Youngstown Catholic Diocese to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month

March 22, 2016


The Diocese of Youngstown has announced that its parishes, schools and institutions will observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

According to a news release from the diocese, communities are being encouraged to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness strategies and activities and promote prevention.

The announcement comes just days after three Franciscan friars were charged in Pennsylvania with allowing a suspected sexual predator to hold jobs where he molested more than 100 children.

Friars Robert D'Aversa, Anthony Criscitelli and Giles Schinelli are accused of assigning or allowing Brother Stephen Baker to remain at Bishop McCort High School, where he molested scores of students from 1992 to 2000.

Baker killed himself in 2013 when Ohio church officials announced settlements involving students molested there in the 1980s.

During his 33 year service with the Franciscans, Brother Baker was assigned to Warren JFK from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1982 to 1992.

Eleven students who attended JFK High School between 1986 and 1990, received financial settlements for crimes committed against them as children, allegedly by Brother Baker.

The news release from the Youngstown Diocese, which makes no mention of the Brother Baker incident, says "the diocese insures safe environments for children and young people entrusted to the care of its parishes and schools by implementing the Diocese of Youngstown Child Protection Policy."

The diocese says its Child Protection Policy prescribes the means of prevention, standards of ministerial behavior, response to an allegation, means of healing and reconciliation, and a Diocesan Review Board.

All clergy, religious, employees and volunteers receive copies of the Child Protection Policy and must sign an authorization/verification form and an acknowledgement form stating that they will comply with the policy according to the Youngstown Diocese.

For Child Abuse Prevention Month resources, the diocese invites people to visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of Child and Youth Protection website by following this link.


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