How the Diocese of Allentown Keeps Children Safe
Since 2002, the Diocese of Allentown has taken strong and decisive actions to address the issue of clergy sexual abuse, with a goal of preventing it from happening again.
Zero-tolerance policy: For the past 16 years, the Diocese has had a policy of zero tolerance. In the event of an allegation of abuse, the Diocese takes immediate action to notify law enforcement and removes the priest from ministry, and addresses the issue transparently in cooperation with law enforcement.
Rigorous background checks are required for clergy, lay personnel and volunteers in parishes and ministries.
A Victim Assistance Coordinator helps victims and survivors of abuse with compassion, respect and dignity. The Diocese has reached out pastorally and professionally, not only to victims and survivors but also to their families.
A Diocesan Review Board of highly qualified professionals advises the Bishop in any matters of sexual abuse of minors.
A Safe Environment Coordinator position exists to oversee the many programs designed to create the safest environment for minors.
Protecting God’s Children training has been received by thousands of volunteers, priests, deacons, seminarians, religious, employees, school principals, teachers and others. This training explains how to recognize and prevent child abuse.
For more information, visit the Diocese of Allentown Youth Protection web page.
Many more resources on this topic are available on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website at www.usccb.org.
Anyone who knows of incidents of abuse, in the Church or outside it, should report it to the State Child Line at 1-800-932-0313, the State Attorney General’s hotline at 1-888-538-8541 or to local law enforcement.
Wendy Krisak, the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, is available to provide assistance to anyone who, as a minor, was abused by a priest, deacon or employee or volunteer of the Diocese or its parishes.
Her direct line is 1-800-791-9209.