Since the year 2000, all clergy, employees, and volunteers working for the Archdiocese of Boston must submit to an annual CORI check. A National Sex Offender Registry check is also completed. More than 50,000 CORI checks are completed each year.
Anyone working in a Catholic school must also submit to a federal fingerprint check.
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION – OFFICE OF CHILD ADVOCACY
All clergy, employees and volunteers who may have contact with children must attend Protecting God’s Children, a training designed to teach about the prevention, warning signs, and reporting of abuse. Parish facilitators have trained more than 100,000 adults in PGC since 2002. All are welcome to attend. All children enrolled in religious education or Catholic schools receive age appropriate abuse prevention/safety training using approved curriculums.
All clergy, employees and volunteers of the Archdiocese are mandated reporters and must report any suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Families. Reports are filed with civil authorities whenever abuse or neglect is suspected, whatever the setting. For questions or help making that report call Maureen at 617-746-5996. To report abuse call your local DCF office. After hours call the Child at Risk Hotline at 1-800-792-5200.
All reports of clergy sexual abuse of minors are immediately reported to law enforcement officials including local, state, and/or federal officials as appropriate. Reports are made regardless of the current age of the victim, the credibility of the report, and the status of the accused clergy, including if he is already deceased.
If the victim is still under the age of 18 when the abuse is reported, the matter is immediately referred to the Department of Children and Families through filing a 51A.
The Archdiocese publicly discloses when a member of its clergy is removed from active ministry pending an investigation into an allegation of child abuse.
The Archdiocese publicly discloses when a member of its clergy is convicted of sexual abuse of a child as a result of a criminal process or when, after a canonical process, a member of the clergy is removed from the clerical state.
PASTORAL SUPPORT AND OUTREACH (OPSO)
If you were abused by clergy or any employee or volunteer minister in the Boston Archdiocese, we want to know, regardless of when it happened. Help is available. Call 617-746-5985.
Since OPSO was created in 2002, social workers have met with over 1000 survivors of clergy abuse. Cardinal Sean has met personally with hundreds of individuals who were abused by clergy to hear their experiences, concerns, and suggestions and to apologize for the abuse that they suffered at the hands of the church.
Assistance in arranging and paying for behavioral health treatment is available to those individuals who were abused by Boston clergy and to family members who are directly impacted by the abuse. Additional support services are available in the form of pastoral support on the phone or in person, psychoeducation/wellness groups, peer support, and spiritual direction.
Each year, approximately 300 survivors and/or family members receive behavioral health treatment through independent clinicians, paid for by OPSO. Over the last 16 years, the Archdiocese has paid more than $18 million dollars to fund behavioral health treatment.
No one person can solve the problem of clergy abuse alone. The solution needs to come from the top down, the bottom up, and from all sides. To help those who were hurt and prevent abuse in the future, we all need to keep our eye on the issue. We must never give in to the temptation to ignore the topic, hoping it will go away. Thank you for all that you have and will do to keep our children safe.