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U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS RELEASE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT ON THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released their 2018 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The report is based on the audit findings of StoneBridge Business Partners, a specialty consulting firm headquartered in Rochester, New York, which provides forensic, internal, and compliance audit services to leading organization nation-wide.

A survey on allegations conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate is also included as part of the report. The 2018 report for audit year July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 states that 1,385 adults came forward with 1,455 allegations. Compared to 2017, the number of allegations has increased significantly due to the additional allegations received in five New York State dioceses as a result of the implementation of their Independent Reconciliation and Compensation programs.

Additional data on allegations provided by CARA’s annual survey shows that more than nine in ten alleged offenders (92 percent) identified during the survey year were already deceased, already removed from ministry, already laicized or missing. Most abuse reported occurred between 1960 and 1990, with a peak in the 1970's.

Twenty-six new allegations involving current minors were reported during the audit period. As of June 30, 2018, three were substantiated and the clergy were removed from ministry. These allegations came from three different dioceses. Seven allegations were unsubstantiated as of June 30, 2018. Three were categorized as "unable to be proven" and investigations were still in process for six of the allegations as of June 30, 2018. For the remaining seven allegations involving minors, two were referred to a religious order, two were reported as unknown clerics, and three were not claims of sexual abuse, but were boundary violations.

During the audit period, dioceses and eparchies provided outreach and support to 472 victims/survivors and their families who reported during this audit period. Continued support was provided to 1,542 victims/survivors and their families who reported abuse in prior audit periods. Support may include counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups, and other social services.
The report also notes the ongoing work of the Church in continuing the call to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. In 2018, over 2.6 million background checks were conducted on Church clerics, employees, and volunteers. In addition, in 2018 over 2.6 million adults and 3.9 million children and youth have also been trained on how to identify the warning signs of abuse and how to report those signs.

Regarding Charter Compliance, the report noted the following:
StoneBridge Business Partners, the auditor, visited 72 dioceses/eparchies and collected data from 122 others.
All dioceses/eparchies were found compliant except for the Diocese of Lincoln, who was found non-compliant with Article 7 of the Charter.
Three eparchies did not participate including the Eparchy of St. Mary Queen of Peace, the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle, and the Eparchy of Phoenix

The Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People continues to emphasize that the audit and maintaining zero-tolerance policies are two important tools in the Church's broader program of creating a culture of protection and healing that exceeds the requirements of the Charter.

This is the sixteenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, making a promise to protect and a pledge to heal.

The full Annual Report can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/child-abuse-prevention/upload/2018-CYP-Annual-Report.pdf

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People can be found here: www.usccb.org/charter

Additional information on diocesan requirements can be found here:

http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/bishops-resources/upload/cyp-norms-bulletin-insert.pdf
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, 2018 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations, children, young people, vulnerable adults, dioceses/eparchies, sexual abuse, religious orders, Charter compliance, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, safety, protection, healing.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

USCCB Religious Liberty Chairman Announces Religious Freedom Week from June 22-29, 2019

WASHINGTON— The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, encourages Catholics to pray and act in support of religious liberty at home and abroad during Religious Freedom Week 2019 which begins on June 22, the Feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, and ends on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The theme for this year, Strength in Hope, is taken from the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity: “Among the trials of this life they find strength in hope, convinced that ‘the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us’ (Rom. 8:18)” (Apostolicam actuositatem, 4).

Archbishop Kurtz stated: “Catholics face challenges both in our current political climate of polarization and within the Church. Christian child welfare institutions and Catholics in public life are encountering significant obstacles to their work, while our brothers and sisters in places like Nigeria suffer violent persecution. We want to build solidarity and to encourage Catholics to persist in the struggle to advance the kingdom of God by finding hope in Jesus Christ.”

Resources for Religious Freedom Week and other religious liberty resources can be found at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek and www.usccb.org/freedom. Video can be found at bit.ly/RFW2019Vid. Social media posts will use the hashtag #StrengthInHope.
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Keywords: Religious Freedom Week, religious freedom, religious liberty, Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, U.S. bishops, dioceses, parish resources, strength in hope, freedom to serve

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

The Devil Is Real. Evil Exists. What Can We Do About It? In a Powerful New Book, Pope Francis Shows Us How We Can “Rebuke the Devil”

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is releasing a commanding new book featuring a survey of Pope Francis’s important teachings on the history of the devil, his empty promises and works, and how we can actively combat him. Written for a wide audience, Rebuking the Devil shows us how to recognize the tricks of the enemy, avoid his traps and defeat his efforts through the power of God in Jesus Christ.  
Rebuking the Devil is available for purchase May 29 through the USCCB’s online bookstore and can be ordered at http://store.usccb.org/rebuking-the-devil-p/7-608.htm

While the text does affirm the reality of the devil, Pope Francis also offers wisdom in following God’s righteous laws and keeping our eyes fixed on the sovereignty of Jesus as we battle evil in our own lives and in the world.  

 “In this important book, Pope Francis tells us how to use powerful tools of spiritual combat against the devil including the Word of God, adoration of God in the Blessed Sacrament, participation in the Sacraments, fasting, prayer and the intercession of Mary, Mother of God, through the Most Holy Rosary,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Chairman of the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Communications. “We must recognize that there is a devil who is alive and active, but there is also a shield against him through the power of Jesus Christ!”

We are providing a PDF of the book cover as well as a link to the book cover here: http://www.usccb.org/about/marketing/products/images/7-608-rebuking-devil-book-cover.jpg

Additional books and resources pertaining to other topics including marriage and family life, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Vatican, ministry and more, can be found by visiting the USCCB's online bookstore at https://store.usccb.org/

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Rebuking the Devil, Word of God, adoration, Blessed Sacrament, Sacraments, fasting, prayer, Jesus, Mary, Mother of God, Most Holy Rosary

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Bishop Chairmen Welcome HHS Aligning Health Care Nondiscrimination Regulations with Federal Law

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, have issued a statement welcoming today’s announcement of proposed modifications to regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

 

Their joint statement follows:

 

“We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for proposing regulations restoring the long-standing position of the federal government that discrimination on the basis of ‘sex’ does not refer to ‘termination of pregnancy’ nor ‘gender identity.’ These modifications follow the legislative intent of the Affordable Care Act to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex in health care. The proposed regulations would help restore the rights of health care providers – as well as insurers and employers – who decline to perform or cover abortions or ‘gender transition’ procedures due to ethical or professional objections. Catholic health care providers serve everyone who comes to them, regardless of characteristics or background. However, there are ethical considerations when it comes to procedures. We are grateful for today’s important step.”

A comment letter expressing concern with the original underlying regulations, in which the USCCB joined in 2015, may be found here: http://www.usccb.org/_cs_upload/about/general-counsel/rulemaking/192062_1.pdf.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop James D. Conley, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Department of Health and Human Services, conscience rights, health care providers, abortion, elective abortion, Trump Administration, civil rights laws, White House, discrimination, convictions, sanctity of human life, gender identity, gender transition

 

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Expresses Sorrow, Urges Prayers and Support for Recovery, After Deadly Tornadoes Hit Missouri and Storms Damage Other States in the Midwest

WASHINGTON—After tornadoes killed three people in Missouri and storms brought devastation to parts of the Midwest and areas from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed grief over the lives lost and damage threatened by the tornadoes and storms, and offered prayers for recovery.

The full statement follows:

“I am profoundly saddened by the loss of life and the damage caused by the tornadoes and storms throughout the Midwest and related regions these past few days. As of this writing, millions of people in at least seven states have been affected by the powerful winds, rainfall and rising water levels caused by these conditions. Seven people have been killed in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma. Severe weather continues to be expected in this devastated area through the rest of this week.

A call is made to all for prayers for the victims and their grieving families and communities. Further, now is the time to offer assistance to those facing this great loss. We are grateful that Catholic Charities and other organizations are in place working to provide for emergency needs and to help rebuild."

Learn more about Catholic Charities’ efforts at https://catholiccharitiesusa.org.
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Severe Weather

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200