses and eparchies and an examination of data provided by 130 other dioceses found only three to be partially non-compliant: the Diocese of Oakland, the Philadelphia Archdiocese of the Ukrainians and the Diocese of St. Thomas of Syro-Malabar.
Three eparchies, on the other hand, did not participate in the audits: the Syro-Malankarian eparchies of St. Mary Queen of Peace, St. Peter the Apostle of St. Diego of the Chaldeans and St. Nicholas of the Ukrainians of Chicago.
The new report is based on audits conducted by law firm, StoneBridge Business Partners, and includes an investigation carried out by CARA, the Research Center for the Apostolate at Georgetown University.