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US Bishops Report on Annual Audit for Protection of Young People

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States. On April 10, 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released the results of the annual audit undertaken by an independent firm to verify compliance by U.S. dioceses with the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” According to StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York, all dioceses except two -- Baker, Oregon and Lincoln, Nebraska -- were found to be in compliance with the 17-point document.

"As we were introduced to the various dioceses/eparchies around the country this year, we were impressed by the dedication of the safe environment coordinators and other diocesan and eparchial representatives who oversee the implementation of the charter on a daily basis," said James J. Marasco, director of StoneBridge Business Partners, in a summary report submitted with the audit.

In a letter to the Catholic faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh calling attention to Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge expressed his gratitude to the priests working in the Diocese and the members of the local Safe Environment Teams who continue to work “so diligently to ensure that our sacred commitment to a safe environment is actively observed.” Bishop Burbidge noted that since 2003, more than 16,000 priests, Religious, staff and volunteers, throughout the Diocese, have been trained in providing a safe environment for children and young people in our schools and parishes.

“During this month of April,” the Bishop said, “I invite all the faithful to pray especially for our children and youth, for those who have experienced abuse and to all involved in seeking to bring healing to the pain of the past.”

Additional information on the Diocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection is available on the Diocesan website.

Read Bishop Burbidge’s letter: English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)