Our faith calls for us to uphold the value of human life and the dignity of the human person. Christ calls upon us to care for the most vulnerable, especially children. Therefore, the protection of children is the responsibility of the entire Church.
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. One of the mandates of this charter is to create a safe environment for children and young people.
Maximizing a church's role as a child-safe environment begins with making adults more aware of the ways children and adults interact with each other. The program we use in the Archdiocese of Atlanta is The Protecting God's Children program by VIRTUS, which educates and trains adults (clergy, religious, teachers, staff, volunteers and parents) about the dangers of abuse, the warning signs of abuse, the ways to prevent abuse, the methods of properly reporting suspicions of abuse and responding to allegations of abuse.
By using best demonstrated practices for training, the Protecting God's Children program helps make churches safer for all people—especially the vulnerable.
Parish volunteers, depending on the nature of their volunteer service, may be required to participate in VIRTUS.
Local opportunities for VIRTUS Training:
SPC - August 9th at 6:30PM
SPC – August 10th at 9:30AM
Transfiguration - August 12th at 9:00AM
St. Andrew - August 18th at 6:00PM
St. Brigid - August 19th at 9:30AM
St. Thomas Aquinas - August 19th at 9:30AM
SPC - August 23rd at 6:00PM