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Child Protection/ Safe Environment

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond is committed to ensuring that diocesan institutions and ministries provide a safe and nurturing environment for children, young people and vulnerable individuals. The mission of the Child Protection/Safe Environment Program is to create a safe environment consistently incorporating the standards as outlined in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Our Commitments
To addressing allegations of sexual abuse and protecting God’s children in the

Diocese of Richmond

  • Every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is reported to civil authorities and all adult survivors of sexual abuse or harassment are encouraged to file a report with civil authorities.
  • To ensure that no priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer in ministry has been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult.
  • To ensure that no priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer in ministry has been credibly accused of sexual harassment of another person.
  • Since 2002, the Diocesan Review Board, consisting mostly of volunteer lay professionals, reviews all allegations of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy in conjunction with civil authorities.
  • All priests, deacons, religious, lay employees, and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults are background screened every five years.
  • All priests, deacons, religious, lay employees, and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults are trained to identify inappropriate behavior, grooming techniques used by abusers, and how to report suspicious behavior or abuse.
  • All priests, deacons, religious, lay employees, and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults are required to read monthly bulletins to maintain an awareness of child sexual abuse.

Bishop Barry Knestout
 August 15, 2018

 “I am firmly committed, as Bishop of the Richmond Diocese, to addressing accusations of abuse quickly and transparently. Be assured, we will continue to make protection of the most vulnerable a priority in our parishes, schools and  throughout our diocese. We will pray for all victims of abuse, express sorrow for the failure of Church leaders, seek forgiveness for our sins, and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the ongoing healing of the People of God.”