United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
“Let there be no doubt or confusion on anyone’s part:
For us, your bishops, our obligation to protect children and young people and to prevent sexual abuse flow from the mission and example given to us by Jesus Christ himself, in whose name we serve.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is comprised of the Roman Catholic bishops of the United States. In June 2002, the USCCB approved The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People as they committed themselves to providing a “safe environment” for all children and youth in Church-sponsored activities.
This defining document is comprised of seventeen articles, which outline the American Roman Catholic bishops’ pledge to respond to allegations of victims of sexual abuse by clergy, promote healing and reconciliation, ensure accountability in procedures, and protect children and youth in the future.
The USCCB also established the Office of Child and Youth Protection to assist dioceses and eparchies in the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This Office assists dioceses as they ensure the consistent application of the Charter’s guidelines and procedures to prevent abuse and to properly deal with allegations of sexual abuse by priests and deacons.