The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures originally established by the 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 Charter directs action in all the following matters:
- Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
- Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
- Making prompt and effective response to allegations;
- Cooperating with civil authorities;
- Disciplining offenders;
- Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.
This booklet also contains the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies for Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons and A Statement of Episcopal Commitment by the bishops.
This helpful printed version of the Charter is directed toward the whole Church in the United States, especially diocesan, parish, and school leaders whose responsibilities include protecting children and young people from sexual abuse, reporting allegations, and providing assistance to victims.
It provides necessary guidance for members of the clergy, Safe Environment and Victim Assistance Coordinators, diocesan review board members, and Catholic educators. The Charter is also a helpful resource to inform lay Catholics as to the measures the Church in the United States has implemented, since 2002, to prevent abuse, hold offenders accountable, and offer healing to survivors.
Also available in Spanish.