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Archdiocese Updates Child Protection Decree

Dan Andriacco
Communication & Mission Promotion


The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has issued a new version of its Decree on Child Protection, the protective policies, procedures and recommendations that apply to all of its parishes, schools, agencies and institutions.

The original Decree on Child Abuse was promulgated by Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk in March, 1993. It became the Decree on Child Protection in 1997 and was last updated in 2003 in line with Archdiocese policy that the Decree be updated every five years in the light of experience.

The new booklet containing the Decree is 52 pages long vs. the former 44 pages. More than 600 church personnel attended 12 workshops outlining the changes. Among dozens of additions and alterations in the latest version are the following:

The complete text is online at Click on “Protecting Our Children.”

“This Decree seeks to protect, enhance and, in some cases, restore the trust that our faith calls for between the Church and the children and adolescents entrusted to their care,” said the Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk, archbishop of Cincinnati.

“Over the last several years, I have met with a number of people who have been harmed by agents of the Archdiocese. I have personally witnessed the hurt and anger that is involved in child abuse. To victims and their families I again extend my sincere apology and ask forgiveness on behalf of the Archdiocese for the harm inflicted by any agents of the Archdiocese. I ask for your continued prayers for healing and reconciliation.”

Archbishop Pilarczyk urges anyone who was abused as a child by a priest or any other representative of the Archdiocese, or knows someone who was, to report the abuse immediately to the secular legal authorities and to the Victim Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocese, Sister Mary Garke, at (513) 421-3131 or 1 (800) 686-2724.

Since 1993, more than 81,000 clergy, employees and volunteers who work with children have been trained in the Decree’s provisions. In addition, more than 59,000 persons who work with children on behalf of the Archdiocese have been fingerprinted. As a result of information learned through the fingerprinting, 266 potential volunteers or employees have been denied the opportunity to be in positions that involved contact with children.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 26th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics, and has the eighth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 221 parishes and 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools.