For the 16th time since the inception of national diocesan audits sixteen years ago, the Diocese of Allentown has been found “in compliance” with the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by the Bishops of the United States in 2002.
For this audit, the Diocese filled out a questionnaire sent here by StoneBridge Business Partners, a Rochester, NY firm contracted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to conduct compliance audits of the nation’s 195 Dioceses. The Allentown Diocese returned the 12-page questionnaire, which the auditors confirmed.
Among the data the Diocese reported to the auditors: 18, 500 students currently enrolled in Catholic schools in the Diocese or in parish religious education programs have received Safe Environment training, as have 280 priests, deacons and candidates for ordination. Almost 1,000 teachers in Diocesan schools, more than 2,500 employees of the Diocese or its parishes across five counties and almost 7,000 volunteers at schools, parishes and Diocesan facilities, also received that training. Except for the students, all of those people have also undergone background checks.
Diocese of Allentown Bishop Alfred Schlert was pleased with the results. “At a time when the Church’s efforts to protect the children entrusted to its care have been under justifiable scrutiny, it is gratifying to have independent auditors find this Diocese in compliance with the Church’s rigorous standards,” he said. “I am grateful to the clergy, religious, and lay adults who work each day to make our parishes, schools, institutions, and programs a safe environment in which to experience the love of Christ.”