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State laws and church rules against clergy abuse

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Clergy Abuse

The Catholic Church has been embroiled in scandal for many years. That is true around the world as well as across the United States and in Louisiana as well. Not only are there U.S. laws that govern the behavior of the clergy toward other people but the Catholic Church also has rules that clergy must follow to the letter.

According to the Catholic Church, it has worked hard for years to protect victims and shield them from harm. The church has made a lot of progress but there is still a lot more that needs to be done. The position of the church is that until child sexual abuse no longer exists, it will continue to take measures to wipe it out.

The rules that govern the Catholic clergy in Louisiana

In 2002, the Catholic Church enacted something it calls the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. It is a set of rules that addresses rules for safety and how the church should handle allegations of sexual abuse of minors at the hands of the Catholic clergy.

  • The charter contains guidelines for accountability, healing, reconciliation and prevention of further abuse.
  • The charter drives the following: The victims’ and survivors’ healing, a rapid and effective response to the abuse victims, cooperating with law enforcement, punishing the offenders, ensuring that the children and young people have a safe environment and putting in place protective measures so the abuse doesn’t happen again.
  • The charter mandates audits on a yearly basis to determine that the clergy are complying with the charter. The church has been conducting audits since 2003.
  • The charter mandates safe environment training for educators, priests, deacons, and candidates for ordination.
  • The charter mandates background checks, which have been done on over 2 million volunteers and church personnel who come into contact with children.
  • According to the charter, every individual who is audited must follow the Code of Conduct, which clearly states what the behavior of those individuals should be. The Code of Conduct also states exactly what is unacceptable behavior.
  • The church employs Victim Assistance Coordinators, who guarantee that victims will have a chance to be heard.
  • The charter mandates an intensive screening and psychological testing of everyone who wishes to enter the seminary.
  • No matter what specific abuse occurred, the individual will immediately be removed from the priesthood.
  • The church provides training to children so that they are able to recognize a grooming process and the confidence to tell their parents and other trusted adults about what they experienced.
  • All dioceses have written policies in place related to sexual abuse of minors at the hands of clerics and church personnel.

Legal support

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, the expertise of seasoned attorney may help your case a great deal. Your attorney can empower you in your pursuit of justice. If you were abused as a child, it is  never too late to go after the compensation that you need and that you deserve. A recent change in Louisiana law enables abuse victims to come forward at any time without any statute of limitations getting in the way.