In November of 2002, the Bishops of the United States issued the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In that document, the Bishops reaffirmed the obligation of all involved with the Church to “protect young people and to prevent sexual abuse.”
Although the Protecting God’s Children program was primarily designed to address the issue of creating safe environments for children and young people, it was also extended to encompass those adults considered to be vulnerable. This includes adults with a physical, mental, or emotional condition that renders them unable to defend, to protect, or to get help for themselves when injured or emotionally abused. It also includes the elderly.
In order to ensure the safety and well-being of all persons, anyone who wishes to serve as a volunteer on behalf of the parish must first complete the corresponding Safe Environment requirements before being placed in a particular ministry role. These components vary based on the volunteer position, but may include a criminal background check and completion of a VIRTUS Awareness Session. The requirements specific to your volunteer position will be explained by the staff person who coordinates that ministry.