Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
Religious teaching condemns the sexual abuse of children and youth as seriously sinful. The Bishops of the United States adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in June 2002. This crucial document includes the church’s response to the problem of child sexual abuse and provides a concrete prevention plan.
The charter outlines different resources and tactics aimed at preventing misconduct, such as safe environment training for adults, where all parish, school personnel and volunteers who have regular contact with children and youth are required to receive training in child sexual abuse awareness and prevention. Others include:
- Safe Environment Training for Children and Youth: empowers children, teaching internet safety awareness and personal safety skills to help avoid dangerous and abusive situations;
- Background Checks and Screening: all applicants to the priesthood and permanent
- Diaconate are required to participate in comprehensive psychological screening and background evaluations to assess their fitness for the ministry and their fitness to work with minors.
- Diocese of Albany Catholic Schools Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policies: rigorous policies and procedures have been implemented by the Albany Diocese to provide a safe environment for all children and youth in our parishes and schools.
The Albany Diocese is concerned about the well being of those who have suffered abuse and hopes to help anyone who has been sexually abused by anyone working or volunteering for the Diocese. We have learned that it is possible, with assistance, for individuals to heal from the effects of sexual misconduct. This is not easily accomplished with the path to healing being different for each person. We make every effort to respond in a fair and compassionate manner to those harmed, helping them to take steps toward healing.
Call our Assistance Coordinator at (518) 453.6646 to: report misconduct by a priest, deacon or other person working or volunteering for the Diocese of Albany; access counseling assistance and tell your story in a supportive environment; report abuse by a member of a religious community and receive assistance connecting with the appropriate religious community; or report abuses suffered in another diocese and receive assistance in connecting with the appropriate persons in that diocese.
Sexual Abuse of Minors
Children are our most valuable and vulnerable resource. Child sexual abuse is a tragic reality that has occurred in trusted institutions like the church, schools and society at large. We as the “People of God” are called to work together to stop all forms of sexual abuse wherever they occur.