Portland diocese installs 24/7 misconduct hotline

Press Herald

June 16, 2019

The Diocese of Portland has created a 24/7 hotline to receive complaints about priests or other church employees who are accused of misconduct that violates church ethics rules.

The reporting system is operated by an Akron, Ohio-based Red Flag Reporting and will take reports about fraud, misconduct, harassment or substance abuse among clergy, the diocese said in a statement Tuesday.

However, the system is not intended to be a way for the public to report clergy sexual abuse, the diocese said, encouraging anyone with information about sexual misconduct in the church to contact “civil authorities.”

“Several months ago, after hearing from people around the state, the diocese started the process of establishing this system for individuals to express their concerns in an easily accessible way,” Bishop Robert P. Deeley said in the statement. “The system is organized to ensure that these reports will be handled in a timely and thorough manner.”

The diocese said the company “ensures accountability at the diocesan level by overseeing the handling of each complaint,” the statement said. Posters will be placed in churches, diocesan schools and buildings with the hotline number. Complaints can be received in English or Spanish, or can be submitted online.

People who report misconduct also will be granted whistleblower protection.

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