Bridgeport Diocese to Do Sex Abuse Audit

NBC 30
June 23, 2004

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport will again open up its records to auditors for allegations of sexual abuse.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted at its Denver conference last week in favor of a second round of audits.

Bridgeport Bishop William Lori said that the diocese has nothing to hide. Lori is a member of the bishops' conference Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse.

Lori said that for the past year the Bridgeport diocese has had n aggressive and comprehensive program to maintain and enhance a safe environment in the parishes.

A spokesman for the diocese said that about half of the 20,000 church employees, contractors and volunteers in 87 parishes have completed the Bridgeport diocese's Safe Environments Program. The program includes a four-hour training course that teaches participants how to detect signs of abuse and how to report it to church and secular authorities.

Auditors will review records to ensure the dioceses are reaching out to victims and make sure they do not have child molesters in active ministry.

The last round of audits completed last fall found that 90 percent of the 191 dioceses audited nationwide, including Bridgeport, were in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.


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