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Diocese of Madison is in full compliance with charter to protect children Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

To the editor:

The Diocese of Madison successfully completed an in-depth on-site audit for the 2009 to 2010 audit period. The Diocese of Madison is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People.

Implementation of the Charter Norms can be a very labor-intensive endeavor for all of the parish and school communities within our diocese, and the diocesan offices that guide and support the various aspects of “creating safe environments.” Yet, ensuring that all those who have regular access to minors are properly cleared, trained, and supervised is without a doubt well worth the time and energy required to meet this goal to the best of our ability. In addition, educational opportunities and resources are provided to support parents, and help their children develop age-appropriate safety skills.

The audit process is now on a three-year cycle. During this time frame, each diocese in the United States experiences one in-depth, on-site audit. In addition to reviewing documentation to establish compliance, the auditors interview various individuals responsible for the overall implementation of Safe Environment policies and procedures as mandated by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. If the diocese is found to be in compliance, the other two years are “data collection” audits. This process is accomplished via electronic communications and telephone conferences. The Diocese of Madison successfully passed the in-depth, on-site audit that was administered the week of July 5 to 9, 2010.

It is with a great sense of humility that we recognize this achievement. Over recent months we have been reminded that the abuse of children is a global concern. There is an overwhelming need for healing within the Church throughout our world, within our communities, within our homes, within our hearts. It can be very challenging to encounter evidence that provides a sobering reminder that the same Church, which is entrusted with the fullness of Divine Revelation and is called to be Sacrament to the world, is the same Church, which is also in the process of being sanctified herself.

Unfortunately, what does not make the headlines very often, if at all, is the tremendous positive impact of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People as it has been put into action. This is indeed a genuine cause for celebration, realizing that the Church is once again experiencing a conversion from the effects of sin into the redeeming light of Grace.

It is by the Grace of God that the Diocese of Madison is blessed with so many faithful servants — ordained, religious, and laypersons. We have thriving schools, parish programs, and countless opportunities to live and celebrate our Catholic Faith. Through the leadership of our clergy and the work of many dedicated employees and volunteers we are able to experience our faith communities within the context of a “safe environment.”

Special thanks to all who support the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People under the guidance of Bishop Morlino. Congratulations on a job well done!

Cheryl R. Splinter, Director, Office of Safe Environment, Diocese of Madison