Posts Tagged ‘child abuse’

Many Thanks to John D. Feerick

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Professor John D. Feerick, former dean of the Fordham Law School, wrote the following letter to the editor of the New York Times last week, in response to their “Church Whistle-Blowers” article.  As far as I can tell, the Times has not published the letter, but it was so good, I asked for his permission to share it with you.  My thanks to him for his insightful observations and for his allowing me to publish the letter here.

To The Editor:

Laurie Goldstein’s article, “Church Whistle-Blowers Join Forces on Abuse”, [May 20], prompts me to recall my service from 2002 to 2007, by appointment of Edward Cardinal Egan, as a member of a committee in the Archdiocese of New York asked to examine allegations of child abuse against priests.  I devoted, as did other members, considerable time to this responsibility.  We carefully reviewed allegations of abuse and made recommendations to the Cardinal of appropriate action.  I experienced how rigorously and diligently each case was handled by the staff and committee.  I also participated with the committee in making certain that the Archdiocese had in place a strong policy encouraging anyone with an allegation to report it to the proper civil authorities and had protocols with the District Attorneys in all 10 counties of the Archdiocese to handle such cases.  I found this work to be exceedingly difficult but was proud of the steps taken by my Church and the independence it gave to the committee.

John D. Feerick,
Professor of Law and former dean of Fordham Law School

Statement on Charter for Protection of Children and Young People

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Today, the Archdiocese of New York released the following statement  to the press regarding the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2011 Annual Report on the implementation of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.


For the seventh consecutive year the Archdiocese of New York was found to be in full compliance with the Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, created in 2002, in response to the grave problem of child sexual abuse in Catholic institutions.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released their annual summary earlier this week.

The situation in the Archdiocese of New York details how we have continued to ensure a safe environment for our young people.  Since 2003, the Archdiocese has completed a total of 87,926 background checks on clergy, employees, and volunteers, including 7,588 for the most recent calendar year of 2011. Additionally, during the same time period 78,893 people have received safe environment training – more than 7800 in the past year — and 157,479 school children received age appropriate safety training in the 2010-2011 school year.

The Child Protection Policies require that all those who are in regular contact with minors must: complete the screening process, including a background check; abide by the Safe Environment Policies, the Policy Relating to Sexual Misconduct, and the Code of Conduct; and complete Safe Environment Training appropriate to their position. If any person is not in compliance with these requirements, they may not work or volunteer with minors.   Since the child protection policies have been implemented, 52 people have been excluded from working with minors due to negative results of background checks or failing to comply with training or background check requirements.

The audit is undertaken by outside auditors under the supervision of the independent National Review Board established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Safe Environment Program of the Archdiocese was established to implement Articles 12 and 13 of the Charter.  Article 12 mandates the establishment of programs to train staff in “ways to make and maintain a safe environment for children and young people”, and to publicize “the standards of conduct for clergy and other persons in positions of trust with regard to children”.  Article 13 requires that the Archdiocese evaluate the background of all clergy and of all those whose duties include ongoing, unsupervised contact with minors.