Church Hopes Audit Will Restore Trust and Image

By Christina Hall
Chronicle [Norwich CT]
Downloaded July 14, 2003

NORWICH After three days of auditing by a Boston-based firm, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich will have to wait until the fall to see how it lives up to the standards for dealing with sexual abuse allegations.

"I think it went well," said Sister Mary Alice Kline, who was designated by Bishop Michael L. Cote, to coordinate the diocesan preparation for the audit. "We have been working on preparing for this for some time."

The church announced in May that audits of the 195 dioceses throughout the United States would begin in June. Kline said the Norwich diocese was given three weeks notice to prepare.

Preparation for the audit included compiling the proper paperwork for the auditors, she said.

A public report on how well the diocese is implementing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by the U.S. Conference of Bishops in June 2002, will be prepared by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Child and Youth Protection, directed by Kathleen McChesney, who formerly held the number three post in the FBI.

The Norwich report will be included with audit reports of the other 194 dioceses throughout the nation. All audits are expected to be completed by October, according to church officials.


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