6.0 STANDARDS FOR CONDUCT
Like priests, deacons are held to the same high standards of conduct that apply to all members of the clergy. The core and pastoral values set forth in Section 5.2.1 of the Administrative Handbook apply to all deacons with an assignment in the archdiocese. In addition, the archdiocesan policies in Section 5.13 which pertain to priestly conduct, apply equally to deacons.
6.1 Virtus Certification Policy
Deacons must comply with applicable archdiocesan policy regarding Virtus® safe-environment training, which requires all clergy who minister in the archdiocese for more than 15 days to complete the VIRTUS® training program or present certification of a satisfactory completion of another approved safe environment program within 15 days of their arrival in the archdiocese. The Office of the Vicar for Clergy will review any alternative safe environment programs, and approve those that meet the archdiocesan content and training protocols.
Deacons shall provide certificates of completion for all safe environment training to the Office of Deacons in Ministry.
Link to ADLA Policy regarding Safe-Environment training:
6.2 Protection of Children and Reporting Child Abuse
Deacons must comply with all applicable archdiocesan policies regarding the protection of children and reporting allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
Link to ADLA Policy regarding Reporting Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors:
6.3 Policy on Sexual Abuse by Clergy
Deacons must comply with all applicable archdiocesan policies regarding allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct by clergy.
Link to ADLA Policy for Addressing Allegations of Sexual Abuse or Misconduct by Clergy: http://handbook.la-archdiocese.org/Handbook%20Resources/archdiocesan_policy_for_addressing_allegations_of_sexual_abuse_or_misconduct.pdf
6.4 Complaints against Deacons
Complaints made against deacons are normally handled by the deacon's pastoral supervisor (typically the pastor where the deacon is assigned) in consultation with the regional bishop's office. The process for handling complaints against deacons shall be in accordance with Section 5.13.9 of the Administrative Handbook.
Link to ADLA Policy for Responding to Complaints and Conflict Resolution:
6.5 Criminal Behavior
If a deacon is arrested by civil authorities, the archdiocese will generally be notified by the Department of Justice, or other law enforcement authority, and in all events the deacon is expected to report the arrest to the Office of the Vicar for Clergy. The matter will be reviewed by the archdiocese and appropriate action will be taken.
Any deacon who is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude is subject to the full range of canonical penalties, up to and including removal from the clerical state.
6.6 Addiction and the DiaconateThe Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in accordance with professional and employment protocols, officially recognizes substance abuse and other medically recognized addictions, such as gambling, alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, and addictive sexual behavior, as conditions that require enlightened concern and treatment. Addressing these behaviors may require the involvement of law enforcement agencies and the application of canonical disciplinary measures. The policy pertaining to addiction in the priesthood applies also to deacons.
Link to ADLA Policy regarding Addiction and the Presbyterate: http://handbook.la-archdiocese.org/chapter-5/section-5-13/topic-5-13-13
6.7 Liability Coverage
The archdiocese provides deacons with a legal defense as clergy of the archdiocese provided the conduct is within the scope of their assignment. If the conduct is not within the scope of the deacon's assignment, the deacon is responsible for his own legal costs. Occasionally, particular arrangements for a deacon may be made with the moderator of the curia. Parishes may not fund legal costs without specific authority of the moderator of the curia and parish funds may never be used to provide bail payments.
6.8 Electronic Communications Policy
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles recognizes that in today's environment, with the increasing prevalence of the internet, employees, clerics and volunteers will use the internet to conduct ministry work and to communicate with associates and friends. The Archdiocese encourages internet use and provides detailed policies and extensive guidance on safe and acceptable use in the online Administrative Handbook.
The Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications ("Archdiocesan AUP") applies to all archdiocesan users of technology, whether adults, children, or youth, and whether they are students, parents, paid staff or volunteers, priests, deacons, or members of religious orders in the archdiocese or at any Location. All users are expected to adhere to the morals and values of the Catholic Church, to respect others, to consider the potential audience and their expectations, and to follow the Archdiocesan AUP and the other policies, standards, and procedures of the archdiocese. Electronic information and communications require particular safeguards and impose unique responsibilities on all users.
The Archdiocesan AUP is set forth in Chapter 10 of the Administrative Handbook.
6.9 Political Office, Employment and Outside Business Activities
A deacon may not present his name for election to any public office or in any other general election, or accept a nomination or an appointment to public office, without the prior written permission of the archbishop. A deacon may not actively and publicly participate in another's political campaign without the prior written permission of the archbishop.
6.10 Involvement in Charismatic Prayer Groups
Many deacons and wives minister as part of the Charismatic Movement and are vital members of various parish prayer groups. Such involvement is encouraged for the deacons' and wives' own spiritual growth and for the richness they can bring to others because of their formation and ministry.
Deacons should not serve in elected positions within the Charismatic Renewal Movement. This applies to the steering committee (Comite Timon) as well as the coordinator position for parish prayer groups. All leadership positions should be filled by members of the laity.
Deacons may serve in the capacity of chaplain or spiritual guide for a prayer group, provided the prayer group is an approved parish ministry and the deacon serves under the direction of the pastor. As spiritual guide, the deacon must be properly prepared, and he must assure that the materials, instructions and practices conform to the official teachings of the Church and the policies of the archdiocese. Resources for Charismatic Renewal are available from the archdiocesan English, Hispanic and Tagalog Liaisons through the Office of New Evangelization. (Provide link here: http://www.la-archdiocese.org/archbishop/NewWorld/Documents/Guidelines%20for%20Prayer%20Groups%20of%20the%20Renewal.pdf
The deacon is expected to serve all members of the parish community. It is not appropriate for ministry to the Charismatic Renewal Movement to be the deacon's only ministry.