National Safe Environment Audit Shows Diocese of San Angelo in Full Compliance 10/22/12
Diocese of San Angelo
October 22, 2012
SAN ANGELO — During the month of June 2012, the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo completed an audit of its Safe Environment Programs with auditors from Stonebridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York, an independent firm commissioned by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB), to insure compliance with the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
In a letter to San Angelo Bishop Michael Pfeifer dated October 12, 2012 from Stonebridge Business Partners, the firm advised that, “The Diocese of San Angelo is in compliance with the data collection requirements for the 2011/2012 Charter audit period.”
The Charter, originally adopted by the USCCB in November 2002, sets forth specific requirements which enable dioceses across the country to establish safe environment programs to protect children and youth from sexual and other kinds of abuse. During this audit, diocesan safe environment policies, safe environment programs for church personnel, parents, and children, as well as procedures for assisting victims of sexual abuse were examined.
“As Bishop, I am happy to report that Stonebridge has informed the Diocese that, based on the analysis of the audit, the Diocese will continue its status of being in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” Bishop Pfeifer said. “Since the implementation of the Charter, the Diocese has undergone eight previous annual audits in which we were found to be in full compliance with all articles of the Charter. I am pleased with the results of this audit and am grateful for the hard work of so many people throughout our diocese — pastors, deacons, religious, and lay leaders — to provide a safe and sacred environment for all of our children and youth in the many programs through which we minister to them. Once again, this audit has given us a great opportunity to step back and see what we have accomplished and explore areas where we can make adjustments or improvements.
“Since 2002, the Diocese of San Angelo has conducted background checks and safe environment training for over 9,000 individuals who work with children and youth throughout the diocese. In addition, over 13,500 parents and other interested parties have attended seminars that the diocese has presented on ‘Preventing Child Sexual Abuse.’
“During the past fiscal year, the diocese spent $16,000 on safe environment training and materials in support of our safe environment efforts. We will continue to move forward, continuing our efforts not only to provide a safe environment for our children and youth in our church programs, but to raise the awareness of child sexual abuse, and provide steps that everyone can take to help protect our children,” Pfeifer said.
In accord with the Charter, Bishop Pfeifer and the Bishops of the USA invite all Churches and all agencies of society to join hands in efforts to prevent sexual abuse, especially of children, which, sadly, is rampant in all areas of society.