Diocese to Begin Educational Program about Sexual Abuse

WAVE 3 TV [Louisville KY]
August 17, 2004

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington will begin the new school year by implementing a "safe environment" program to educate students and parents about sexual abuse.

The program was approved by Bishop Roger Foys last month. It meets a requirement of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by American bishops in 2002.

The diocese is currently engaged in a mediation process to settle the nation's first class-action lawsuit over claims of molestation by priests. The suit, which accuses the diocese of mishandling such allegations, covers victims from the last 50 years.

The "safe environment" policy requires schools and parish-based religious educational programs to educate all parents and students in preschool through 12th grade. The diocese has about 12-thousand-400 students in its 30 elementary schools and nine high schools.

Four programs have been approved for use, including "Protecting God's Children," which is already required training for all church employees and volunteers.

The Archdiocese of Louisville, Diocese of Owensboro and Diocese of Lexington all have put similar programs in place.