KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE
We must protect our children, first, foremost, and always. The Archdiocese of Newark has a zero-tolerance policy for any type of mistreatment or misconduct involving children and young adults. No clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark with a credible allegation(s) of sexual abuse of a minor is allowed to remain in ministry.
Significant progress has been made to ensure that children are safe in today’s Church. Since 2002, we have fully implemented comprehensive Safe Environment programs and measures through training, reporting, and awareness that have positively impacted how we create and support safe environments throughout the Archdiocese of Newark. These programs are regularly reviewed and verified by an external audit and have resulted in increased awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse. The majority of sexual abuse cases, including the clergy identified on this list, date back decades.
The NJ Catholic dioceses have trained more than 2.3 million adults, children, employees, clergy, and volunteers, and have conducted more than 380,000 background checks on all diocesan and parish personnel with regular contact with children. The Archdiocese of Newark alone has:
- Trained 30,000 children annually in keeping themselves safe;
- Trained 80,000 adults in child sexual abuse awareness and prevention since 2008;
- Conducted 63,000 background checks on clergy, employees and volunteers since 2008;
- Conducted 50 classes annually for adults.
Audits dating back to 2003 confirm that the Archdiocese of Newark is fully compliant with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People . The (Dallas) Charter addresses allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention.
- We will continue to report to civil authorities all situations where there is reason to believe a child has been abused, cooperating fully with criminal investigations and prosecutions.
- We will continue to rely on an independent review board to make recommendations concerning abuse cases and policies.
- We will remove from ministry all priests and others credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor and disclose their names to the faithful of our Church.
- We will continue to provide for treatment and counseling for all victims of clergy sexual abuse who come forward.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, often called “The Dallas Charter,” is a comprehensive set of procedures originally established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. It was revised in 2005, 2011, and 2018. The USCCB employs an independent auditing company to ensure compliance, which has found the Archdiocese of Newark fully compliant with the Charter in every year since audits began in 2003.
The 2002 Memorandum of Understanding:
The Memorandum of Understanding among Certain Organizations and the County Prosecutors Regarding the Reporting of Certain Offenses, commonly referred to as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), was signed on behalf of the Archdiocese and by the New Jersey Attorney General and respective County Prosecutors in December 2002. It commits the Archdiocese of Newark to full cooperation with law enforcement and it requires the Archdiocese to report allegations of sexual abuse to the appropriate county prosecutor.
When the Archdiocese receives an allegation of abuse:
When the Archdiocese receives an allegation of abuse, it is immediately reported to civil authorities. Click here to view the Policy Responding to Complaints of Sexual Abuse.
Steps Taken with A Member Of The Clergy Following A Credible Accusation:
Since 2002, it has been our policy to report every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to law enforcement. The clergy or employee is then removed from their position while civil authorities investigate the case to determine if any evidence warrants criminal charges. Decisions regarding criminal prosecution are made by law enforcement. Concurrently, the church conducts an investigation to determine if evidence reveals the clergy or employee violated the church’s conduct policies. See Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Archdiocese of Newark is committed to the ongoing reporting of names of clergy with a credible allegation(s) of sexual abuse of a minor to law enforcement and to the people of our Church.
Steps that the Archdiocese has Taken to Prevent Further Abuse:
The Archdiocese of Newark has a zero-tolerance policy for any type of mistreatment or misconduct involving children and young adults. The Safe Environment team at the Archdiocese maintains the nationally recognized Virtus® training program, which specifically provides the tools by which all personnel and volunteers are trained to recognize signs of potential predators of children. Every Archdiocesan employee, including clergy, must undergo a background check and Virtus® training, and instructed on how to report when they have a concern that a child may be in danger. This training and an updated background check must be completed every five years. All Archdiocesan volunteers who may have contact with children also are required to complete the same process. To learn more about the Safe Environment program, visit www.rcan.org/offices-and-ministries/child-youth-protection.
Oversight of Bishops and Cardinals:
Bishops and Cardinals are under the jurisdiction of the Holy See or Vatican. Currently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is working with the Vatican to develop new reporting processes for reporting complaints as well as for more effective resolution of future complaints.
The Independent Victim Compensation Program
As a sign of our commitment to the continued healing of victims of church sexual abuse, a new Independent Victim Compensation Program has been established. This program will allow those sexually abused as minors by clergy to seek compensation in a compassionate, expeditious, independent and transparent manner. While no degree of financial compensation can adequately address the suffering endured, we want this to be a genuine expression of our remorse and our desire to comfort and compensate those victimized by this abuse.
All five Roman Catholic Dioceses of New Jersey, including Newark, Camden, Trenton, Paterson, and Metuchen, have committed to the establishment of this program. It will provide the resources to compensate those victims of child sexual abuse by clergy of the Dioceses in New Jersey whose financial claims are legally barred by New Jersey's statute of limitations. This will give victims a formal voice and allow them to be heard by an independent panel. The program also will assure that victims will receive financial compensation regardless of whether their allegations meet the time requirements of the statute of limitations. This initiative will expand on the current arrangement, through which the Catholic Church in New Jersey already has provided some fifty million dollars in financial settlements to victims of abuse. The vast majority of these allegations had been barred by the statute of limitations. The Program also will be a resource to provide permanent funding for necessary counseling to those who have been victimized. Such counseling often is needed to help in the healing of those who have been harmed.