The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was found to be in compliance with all articles of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” for the 2011-2012 audit period, according to a letter from StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, N.Y., which conducted the onsite audit.
As part of the charter adopted by the U.S. bishops in 2002, the archdiocese and other dioceses in the United States undergo an annual, independent audit of their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the charter’s provisions. Once every three years, the audit is conducted on site. In other years, investigators gather data and other information.
This was the archdiocese’s second audit with StoneBridge. Previous audits were carried out by the Gavin Group of Boston.
Training, background checks
The archdiocese’s commitment to safety includes requiring safe environment training and background checks for all clergy, church employees and volunteers who have regular contact with children, said Andy Eisenzimmer, archdiocesan chancellor for civil affairs.
Annually, about 74,000 children in Catholic schools and parish religious education programs receive age-appropriate safe environment lessons.
Twice a year, he said, the archdiocese audits parish and school locations. In the fall, it asks for plans regarding what will be done to ensure compliance with safe environment and charter requirements. The spring audit shows what was accomplished.
“All this work affirms the bishops’ commitment to the provisions of the charter,” Eisenzimmer said. “But this work also has really become a core mission of the Church and has broader value for the greater community as well.”