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Diocese Describes Action Taken on Past Report of Misconduct

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The May 20 edition of the Raleigh News & Observer carried a story on a lawsuit filed by two brothers who state they were sexually abused by a religious order priest who served at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh from 1983-1986. The priest, Fr. Raymond Schulte, is a member of the Order of St. Benedict at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn. The story notes that the lawsuit does not involve the Diocese of Raleigh.

In 1992, six years after Fr. Schulte left the Diocese, the Diocese received a report about Fr. Schulte. This was the first time the Diocese received a report about improper conduct by Fr. Schulte. The Diocese immediately reported the information to the Abbot of St. John’s Abbey.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge expresses again his deepest apology to anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse and offers his prayerful support. He reassures the faithful and the community that the Diocese continues to faithfully implement the policies and procedures for the protection of children and young people.

In the Diocese of Raleigh, in the last five years, more than 13,000 people have been trained in recognizing and reporting child sexual abuse. Currently, more than 20,000 safe environment resource packets are sent to parents with children enrolled in Catholic schools and parish faith formation programs. As of 2009, 12,092 background checks were completed on Church personnel, including clergy, employees and lay volunteers.

Following the Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse crisis of 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops implemented policies and procedures for all dioceses, parishes and schools through its adoption of The National Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (PDF). The Charter calls for annual audits of all dioceses to determine compliance with the 17 articles of the Charter. Each year of the audit, the Diocese of Raleigh has been found to be in full compliance with the Charter.