Protection Policies and Review Board

POLICY FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

REVIEW BOARD MISSION STATEMENT AND PROCEDURES

POLICY FOR MINISTERIAL CONDUCT
MISSION STATEMENT AND PROCEDURES


DIOCESE OF GAYLORD

POLICY FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

Preface
The Diocese of Gaylord Policy For The Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults was established in January 2003, in response to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approval of two (2) documents, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (June 2002, revised in 2005, 2011, and 2018) and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Polices Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons (December 2002, revised in 2006). The Charter and the Essential Norms address the crisis in the Church in the United States regarding the sexual abuse of minors by some Clergy and Church Personnel.

These policies direct the work and obligations of the Diocese in compliance with the Charter and the Essential Norms in the areas of prevention, reporting, outreach, and accountability when dealing with sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. The policy also recognizes and cooperates with the requirements and procedures of applicable state and local laws regarding the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

Applicability
This policy includes, but is not limited to, clergy, religious men and women, employees and volunteers of the Diocese accused of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

The policy sets forth procedures and obligations for the handling of such allegations of sexual abuse, the prevention of further abuse, the healing of those who have been injured, and the restoration of a sense of trust among the faithful and the larger community. Safe Environment training and screening practices and policies within the diocese of Gaylord play a major role in the pledge to heal and promise to protect victims that is voiced by this policy. The safe environment safeguards are published separately and placed on the diocesan website and incorporated into this Child Protection Policy.

Bishops, Cardinals, Patriarchs or Legates are to be held accountable under the authority of Motu Proprio Vos es tis lux mundi ("You are the light of the world"). Norms were issued by the Holy Father in 2019 which cover sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable persons, sexual acts compelled through the abuse of authority, and any cover-up of crimes. The provisions of Vos Estis Lux Mundi and contact information for reporting to appropriate law enforcement and Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service (CBAR) shall be published on the diocesan website and are supplemental to this policy.

Obligation to Report

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting
Any cleric, religious, employee, school counselor, teacher, administrator or other person acting with the authority of the Church of the Diocese of Gaylord who has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect of a minor shall comply with State reporting requirements, specifically the Michigan Child Protection Law, MCL 722.263, except for those communications that are canonically privileged. Notification by a staff member to the person in charge of a church, school or other diocesan entity does not relieve the staff member of said church, school or entity of the obligation to report under the Michigan Child Protection Law. All individuals suspecting child abuse, whether they are mandated reporters or not, should contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services by telephone (855.444.3911) or online at
https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_7119---00.html. The Michigan Attorney General's office has also set up a special phone line for people to share information that may be helpful in the ongoing investigation of sexual misconduct. The Michigan Department of Attorney General tip line is (844.324.3374). The Diocese shall post clear instructions on its website with the appropriate contact infonnation to allow any and all individuals who suspect child abuse to make reports to civil authorities and the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator.

Victim Assistance Coordinator
In addition to the legal reporting requirements adopted herein, the Diocese of Gaylord will maintain a Victim Assistance Coordinator to receive reports of sexual abuse concerning any cleric, religious, employee, or other person acting with the authority of the Church of the Diocese.

The Victim Assistance Coordinator shall be a person who possesses a clinical counseling-based proficiency in understanding the dynamics of sexual abuse. The person shall also understand the laws and diocesan policies to serve victims of sexual abuse. The Victim Assistance Coordinator's key responsibility is to listen to and take reports of sexual abuse that are made to the Diocese and help coordinate counseling, both emotional and spiritual, for the victim's well­ being and recovery, as may be required by the specific case. The Victim Assistance Coordinator of the Diocese should be promptly notified of any contacts or communications from possible victims concerning allegations so an immediate response can be made to them.

The Victim Assistance Coordinator will immediately notify the Bishop and Diocesan Attorney of any allegation received and assist in the coordination of a meeting between the victim and Bishop along with counseling as may be required.

Report to the Authorities
A report to the authorities must be made promptly by the Diocesan Attorney of allegations of sexual abuse of a minor received by the Diocese, whether occurring in the past or present, even those that do not pose an immediate risk or endangerment to a minor. The Victim Assistance Coordinator will inform the alleged victim that this report is being made, and always encourage the victim to contact law enforcement themselves.

The Chancellor, Diocesan Attorney and the Victim Assistance Coordinator will cooperate with public authorities about reporting all such cases including those that occurred when the alleged victim is no longer a minor and when the alleged clergy or other offender is no longer an active volunteer or staff member. This cooperation is demonstrated by a written report that will be sent by the Diocesan Attorney to the appropriate County Prosecuting Attorney and State Attorney General's office. Per internal protocols, the Diocese will cooperate with law enforcement if they pursue an investigation of the past allegation and will not interfere in the investigation.

Pastoral Outreach to Victims and Others

As circumstances permit, and with due regard for law enforcement investigations, the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Chancellor/Safe Environment Coordinator or Bishop's designated other will collaborate with parishes and schools to provide pastoral outreach to them, and shall offer pastoral assistance to the alleged victim, family members and those affected by the circumstances.

Pastors, school administrators, program directors and lay leaders shall also take appropriate and responsible action for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.

Internal Investigation of Allegations Involving Clergy and Other Employees or Volunteers

When an allegation of sexual abuse or misconduct with a minor by a cleric is received, an investigation of the accused offender shall be initiated in accordance with canon 1 722 and certain precautionary measures may be invoked that shall comply with Article 5 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Articles 6 and 8 of the Essential Norms. This investigation will not begin until Civil Authorities have completed their process or given leave to the Diocese to begin their investigation.

Investigation
At the appropriate time, the Bishop may proceed with an investigation by having an investigator appointed by the Bishop interview the victim, accused, and others. The investigation report(s) will be presented to the Review Board for their consideration.

Diocesan Review Board
The Bishop shall maintain a Review Board to review and respond to allegations regarding sexual abuse of children. The Review Board, to be appointed by the Bishop in consultation with the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Presbyteral Council, shall consist of at least five (5) and no more than ten (10) members who are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Review Board shall receive the facts and information sufficient to discuss the allegations of sexual abuse or grave misconduct by a priest or deacon so that it may provide appropriate consultation to the Bishop, in compliance with Article 2 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Articles 8 and 9 of the Essential Norms. The Review Board Mission Statement and Procedures shall be published on the diocesan website and are incorporated into this Child Protection Policy.

Alleged Offender
With due regard for law enforcement investigations the Diocese shall info1m the accused of his right to legal counsel, both civil and canonical. The Diocese shall encourage the alleged offender to obtain such counsel in compliance with Article 5 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Article 11 of the Essential Norms.

Ministry Suspension
When admission of and/or credible evidence of risk exists demonstrating that sexual abuse or grave misconduct with a minor may have occurred as alleged, the alleged offender shall be immediately relieved of pastoral ministry in the Diocese and prohibited from presenting or identifying himself as a priest or wearing a clerical clothing or collar, pending the outcome of any law enforcement investigation and/or canonical process, in compliance with Article 5 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Articles 6 and 8 of the Essential Norms.

Ministry Revoked
When sexual abuse or grave misconduct concerning a minor by a priest or a deacon is admitted or is established after an appropriate process in accord with canon law, certain consequences or actions provided for in canon law will be applied in compliance with Article 5 of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Article 8 of the Essential Norms.

Evaluations
The alleged offender may be asked to cooperate in medical and psychological evaluations by competent professionals or at a facility mutually acceptable to the Bishop and himself. The alleged offender will also be asked to provide a medical release so that the Bishop can assess ministry suitability in consultation with his staff, and/or the Diocesan Review Board (and/or the Ministerial Conduct Board?)

Legal Counsel
Notification of the allegation or incident shall also be given to legal counsel and liability insurers for the Diocese in accordance with the terms of applicable insurance policies.

Communication
The Chancellor or designee shall serve as spokesperson for the Diocese when an inquiry is made by the media or by the general public.

Documentation
Notes, memoranda, or other written documentation of allegations of sexual abuse or grave misconduct by clergy, the subsequent investigation and the results of action taken shall be kept by the Chancellor. They shall be maintained in a secure place in the Chancery. Access to these materials shall be strictly limited to the Bishop, the Chancellor, the Vicar for Clergy and those granted access by the Bishop.

Rights/Reputations
Due regard is to be given to the protection of the rights and the reputations of all parties involved in these procedures.

Deceased Clergy Allegations
The process for an accused cleric that is deceased is: 1) report to the authorities; 2) a fact finding investigation with due regard for law enforcement investigations (which includes a review of personnel file and assignments); 3) Review Board referral; and 4) offering pastoral counseling support to the alleged victim.

Printable PDF: Policy for Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (Rev. 02/21)


DIOCESE OF GAYLORD

REVIEW BOARD MISSION STATEMENT AND PROCEDURES

Preface
The Review Board for the Diocese of Gaylord was established in January 2003, in response to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approval of two (2) documents, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (June 2002, revised in 2005, 2011, and 2018) and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Polices Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons (December 2002, revised in 2006). The Charter and the Essential Nonns address the crisis in the Church in the United States regarding the sexual abuse of minors by some Clergy and Church Personnel.

This Mission Statement and Procedures directs the work of the board, the areas of responsibility, membership, and procedures of the Review Board. This document is part of the Diocesan Policy for the Protection of Children.

Applicability
This and other policies for the protection of children or vulnerable adults referring to Church Personnel/Personnel include but is not limited to clergy, religious men and women, employees and volunteers of the Diocese.

Mission of the Review Board
It is the mission of the Review Board to serve the people of God in the Diocese of Gaylord by assisting the Bishop in his responsibilities for the protection of minors, and vulnerable adults. The Board is charged with advising the Bishop in his assessment of the credibility of allegations and suitability for ministry, as well as annual review of Child Protection policies. Upon Bishop's request the Board may also advise the Bishop on the handling of allegations of sexual abuse, the prevention of further abuse, the healing of those who have been injured, and the restoration of a sense of trust among the faithful and the larger community.

General Responsibilities of the Review Board

The general responsibilities of the board are to:

  1. Provide consultation to the Bishop in his assessment of the credibility of all allegations of sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults by clergy. On some occasions, allegations of ministerial conduct concerning adults may be reviewed if requested by the Bishop (See Ministerial Conduct Mission Statement and Procedures which shall be published on the diocesan website);
  2. Review the policies and procedures within the Diocese that relate to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms to assure compliance;
  3. Provide consultation to the Bishop regarding an alleged offender's suitability for Ministry, and Safety Plan;
  4. Oversee that the diocesan policies and laws on sexual abuse or other crimes are followed regarding the reporting of allegations to civil authorities;
  5. Offer advice on all aspects of alleged cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, whether retrospectively or prospectively, upon Bishop's request.

Membership
The Review Board shall consist of no less than five (5), nor more than ten (10) members of outstanding integrity and good judgment in full communion with the Church appointed by the Bishop. The members are appointed for a term of five (5) years, which may be renewed. The majority should be lay persons, none of whom are employed by the Diocese. They should bring experience or training in ministry, law, health care, mental health treatment, law enforcement, jurisprudence, human resources, business, management, education or other relevant fields. At least one (1) member shall be a Diocesan priest who is an experienced and respected pastor. Members serve without compensation.

Support Staff
The Chancellor/Safe Environment Coordinator, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Vicar General, Vicar for Clergy, Diocesan Attorney, and Communications Director shall participate in meetings of the Review Board, to assist and advise the Board. They are not voting members of the Review Board.

Conduct of Business
The Bishop shall appoint the Review Board chairperson, who shall preside at all meetings of the Board. The Diocesan Attorney shall be responsible for the written recording of the discussion and recommendations of the Board. In consultation with the chairperson, the Chancellor/Safe Environmnent Coordinator prepares the meeting agendas.

Quorum
A majority of the membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum for doing business. Attendance can be via live or virtual presence through electronic conferencing or telephonic communications.

Confidentiality
All deliberations of the Review Board shall remain confidential in order to respect the dignity of the involved persons. Official disclosure of Board action shall be made periodically through formal announcements prepared by the Bishop's Communications Department.
 

Board Duties:

Review of Allegations
The Review Board shall receive intake reports from the Victim Assistance Coordinator and investigation repo1is or documents from any investigation that takes place regarding allegations of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy ( or other Church Personnel or Volunteers as may be requested by the Bishop). Any contact by victims or families to the Review Board or a Board member will be directed to the Victim Assistance Coordinator and/or Bishop's delegate.

Consultation on Allegations
The Board shall provide consultation to the Bishop regarding credibility of allegations and suitability for ministry.

Policy Compliance
For all allegations presented to it, the Board shall also determine whether the Diocesan policy on sexual abuse was followed regarding the reporting to civil authorities. A written report is to be sent promptly by the Diocesan Attorney to the appropriate County Prosecuting Attorney and State Attorney General's office of allegations received by the Diocese, concerning sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults, even those that do not pose an immediate risk of endangennent to a minors.

Policy Review
The Board shall periodically review the Diocesan policy on sexual abuse. A report of any recommendations for changes in the policy shall be sent to the Bishop for approval.

Printable PDF: Review Board Mission Statement and Procedures (Rev. 02/21)


POLICY FOR MINISTERIAL CONDUCT
MISSION STATEMENT AND PROCEDURES

Preface

This Ministerial Conduct Mission Statement and Procedures in the Diocese of Gaylord is to serve as a resource to the Bishop and his staff in regard to responding to clergy misconduct other than sexual abuse of minors. Upon the request of the Bishop, the Diocesan Review Board alone or with other persons appointed by the Bishop may become involved in reviewing clergy misconduct matters covered by this policy.
 

Mission of the Ministerial Review Team
The supreme goal of the Church is the salvation of souls . This policy is intended to aid in seeking that goal by serving the people of God in the Diocese of Gaylord by assisting the Bishop in his responsibilities for the fair and just resolution of clergy allegations that include misconduct alone or with other adults. This policy also seeks to heal those who have been injured and promote the re-creation of a sense of trust among the faithful and the larger community.
 

Applicability
Alleged clergy misconduct to be reviewed may include: sexual misconduct with adults; other sexual improprieties not involving minors; boundary violations, gambling; drug or alcohol misuse; financial misdeeds; code of conduct violations or other allegations of serious misconduct. (NOTE: The provisions of Vos Estis Lux Mundi and contact information for reporting to appropriate law enforcement and Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting service (CBAR) apply to Bishops, Cardinals, Patriarchs or Legates, only, and are not part of this policy. Vos Estis Lux Mundi shall be published on the diocesan website and is supplemental to this policy)

General Responsibilities of the Review Team

  1. The Review Team is assembled to provide advice and consultation to the Bishop and his staff regarding identified situations of clergy misconduct alone or with other adults.

  2. The Review Team confirms that reports to civil authorities are made in accordance with civil law. The Diocese shall fully cooperate with civil authorities in any investigations.

  3. The Review Team provides consultation to the Bishop regarding suitability for Ministry.

  4. The Review Team may also offer recommendations regarding Diocesan policies and processes relating to ministerial misconduct.

Conduct of Business
The Bishop shall appoint the Review Team chairperson, who shall preside at all meetings of the Review Team. The Vicar General, Chancellor, Vicar for Clergy and others at Bishop's request may participate in meetings of the Review Team when considering cases, to assist and advise them. The Diocesan Attorney shall be responsible for the written recording of the discussion and recommendations of the Review Team. In consultation with the chairperson, the Chancellor/Safe Environment Coordinator prepares the meeting agendas.

Quorum
For advice on suitability for ministry, allegations of abuse, policy review, or advice to Bishop on all aspects of cases, a quorum shall constitute not less than three persons.

Procedures
The Review Team may adopt procedures to govern details of its activities and investigations, such as the frequency of meetings, confidential review and maintenance of records, and any other business on a case ­by-case basis.

Confidentiality
All deliberations of the Review Team shall remain confidential in order to respect the dignity of the involved persons. Official disclosure of any review Team action or recommendations shall be made periodically through formal announcements prepared by the Bishop's Communications Department.

Review of Allegations
The Review Team shall receive a report from the Victim Assistance Coordinator or Bishop's delegate, as appropriate, regarding all allegations of misconduct by clergy, when requested by the Bishop. Any contact by victims or families to the Review Team/members will be directed to the Victim Assistance Coordinator, or Bishop's delegate.

Consultation on Allegations
The Review Team shall provide consultation to the Bishop regarding credibility of allegations, suitability for ministry and outreach to victims when requested by Bishop.

Policy Compliance
For all allegations presented to it, the Review Team shall also determine whether the Diocesan policy on sexual abuse or other crimes was followed regarding the reporting to civil authorities.

Policy Review
The Review Team shall periodically review the Diocesan policy on Ministerial Conduct. A report of any recommendations for changes in the policy shall be sent to the Bishop for approval.

Printable PDF: Policy for Ministerial Conduct-Mission Statement and Procedures (Rev. 02/21)

 

 

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