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Protecting God's Children

The pastor of Epiphany Parish and the School leadership are committed to the well being of those who are served by the Church. The People of God have a right to be able to trust those who minister to them in God's name. The violation of this trust through any sexual abuse by Church or School Personnel is a source of great pain, for those involved and for the entire Church community.

The parish and School leadership will make every reasonable effort to prevent sexual abuse, and to respond promptly to all allegations of abuse where there is a reasonable belief that abuse has occurred. The parish and school also will comply with all obligations of civil and canon law. Epiphany Parish and school will promote healing where it is needed, provide education, training and guidance when it is appropriate, and endeavor to prevent any sexual abuse of minors with firm justice and mercy towards all. No person, including clergy, who has been determined to have engaged in sexual abuse of a minor, will be allowed to remain in active ministry. Such actions violate Christian principles and are outside the scope of duties and employment of all Church Personnel. The parish and School will not tolerate such behavior. This policy applies to all parish agencies, and parish activities within the parish, as well as to all school personnel and volunteers.

Care will always be taken to protect the rights all parties involved, particularly those of the person claiming to have been sexually abused and the person against whom the charge has been made. When the accusation has been proved to be unfounded, every step possible will be taken to restore the good name of the person falsely accused.

To meet the directives of the Office of Catholic Schools and the Archdiocese of Chicago, ALL volunteers and paid staff in contact with children e.i. seminarians, teachers, pastors, CCD teachers, youth ministers, administrative help, servers, etc. MUST undergo a background check, and attend a 2.5 hour “Virtus” training session.

Definitions

ALLEGATION: A statement or accusation of sexual abuse.

CHILD OR MINOR: A person less than eighteen (18) years of age.

VULNERABLE ADULT: Such persons as so defined by the State's laws and Statutes. A copy of the statutory definitions is attached.

DCF: The Illinois Department of Children and Families.

CHURCH PERSONNEL: For purposes of this policy only, Church Personnel shall include any person who is employed by, or engaged in ministry, or providing service, either directly or indirectly, for the diocese, an agency controlled by the Diocese, or a parish. Church Personnel shall include, but not be limited to, priests, deacons, religious, employees, and any volunteer involved in any diocesan or parish activity. "Personnel" as defined herein, has reference only to the applicability of this policy, and is not indicative of any agency or employment relationship between a diocese and the party whose compliance with this policy is sought.

This policy is intended to establish requirements and procedures in an effort to prevent sexual abuse by Church Personnel and the resulting harm to the victims and the Church community, and to provide guidance on how to respond to allegations of sexual abuse. All Church Personnel must comply with applicable laws regarding incidents of actual or suspected sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults and with these procedural guidelines.

 

The "Background Check" and registration for the "Virtus Training" can be done on-line.
Log on to:

All four are required in order to be in compliance.  

Guidelines for Ongoing Virtus Education

  • All professional staff and clergy must complete a minimum of 12 "Protecting God's Children" bulletins online every year.
  • Facilitators must meet annual requirements as well as completing all of the facilitator's online bulletins.
  • All non-professional staff must complete a minimum of 6 "Protecting God's Children" bulletins annually either online or in any other form in which they are currently being offered.
  • Volunteer catechists must complete a minimum of 8 "Protecting God's Children" bulletins annually.
  • All other volunteers must complete a minumum of 2 "Protecting God's Children" bulletins which will be assigned by their supervisor.
  • All other participants may visit the Virtus Online website and complete as many bulletins as they please.

 

 

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