DIOCESE OF AMARILLO
Office of the Bishop
July 14, 2014
To Priests, Deacons, Religious and all the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Amarillo:
Everyone, especially our children, have the right to be safe, secure, and protected from harm, whether sexually, physically, spiritually and/or emotionally, in any and all environments – home, school, neighborhood, community, and for the purposes of this policy – most particularly, in our religious institutions.
As the Bishop of the Diocese of Amarillo, I am committed to “Protect the vulnerable and guard the integrity of ministerial relationships”. I further declare: “Sexual misconduct by clergy, church personnel, church leaders and volunteers is contrary to the Christian morals, doctrine, and canon law. It is never acceptable!”
The Diocese of Amarillo will comply fully, with the requirements as promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops under the: “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”
which is made part hereto.
Diocesan policies are designed to direct the administration in the implementation of the Safe Environment Program in all the parishes, schools, agencies and programs in the Diocese of Amarillo.
Our mission is to create a safe environment for all minors, and anyone, who is entrusted to our Church by:
- Screening of Church Personnel and supervising all Church ministers, employees and volunteers who work with minors as part of their ministry.
- Providing appropriate Safe Environment Training in preventing and recognizing child sexual abuse. The safe environment training program approved for a all priests, deacons, religious, employees, teachers, and volunteers is "Praesidium: Called to Protect".
- Holding all those who work with minors to Christ-centered and professional codes of conduct.
- Providing age based, safe environment training for minors in the recognition of what constitutes appropriate and moral behavior to children/young people by the program "Right Relationships" which is to be used in all Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Amarillo.
- Reporting such sexually inappropriate and/or criminal conduct to appropriate Civil and Church authorities.
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
+Most Reverend Patrick J. Zurek, STL, DD
Bishop of Amarillo