By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger
The Diocese of Davenport fully complies with all audited articles within the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for the 2013-14 audit period.
StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, N.Y., reported the positive results in a letter sent to Bishop Martin Amos last month, based on an on-site audit conducted in July. The information will be forwarded to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Youth and Child Protection for use in the 2014 audit report.
The charter is a comprehensive set of procedures that the USCCB established in 2002 to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. Guidelines in the charter also address reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of further acts of abuse.
During their on-site visit, two StoneBridge auditors reviewed files pertaining to background checks and child protection training required of employees, volunteers and coaches who work in any capacity with children. The auditors also examined the Diocesan Review Board’s minutes to ensure that the board meets and reports on matters related to the charter as required, said Msgr. John Hyland, the Davenport Diocese’s vicar general. The auditors also visited two parishes for on-site reviews.
For the audit period, the diocese reported receiving one allegation of abuse involving one priest years ago. The individual who made the allegation declined an investigation, Msgr. Hyland said.
He prepared his full report for the auditors with assistance from diocesan Chief Financial Officer and Vice-Chancellor Char Maaske, Faith Formation Director Mary Wieser, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools Virginia Trujillo, Database Coordinator Lynnette Sowells, and Victim Assistance Coordinator Alicia Owens.
“We felt from the very beginning that we were in compliance because of a very dedicated team with utmost interest in the protection of children and young people,” Msgr. Hyland said.
While pleased with the audit results, Bishop Amos noted that the USCCB has reminded bishops to not let down their guard on this important work. “We’re doing very well, but we don’t want to back off. We want to keep our children safe,” Bishop Amos said.