Sep 302009

By Barb Arland-Fye

The Davenport Diocese, once again, is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Bishop Martin Amos and Msgr. John Hyland, vicar general, received a letter last month confirming the diocese’s compliance, based on a review by Gavin Group Inc. The Massachusetts firm conducts charter compliance audits for the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The USCCB created the charter in 2002 to address sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and to provide guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of future acts of abuse.

Each year, most of the nearly 200 dioceses in the United States submit to a compliance audit. Every three years the audit requires an on-site visit; the Davenport Diocese’s was last year.

“Based on the fact that your Diocese was found to be compliant with The Charter for the Protection of Children and Youth People as a result of the 2008 Full Audit, this finding of compliance will be continued for 2009,” William Gavin of the Gavin Group said in a letter.

“It is good news that our diocese again has been recognized for its efforts and is in full compliance with the charter, based on the Gavin audit, to ensure that no child will ever be abused again,” said Msgr. Hyland. He oversees preparation of the audit report for the diocese.

This year’s 15-page report included information about:

• Child protection training programs for children and adults

• A conference that several diocesan safe environment trainers attended in Chicago

• Documentation of safe environment practices and Catholic Messenger announcements about how to contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator.

• The 54 atonement services Bishop Amos led from Aug. 28, 2008, to June 14, 2009.

• New allegations of clergy sexual abuse reported in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009. Msgr. Hyland said six allegations were made against former priests. All but one of the former priests is deceased, the other has been laicized, Msgr. Hyland said.

• The number of students enrolled in Catholic schools and religious education classes.

• Background checks conducted on diocesan employees. Those are required every five years.

• The number of adults (clergy, staff, teachers and volunteers) who have received child protection training in the diocese. The total to date: 7,564, Msgr. Hyland said.

“The report is my responsibility as vicar general, but the work is done through the efforts of (diocesan staffers) Mary Wieser, Virginia Trujillo, Barbara Butterworth, Char Maaske and Lynnette Sowells. It’s a team effort. When it became my responsibility I brought together these people to help me provide a complete report. I’m grateful for the work they do,” Msgr. Hyland said.

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