St. Cloud, Minnesota
The Diocese of St. Cloud (“the Diocese”), which was established in 1889, encompasses 16 counties of central Minnesota, consists of 138 parishes and 32 schools, has 131 diocesan priests and 40 deacons, and serves a population of 148,466 registered Catholics. The Most Reverend John F. Kinney, who was installed as bishop in 1995, leads the Diocese. A compliance audit of the Diocese was conducted during the period of June 23-27, 2003.
The information set forth below represents conditions as they were found during the week of the audit.
FindingsTo Promote Healing and Reconciliation
The Diocese has established an outreach program. The bishop, or his designee, has met or offered to meet with victims/survivors of abuse in the Diocese who reported the abuse after June 2002. The victim assistance coordinator is Maxine Barnette. The diocesan review board was established in 2002 and consists of twelve members, including three priests and nine respected members of the lay community. The procedures for making a complaint of abuse are readily available in printed form. There have been no confidentiality agreements entered into by the Diocese since June 2002 unless requested by the victim/survivor.
To Guarantee Effective Response to Allegations of Abuse of a Minor
The Diocese has established effective liaison with local civil authorities, ensuring that an open dialogue regarding sexual abuse allegations will occur. The Diocese has a procedure in place to advise victims/survivors of their right to report allegations of abuse by a member of the clergy to civil authorities. The Diocese has established a clear code of conduct for priests and deacons. This code had been presented to members of clergy in May 2003 and was scheduled for wider dissemination on July 1, 2003. The Diocese has a communications policy that reflects the bishop’s pledge to be open and transparent on issues regarding the sexual abuse of children.
To Ensure Accountability of Procedures
The Diocese has participated in the research study regarding the “nature and scope” of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.
To Protect the Faithful in the Future
The Diocese has developed and implemented a safe environment program, consisting of presentations to diocesan and parish personnel who have regular contact with children. Appropriate presentations are made to children attending parochial schools. The Diocese has standards of conduct for priests and deacons, as well as diocesan employees, volunteers, and any other church personnel in positions of trust who have regular contact with children and young people. These standards were scheduled for publication on July 1, 2003. The Diocese conducts background evaluations for all diocesan and parish personnel who have regular contact with minors. The Diocese has not transferred any priest or deacon who has had a credible allegation of sexual abuse lodged against him to another diocese for ministerial assignment, or for residence. The bishop, or his delegate, and the major superiors have coordinated their respective roles regarding issues of allegations of sexual abuse made against a cleric member of a religious institute. The Diocese has not had an opportunity to cooperate with other churches, religious bodies, and institutions of learning in conducting research in the area of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese has established screening and evaluative techniques in the selection of candidates for ordination and formation programs for priests.
Compliance with the Provisions of the CharterAt the conclusion of this audit, the Diocese of St. Cloud was found to be compliant with the provisions of the Charter as measured by the process described in Chapter 2 in Section I. The Diocese was issued three Commendations.
COMMENDATION 1-For participation in an innovative initiative of "peer review" within the province of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
COMMENDATION 2-For the bishop's vigorous outreach programs established in the Diocese prior to the adoption of the Charter.
COMMENDATION 3-For the broad spectrum of backgrounds and experience of the diocesan review board's members.
The compliance audit measured activity that has occurred since the adoption of the Charter in June 2002 with the exception of certain mandated actions found in Articles 5 and 14. Actions taken by the diocese/eparchy prior to June 2002 to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons are not included in this summary report.
Office of Child and Youth Protection
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194
(202) 541-5413 | FAX: (202) 541-5410