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Skip Navigation LinksADLA Administrative Handbook > Chapter 9 - Safe Environment > 9.14 - Procedures for Addressing Allegations Involving Sexual Misconduct by Clergy

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​​​​The archdiocese is committed to addressing all allegations of possible sexual misconduct by clergy in a manner that includes providing a prompt pastoral response to the person reporting the matter, intervening with any person accused to assure that no person who has been validly accused remains in ministry, filing mandated reports​ as required by law, and as applicable, immediately reporting the matter to law enforcement​, other dioceses, or other entities, including religious orders/institutes where the accused has served. The archdiocese undertakes all of these actions with a view to placing a priority on addressing any occasions of abuse or misconduct in a manner that allows for immediate intervention, but also recognizes the privacy and other rights of the victims, the accused, and others impacted by the matter.

The archdiocese has adopted policies on these matters to assure that the misconduct is addressed and that, at the same time, the individual rights of the accused are treated in accord with canon law, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People​, and the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, as well as the requirements of civil law and archdiocesan polices.

The Office of the Vicar for Clergy, the Office of Victims Assistance Ministry, and the general counsel coordinate, on behalf of the archbishop, the responses and the canonical and other investigations that are undertaken. All investigations are handled on a confidential basis and victims or others are encouraged to report any situation to any of those offices, their regional bishop, or any person in charge of their location. If the complaint is made on an anonymous basis, every effort is made to identify the source, but persons need to understand that it is not always possible or feasible to follow up on such reports.

Under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, and the policies of the archdiocese, when a credible allegation is received of misconduct involving a minor victim, the clergy member alleged to have committed the misconduct is immediately placed on administrative leave pending the matter. In addition, announcements are made at parishes or other locations where the clergy member has served, in the event that there may be other victims who have not previously reported misconduct. When the allegation involves an adult victim, an assessment is made before a clergy member is placed on leave or announcements are made.

All matters involving sexual misconduct by priests and deacons are referred to and evaluated by the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board. The investigations, outreach, and ministry to the alleged victims or others impacted by possible abuse or misconduct are provided without reference to whether an individual elects to pursue a legal claim. The archdiocese collaborates with law enforcement in all its investigations and has retained individuals to assist in investigations and to serve as liaisons to law enforcement agencies.


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